Somatic intelligence refers to our degree of awareness and ability to interpret and respond to the sensations of the body (De Silva, 2017). There are over 100 different bodily sensations, which are categorized as emotions, cognitive processes, or somatic and homeostatic states (Nummenmaa, Hari, Hietanen, & Glerean, 2018). A core factor that differentiates humans from animals is an expanded consciousness, providing an awareness of the body, separate from the spirit that inhabits it. Awareness of these sensations, coupled with the desire and confidence to respond, correlates with our somatic intelligence.
Nummenmaa et al. (2018) researched over 1000 participants to map out where the typical sensations are felt in the body. The illustration below is an excellent way to gain awareness and an ability to interpret and respond to the varying bodily signals.
When the spirit and body are securely attached (as described in the previous blog post), we become inherently conscious and motivated to listen and tend to the sensations, desires, and concerns of the body. This secure attachment is imperative to feel into our bodily sensations and navigate the stress response. If we are not securely attached, and our ability to be aware of or respond to the body is hampered, we will continue to experience stress until we tend to the body’s concern.