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Interoception Check: Feelings, Emotions, and Regulation

Updated: Feb 5

Resource in Progress

I had this idea recently while working on a project for a speaking engagement I have in January at a Neurodivergent Summit (I guess maybe I should talk about these things publicly - oops), and wanted to share the initial idea/visual with you.

Partially, I trust you to tell me if this isn't helpful or doesn't make sense, and partially because I'd love input if you have any.

A little background: I've noticed this cycle I go through myself when it comes to connecting physical emotions and sensations with intellectual reasoning, and I've realized interoception tends to be the interrupter, but also the predictor: if I'm not doing certain things, I'm bound to feel certain ways.

My spiderweb brain started seeing this visual where I teeter back and forth based on my physical and emotional needs... and I've been able to start predicting what I need and why I need it from past experience without going through as many steps and checks first.


So this is very messy and my intention is to fill it in with more examples, but here's my initial visual idea of how this shakes out:

Let me give a super quick example of how this has worked for me. I get a headache when I'm tending to my primary interoceptive needs like food, water, and movement. When that is also combined with heightened stress, it's a very specific headache, and after going through this cycle above enough, I can identify that headache when it starts and take care of it immediately - without going through all the checks/trials of other things.

I've had similar experiences with identifying grief and sadness; as I'm approaching the year anniversary of losing Kingston, I anticipate these physical triggers and sensations to increase as my body remembers what happened last year, but I feel more prepared and have a better idea now of what's happening, why, and how I can help myself through it.

Anyway, let me know if this is helpful, etc.

Stay regulated, Shauna


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