How we feel emotions in our Body

by Boysen Hodgson

from Discover Magazine

Research done by a group of scientists, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals some interesting facts about how human beings experience emotions in their bodies. For men involved in the ManKind Project, it was a nice affirmation of what we’ve been teaching and practicing for nearly 30 years.

In the ManKind Project, we see and hear men struggle to describe or name what they’re feeling. Mad? Sad? Glad? Afraid? Ashamed? They frequently have an easy time saying what they think, or making statements that express judgment about what is happening around them, but when asked to name the emotional state they’re experiencing … many men are stumped. For most of us, this is a result of being raised in families and in a culture that doesn’t teach or model emotional literacy.

To help men learn what they are feeling and be able to name it; without expectation of changing it or shame for feeling it, we teach men to look their bodies for clues.

“What sensations are you feeling?”
“Where are the sensations in your body?”
“What color (shape, size, texture) might it have?”
and finally …
“If you were to give it a name … mad, sad, glad, afraid, ashamed … what would you call it?”

This basic template for exploration begins to tease apart the stories and narratives in our minds from the raw physical experience we are having in our bodies. Often this is the first step in decoupling habits of reaction so that men can make changes in their behaviors and beliefs about themselves and the world.

Emotion – the felt sense, the hormonal and neurological chain-reaction set into motion by thoughts and experiences of the world – is one of the most powerful sources of information we can harness to improve ourselves and have a positive impact on the world. Many of us create habits of denial, repression, and avoidance of our emotions that have wide ranging personal, interpersonal, and cultural impacts in our communities.

This is a great time to bear witness to the cultural awakening that is underway.

Men’s Work – the difficult and fantastic process of waking up, growing up, and showing up in the world for the benefit of humanity – is main-stream. As soon as this article was published, ManKind Project men from around the world were sharing it with quips about printing it out as a quick reference guide for men beginning the exhilarating process of connecting ‘head’ and ‘heart.’

Here is the link to the article:
How we feel emotions in our body

Boysen Hodgson

Boysen Hodgson is the Communications and Marketing Director for the ManKind Project USA, a nonprofit mentoring and training organization that offers powerful opportunities for men’s personal growth at any stage of life. Boysen received his BA with Honors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, after completing 2 years of Design coursework at Cornell University. He has been helping companies and individuals design the change they wish to see in the world for 15 years. He’s a dedicated husband.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.

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