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For this exercise we’re gonna hold our arms and upper body in a somatic hug.

  1.  Sit on the floor or in a chair, or stand with your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Take your right hand and place it around the ribs at your left side, nestled underneath your left underarm and beside your heart. 
  3. Place your other hand on your right shoulder, so that you are giving yourself a hug
  4. Spend a few moments noticing the sensations of your hands — the pressure of the palms as they hold you in this hug. 
  5. And now extend this focus to your arms as well, noticing the sensation of both holding with your arms, and being held by your own arms.
  6. Visualise how your arms create a container for yourself and all the emotions and sensations you’re feeling. Notice what it's like to be held by yourself in this way.
  7. Continue holding yourself for however long feels right, paying attention to the feeling of containment your hands and arms provide. 
  8. Once you’ve finished, notice if anything is different from just a few moments ago. Are there any shifts, however tiny or subtle, in how your body feels? Remember that whatever comes up is okay, and if you can, just check in with yourself and see if there’s anything else you need in this moment.

( i )      Somatic resources such as this help us to regain a sense of being connected with ourselves when our nervous systems become dysregulated. Using mindful self-touch to place awareness on the boundaries of our bodies can provide a sense of containment that is comforting and soothing for the nervous system.