78: Connecting with Your Body with Dr. Amruti Choudhry

Do you find it easy to slow down, and tune into your emotions and your physical, bodily experience? If not, and if this is a habit you want to develop, you’re in the right place because my guest this week specializes in coaching her clients to pay attention to their body’s natural signals, creating sustainable weight loss in a way that’s genuinely fun.

Dr. Amruti Choudhry is a multi-award-winning Advanced Certified Life Coach, Public Speaker, and host of the successful Weight Loss for Women Professionals podcast. Amruti went from chronically rushing around and numbing her emotions with food and scrolling to losing over 92 pounds and developing a relationship with herself that was purposefully connected to her body and her emotions.

If you’re always on the go and you find yourself living more in your head than in your body, you need to tune in this week. Amruti is sharing what it means to slow down and tap into your body, the value of really feeling your emotions, and we’re both sharing our advice for busy professionals who can’t get out of their heads and into their bodies.

Habits on Purpose with Kristi Angevine, MD | Connecting with Your Body with Dr. Amruti Choudhry

Do you find it easy to slow down, and tune into your emotions and your physical, bodily experience? If not, and if this is a habit you want to develop, you’re in the right place because my guest this week specializes in coaching her clients to pay attention to their body’s natural signals, creating sustainable weight loss in a way that’s genuinely fun.

Habits on Purpose with Kristi Angevine, MD | Connecting with Your Body with Dr. Amruti Choudhry

Dr. Amruti Choudhry is a multi-award-winning Advanced Certified Life Coach, Public Speaker, and host of the successful Weight Loss for Women Professionals podcast. Amruti went from chronically rushing around and numbing her emotions with food and scrolling to losing over 92 pounds and developing a relationship with herself that was purposefully connected to her body and her emotions.

If you’re always on the go and you find yourself living more in your head than in your body, you need to tune in this week. Amruti is sharing what it means to slow down and tap into your body, the value of really feeling your emotions, and we’re both sharing our advice for busy professionals who can’t get out of their heads and into their bodies.

If you’re interested in connecting with me for private coaching, I do keep a small panel of private clients and I love helping them explore their minds and explore their habits so they can make real shifts in their lives. To get more information, click here!

What you'll learn from this episode:

  • The shame Amruti used to experience around her body.
  • What it means to tap into your body and slow down.
  • How Amruti used coaching to heal her strained relationships.
  • The societal pressure we face, as women, to think of other people before ourselves.
  • What it’s really like to start feeling your feelings in your body.
  • The work of releasing your judgments about your emotions.
  • How to go inwards, giving yourself time and space to tune in to your body.


Listen to the Full Episode:

Powerful Takeaways:

05:30 “There was so much shame, especially as a physician, being overweight.”

10:24 “So much of what I was going through was because I was unwilling to feel my emotions.”

13:48 “What if I was wrong about self-care being selfish?”

19:23 “I have taught my kids how to feel their emotions.”

29:27 “When I think about somatic techniques, I’m thinking about really soothing that inner child.”

35:17 “It doesn’t have to be anything major, just something where you’re signifying to your brain that you’re doing something different.”

36:38 “When you ground yourself in the present moment, everything changes.”

Featured on the Show:

Related Episodes:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Episode #78. This is Kristi Angevine. Today, I'm bringing you a conversation with a colleague of mine, Dr. Amruti Choudhry. Listen in as we discussed the importance of slowing down, tuning into your emotions, and your physical bodily experience. Let's get started.

Welcome to Habits On Purpose, a podcast for high-achieving women who want to create lifelong habits that give more than they take. You'll get practical strategies for mindset shifts that will help you finally understand the root causes of why you think, feel, and act as you do. And now, here's your host, Physician, and Master Certified Life Coach, Kristi Angevine.

Hello, hello. My guest is fellow physician and life coach, Amruti Choudhry. Amruti hosts the Weight Loss for Women Professionals Podcast. In her life coaching practice, she teaches clients how to pay attention to their body's natural signals to create sustainable weight loss in a way that's really fun.

In this conversation you're about to hear, Amruti shares her personal story of how she went from chronically rushing around, numbing her emotions with food and scrolling, to a relationship with herself that was purposely more connected to her body and more connected to her emotions. If you're someone who's always on the go, and you live more in your head than in your body, you're going to love this conversation. So, without further ado, my conversation with Dr. Amruti Choudhry.

Kristi Angevine: Welcome everybody to our podcast episode today. I have with me the lovely Dr. Amruti Choudhry, whose name I hopefully didn't butcher too much. Amruti, can you introduce yourself to the people who don't already know you?

Dr. Amruti Choudhry: Yeah. Hello, everyone. I'm Dr. Amruti Choudhry. I am a fellow coach and physician over the pond, from the UK, London. But I share so much of the love and the passion for coaching that I know Kristi does. I'm so happy to be here. Thank you for having me.

Kristi: Oh, of course. I like to ground our conversations with a little something personal, so that people who are listening who are either on call or in their car driving or walking can get to know us as people. If you wouldn't mind, could you share, if you could look out a window, what you might see. And maybe a hobby that you like, or some interest you have that’s separate from your vocation as a coach.

Amruti: Okay, so I'm in my office right now. The sun is shining in London. I know that's quite rare. Normally, we have a lot of rain. So, the sun is shining. I have school kids outside of my window. Hopefully my school kids don't knock on the window, because that's what they normally do, but should be fine. My mum, I've already prepped her, please make sure they don't knock on the window.

I love dancing in the kitchen to Bollywood music, with my kids, off beat, cracking up at every move, because we're not really dancing, but we're just being silly, and just really enjoying ourselves. So, that is a hobby that I try and incorporate into my day at least once a day to really get all of those happy hormones flowing, and to show my kids that it's okay to be kids and to just have a laugh.

Kristi: I love that. I love picturing that. I also love that, maybe not to Bollywood music because I don't know much about it. My experience with it has been that I have been the clunky one. But I love dancing and having the laugh and being totally off beat. I noticed, as you said that, I was thinking, “Oh, that's something that I don't deliberately incorporate on a day-to-day basis, and I think I'm going to start doing that.” That's great. Thank you.

Amruti: Oh my gosh, message me when you've done that. It is so fun. And trust me, I'm very clunky too. My husband's the professional dancer out of us. I literally have no rhythm or anything, but I just love flowing. I have loads of energy, so I'm just kind of taking it out with my Bollywood dancing.

Kristi: That’s so good. Okay, perfect. Yes, consider it done. I will be incorporating it more regularly. My family doesn't know this yet, but they’re in for a treat. So, you’re a physician and you’re a coach, can you tell me a little bit about what drew you to coaching in the first place? Because we’ve known each other for a while, but I don’t think I know what sparked your interest.

Amruti: Yeah, okay. I went into coaching because I wanted to lose some weight. Initially, I had been overweight all my life, probably since the age of seven, and I'd been trying to lose weight. I remember always being worried about my weight and conscious about my weight, probably from about age of seven. I tried kind of like everything. I think I was on my first Weight Watchers diet by the age of 12.

Just thinking about it makes me quite emotional. That for so long I was worrying about this, for decades of my life. So, I tried everything under the sun. I was able to lose weight, for example, for my wedding. I got down to my goal weight. But then within a year, I was up three stones. Basically, this went on for decades.

Then I had my child, my first child, and I put on three stones in that pregnancy. Then lost a bit, and had my second child; three stones again in that pregnancy. Then lost a bit, and I was just at that stage where I was like, I really want to be able to be healthy for my kids. So, I tried everything under the sun again.

There was so much shame, especially as a physician, being overweight. Because I was a GP, and so I would be advising people about their weight all the time. I felt so much like, “Oh, what are you doing being an overweight GP?” I tried everything, and then I decided… I was listening to this life coaching podcast, and something that they said on there changed my life.

It was, “It's your thoughts that create your results.” I was like, wait, I've been focusing on my diet, my exercise, all of this. And so, what would it be like if I actually applied these life coaching tools to my weight loss? I decided to hire a life coach for my weight loss.

Over my journey, I lost 42 kilograms, which is 92 pounds. I’m only little, so I'm only like, 5’1 1/2”. I basically went from a size 22 to a size 8 UK size. It wasn't even about the weight, that was phenomenal for me, that I was able to lose it and maintain it. But the more important thing for me, was that I was able to achieve a goal that I've been trying to achieve for decades of my life, and I was able to maintain it.

But it applied to so many other areas of my life, too. I was able to build a relationship with myself, where I do what I say I'm going to do. I could actually trust myself. That was phenomenal for me. I was a much better wife, because I wasn't expecting my husband to fulfill my happiness. I was able to do that myself. I was a much calmer parent. I wasn't always shouting and screaming at my kid. Don't get me wrong, I still shout at my kids, I’m human you know. But it wasn't as much, which was really fun.

But the most important thing for me, which is huge in our culture, because I'm Indian by background, South Asian, I healed my relationship with my mother-in-law, which was huge. It's quite like, I wasn't sure whether to mention it or not, but I'm going to talk about it because so many people are going through the same kind of thing.

It's often a taboo to talk about this, but I was like, “No, this coaching helped to heal my relationship with her after over a decade of a turbulent relationship. If I went in for weight loss and this is what happened, I need to become a coach to teach this and spread the magic.”

So, it was only meant to be a side job, like a side gig. I was going to be a GP and be a coach. Then, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, this is magic. I want to do this all the time.” So, I gave up clinical practice, and I became a coach full time. I have a one-to-one coaching practice, a group coaching program, and I love every single second of what I do.

Kristi: I love that so much for several reasons. Number one, you pointed out so many important things about coaching. One of those things is, often what leads people to either coaching or a mentorship relationship, or therapy, or any sort of reaching out for help, is one specific thing. Then, they learn a transferable skill set that changes everything else.

Like you were saying, it's never actually about the one thing. It's not really the weight, it's not really the food, it's about those relationships with yourself, trusting yourself, and then changing your relationship with how you see the world and how you interact with the world, by understanding how your thoughts and emotions have this really dynamic relationship. So, I love that.

I don't know that you knew this, but I shared a similar path with my love of coaching. When I left clinical practice, it wasn't because I didn't love clinical practice, it was because I found something that I loved as much if not more. There's sort of a whole body of cognitive coaching that focuses on practices that are often based on CBT. Where we look at our thoughts and our beliefs, and how we understand things, how they influence how we feel, and act and our results.

And so, this is like that top-down approach. It's so powerful. I mean, it can be game changers, life changers, just like you described so beautifully. It's just one tool in the toolbox. Right? So, one of the things that we both have advanced training in, is more embodiment, and body-based approaches.

You brought up the idea of exploring the importance of slowing down and tapping into your body. So, would you like to start and talk about what that even means, tapping into your body, and slowing down? I think you probably have some personal experience with how this is super important.

Amruti: When I was actually on my weight loss journey, I was very cognitive. As you know, as physicians we’re very cognitive. It's very much like ‘I want to know the science, otherwise I'm not doing it.’ I thought coaching was super woo, and I was like, “I'm not doing that.” I really had to get myself on board. To be like, “Okay, maybe this is something that I might give it a go.”

When I gave it a go, I was hooked. I was like, “This is magic. I want to do this.” But yeah, coaching alone was not enough for me, because so much of what I was going through was because I was unwilling to feel my emotions. And so, that's why I was using food to push away and numb out my emotions.

The main emotions that came up for me, that I used food for, were disappointment, shame, boredom, and overwhelm. As physicians, we're always like, and as women in general, we're always go, go, go, go, go. We get brought up in a culture where we get fed that the more we do, the better. We need to be productive; we need to get X, Y and Z done in the day.

We're in a culture where we're expected to do things for other people before ourselves. And so, often we think of slowing down or doing things for ourselves as selfish, or as indulgent, or as something that we'll do if we have time. When I was on my journey, I had all of these thoughts as well. I was like, “I can't take time out for myself. That is really selfish. I'm a mother of two. I'm a busy physician, I'm a wife, I'm a daughter, daughter-in-law. I've got so many other roles.”

Taking that time out for myself was really hard. So, what really helped me was to redefine some of that, with the coaching aspect, with the cognitive aspect. But alongside that, what I had to do was be willing to feel those emotions in my body. I had to be willing to really slow down in my day.

So, say, in a day I was rushing around from here to there to there to there to there. One of the side effects was, “Oh, well, I haven't even planned anything for my lunch. I haven't actually even made time to drink some water,” and things like that, you know, basic things.

One of the things I had to do was being willing to slow down enough to tend to my basic human needs; some rest, some water, going to the toilet, eating food that was fuel for my body, and just moving my body in a loving way. Basic things like that. But that made the world of difference for me.

Kristi: You mentioned something that I think is a huge point. The idea that it's selfish to take timeout for me. We get a lot of messaging in society, for humans in general, that to focus on oneself is definitely selfish/bad. What helped you release a little bit of that rule, that to focus on me is selfish, to allow you to attend to some of the basics like food, water, and rest?

Amruti: I realized that the way I was doing it was tolerated and accepted in society. But it just wasn't working. Because I was shouting at my kids a lot. I was being stroppy with my husband. I just wasn't feeling like I was living a life that I really enjoyed. I was like, “I've got everything, according to society. I'm a successful doctor, I've got beautiful home, beautiful husband, beautiful family, everyone's healthy.”

This is where I thought that I was going to be happy, and I wasn't. And so, I was like, “Okay, if this isn't working for me, maybe I'll try a different way.” It was kind of coming from the ‘if the way that society has fed me so far isn't working, what if I was wrong about self-care being selfish?’

I had to really play with the idea about, if I was actually nourishing my mind, my body and my soul, what would that be like for my children? How would I be able to serve them more when I was actually giving myself some time? So, I started off with just five minutes a day. I would meditate. On my meditation app, I would put the five minutes, which is the lowest setting and I'd be like, “Okay, while I'm in the shower or before they wake up let me just try this for five minutes.”

I felt so nourished just after five minutes, and I was like, “Okay, this is magic. Let me just extend it. Let me do seven minutes. Let me do 10 minutes.” By the end of that, I was loving it so much. I was noticing that effects often lasted throughout the whole day. Even up until before bedtime. Normally I'd be rushing them, shouting, “Come on, come on, come on, let's go. Let's go. Let's go,” because that would be my own time, after they've gone to bed.

But I noticed that I was able to just hug them in bed, and I was able to just snuggle with them and read with them. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm still a little bit snappy, but most of the time, I'm just way more present with them.

That's because I was able to give myself some time, by myself, to slow down, to be in my body, and to notice what the physical sensations were in my body. Which is so much of what meditation and stillness is all about.

Kristi: You touched on something I think is also really important to emphasize here. It’s that you talked about not be willing to feel the feelings. I think many of us, especially those of us before coaching, when I would hear something like, “Well, feel your feelings. Be in touch with your emotions,” it sounded like something when you would have a bunch of incense and candles. I didn't quite understand it intellectually. I sort of could grasp it, but I really had no idea what it meant.

Nobody had taught me this is what it's like to… because you and I are talking like it's shorthand; be in your body, your emotions. Because we've been doing this for years now. But it's taken years for us to appreciate that and to recognize the value.

So, can you talk a little bit about that unwillingness to do this unfamiliar thing, with feeling feelings, and being more in tune with your body.

Amruti: This was a big deal for me because honestly, I was like, “This is just dumb. I don't want to do it. This isn't something that I want to do. I'd rather just be overweight.” I had so much resistance to it because I honestly thought this isn't something that I want to do.

But when I realized that the discomfort that I was feeling when I wasn't doing it was more than the discomfort of trying it, that's when I was willing to be like, “Okay, you know what? There's discomfort either way. I either stay stuck in where I'm feeling, and where I am, or I embrace the discomfort of growth and of change. And appreciating that, yeah, I probably won't want to do that. But I know that I'm thinking of my greater good.”

I know that, actually, when I'm willing to feel some of these emotions, when I was willing to feel disappointed, I realized that actually disappointment could also mean that I gave it my all and I get to learn from it. As opposed to, it's the end of the world.

So, I was like, “Okay, what if I didn't have thoughts about the emotion, but I just noticed the physical sensations in my body? That is open to you. If it just feels like a red ball in my chest, that feels warm and that pulsates, and then sometimes moves up into my throat, and sometimes moves up into my shoulder, and then kind of dissipates and just becomes smaller. Could I tolerate that?” The answer was, yeah, I could. I could. I could deal with that.

If I knew that, then I wouldn't need to go to food or to scrolling on social media, or watching the next Netflix or overworking or people pleasing my husband or my mother-in-law. Would I be willing to do that? And the answer was, yes, hell yes.

Because I realized that, actually, one of my main “why's” was to be an example of what was possible, for my children. I realized that if I didn't work on these things myself, then children pick up on what you do more than what you say. So, even if I was saying to them, “Eat healthy, don't watch too much TV, don't scroll on social media,” but I was actually doing the same thing myself, they would pick up on what I was doing.

So, when I realized that I actually had to be a product of what I was saying, and I actually had to do what I was telling them to do. That was the best way of getting them to be on board. And so, I was like, “Okay, this is going to be hard. If I can't physically do it for myself yet,” because I didn't think of myself as worthy at the time, I was like, “I want to do it for my children.” That was my initial motivation.

Just wanted to say to anyone, if you can't quite get to the point where you can do it for yourselves, that doesn't have to be a problem. Because you can learn that along your journey. You can do it for other people, if only at the start. And during the journey, you'll learn how to do it for yourself as well.

Kristi: I would love to hear, since you brought up your kids and modeling, how do you see this impacting your parent-kiddo relationship?

Amruti: Oh, my goodness, this has been one of the biggest benefits of coaching, for me. Because I have taught my kids how to feel their emotions. The other day I caught Vivaan; he’s my eldest, he’s seven. I've got Veeray as well, who's five.

So, Vivaan was feeling very angry. Often, he shouts back at me and things. Normally, what would have happened before coaching, is I would have shouted back and thought he's being disrespectful and then it would have been a shouting match. What tended to happen, I was able to hold space, which means just allow him to be him. I was able to not shout back or not react, and just ask him how he was feeling.

I asked him to describe how he was feeling, and describe what it felt like in his body. He was really very clear with describing it. The emotion lasted about 90 seconds, maybe 60 seconds to 90 seconds, and then we were able to have a discussion about what was making him feel that way. How we could think of it slightly differently, if he wanted to.

Just teaching him concepts like, other people can't create your feelings. It's always you who creates your own feelings. Always knowing that it's not just he's right or I'm right, maybe you're both right. Maybe there's some truth in both, of what you're saying.

Also, one of the main things I teach them is, other people are welcome to be wrong about you. It doesn't matter what other people think about you. It matters what you think about you. That has changed everything. Because they're still kids, they still do what kids do. But sometimes they drop these gems of knowledge. I'm floored, thinking, “They do listen to what I say.” I'm talking about it all day, every day, and I'm thinking that they're not listening.

But sometimes they say these things like, “Mummy, I can't change him, can I? So, it doesn't matter. I'll just let him have his little tantrum in the corner.” Then I'm looking at my husband thinking, “They’re picking up on something! I’m doing my job right.”

So, it's really fun to see that, because that has been one of my biggest impacts as a coach and as a mum.

Kristi: I just love hearing that. I'm picturing these little beings that you live with are absorbing so much more of the things that you're saying, than you're able to appreciate. It might have that delayed response, where a year later, they say something, or a six weeks later. They're hearing it so much, and not only are they hearing it, but they're seeing you do it. I'm seeing you guide them to do it.

Yeah, that's a huge motivation for me, to teach my kids things that I didn't know. That the people who raised me, who are lovely, they also didn't know because nobody taught them, right? But to just model something different in the teaching and in the doing. I love it.

There were a few things here that I think are worth digging into. You did point out, when we experience an emotion that usually the emotion itself, when we slow down enough to actually let it be there without sort of trying to compartmentalize it or fight it off or do something to fix it immediately, then it's pretty transient.

Also, when we're in the thick of it, like your kiddo having his tantrum or you being angry, when our emotions are high our language centers are a little bit dampened. And so, it's a little bit harder to think. But if we're willing to just slow down to let it be there, then we can get to that place, on the other side of the aftermath, where we can be more open to thinking about it.

Amruti: Oh, my goodness, this has been everything. Because my youngest had so many tantrums all the time. It felt like it was quite overwhelming. And so, it really tested me as a mum, actually tested my emotions/feelings skills. I always thought I was an emotions expert, but this is something that really challenged me, and carries on challenging me.

Which is really important to know, because as coaches we still have our own challenges. We're still working on these tools again, and again and again, and deepening our knowledge of them. So, there's no end point. It's not like, “Oh, I've done it now,” and that's the end. It's always I'm practicing these tools again and again.

It's so fun when the children just randomly say, “Mummy, you're human, it's okay,” when you've made a mistake or something. They're like, “Don't worry, mummy, you're human.” And I'm like, wow. When I'm saying to him, “Vivaan, I'm feeling really nervous because I've got this presentation that I'm giving.” He's like, “Mummy, don't worry. What you can do, is you can just think of me and I will give you a boost,” or something like that.

It's so fun talking openly to your kids, showing that you're human, that you're vulnerable, that you have negative emotion, that you don't need to escape it, and you can still be very successful. But even more successful when you're willing to be open about your emotions, talk about them, normalize them and not need to run away from them.

Kristi: That's so great. I'm thinking about my youngest; he’s six, almost seven. He says similar things when I share. I'm like, “Oh, that's just so sweet.” I love that these other people, who are personal development and coaches, what their children say is so different than the things that we said and our parents probably said, growing up.

Another thing that you mentioned, and that I think it's just so beautiful to think about, is what we make our emotions mean. So, there's our emotion. We might have the emotion of disappointment, or the emotion of anxiety or nervousness. And even if we know how to feel it, if we, at the same time, have some thoughts like it's wrong to feel disappointed. What's my problem? I should be grateful.

If we have that superimposed on top of the emotion, that almost serves as a beautiful invitation to just block feeling the emotion. Because that feels so terrible, to feel bad about the emotion you feel in the first place. It seems like what you're modeling for your kiddos is, emotions are normal. Here are some thoughts about emotions, like, welcome to being human, that you can have. So, it's so much easier to actually feel them.

Was it work for you to get to a place where you noticed and then sort of released some of those judgments about the emotions themselves?

Amruti: Yes, this was definitely some work, and I'm still working on some of this. But the main emotion that I had thoughts about was boredom. So, I used to overeat or procrastinate, scroll on Facebook, when I was feeling bored. This would show up with overeating. But this would also show up with procrastination and scrolling.

It was because my thoughts about boredom were, “You've got so much to do on your to do list and you're being lazy.” So, whenever I felt bored, I had this thought, “You're being lazy, you've got so much to do.” Then, what would end up happening, is I would end up scrolling or distracting myself with something else, and I'd have even more to do, right?

When I was able to notice my thoughts about the emotions, and I rejigged them just a little bit, like boredom is very normal, or it's okay to be lazy sometimes, or whatever it was, it will trigger up so many of your thoughts from maybe even childhood.

I recently got diagnosed with ADHD, and for all my life, I didn't know. So, it was very much that I had this thought about myself that I was lazy. But actually, what was really happening is, that was just the way my brain was.

And so, when I was able to redefine some of that, it was like, “Oh, this is just the way my brain is. It doesn't mean I'm lazy, it just means that sometimes I am going to procrastinate, and that doesn't have to be a problem. Other times, my brain is going to be super focused, and it's okay. So, it's okay to have a balance.”

When I was able to redefine some of that and not make it such a big deal, then it wasn't something that had to instantly escape. Then I was more willing to let the emotion just be there, as opposed to needing to rush away from it; eating the food or scrolling on social media. That was definitely one that changed everything in my life, really, to be honest.

Kristi: I love that boredom was the one that you did a lot of work on. Because, oftentimes, in culture and in conversation, when people think of hard emotions, like shame, humiliation, grief, disappointment, things like boredom, or restlessness or frustration, they're not ones that we might necessarily focus on.

Because it can be so subtle that we miss the thoughts we have about them. We miss it because of all those thoughts we have about this emotion. This is why we have a lot of things that make up our day. I love that you picked up on boredom. That's such a beautiful one, because it is kind of softer and more subtle, and it would be such an easy one to miss.

Amruti: With that, on top of that, when we were talking about the stillness, when I was able to redefine my thoughts about boredom, it really allowed me to be willing to be still. Because it wasn't me saying that I was lazy, it was me being willing to go inwards and give myself some time, some space. Basically, the self-care that I really needed.

When I was able to give myself the space, initially, my brain was like, “You're being lazy. This isn't something that is allowed,” and often it would trigger a stress response for me. My stress response is normally flight, so I want to run away from the situation. I was able to notice that. I was able to feel my emotions and really stabilize my nervous system.

That was with techniques such as meditation. Really holding myself, doing some somatic techniques to try and really stabilize that nervous system.

Kristi: For people who can't see us, I'll just say it right now, if you could see Amruti, number one, had a huge smile on her face when she was saying hold myself. She's got her hand on her chest, and she was sort of leaning forward and almost having a little curve. Because somatic techniques, they really do help ground.

So, continue on. I just wanted to paint the picture so people can see what you're doing when you said that.

Amruti: Yeah. When I think of somatic techniques, I often think about really soothing that inner child, that inner Amruti who's five years old. Who just wants some safety, really. Who just wanted some sort of calming down of her nervous system. What do we do with children to help them calm down? We may hold them and hug them. We may talk kindly to them and really listen to them.

We may sing to them. Maybe you think about a baby, you may sing to them. You may rock. You may dance it out. So, whenever you can do these kinds of things… I once heard someone say, when your body moves your brain grooves. I love that, because sometimes it's like really looking after yourself in a very nurturing way and being still. But sometimes it's letting out the emotion in an active way.

Whichever way works for you to help stabilize your nervous system. It may be a mixture of both. So, for me, I love exercise but I also love meditation. I love dancing, but I also love really being still in my body. And so, it may be a mixture of both.

It may just be you being willing to try out different things and see. But always try and think about, okay, what is my inner child seeking right now? If you can give yourself that, then you won't need all the buffering behaviors, like the overeating, over drinking, over scrolling, because all of those things are giving you something.

Well, you're seeking all of those things because you think that the food or the alcohol or the social media is providing that for you. It may be rest, may be comfort, it may be an escape, it may be a bit of peace and quiet. And so, when you can learn how to give that to yourself, without the substance, then that's when everything changes.

You can really do that with some of these. Really listening to your body tools, those somatic tools, and the movement. That changes everything.

Kristi: I couldn't agree more. I'm picturing somebody listening to this, who the idea of feeling their emotion and feeling the physical sensations in their body is unfamiliar to them. And then, when we start saying things like, “We're going to stabilize my nervous system. See what my inner child really wants,” I am picturing them either wincing or leaning away from the screen. Or rolling their eyes being like, “Whoa, we have entered the land of... But I'm not really sure what those words mean.”

But you and I, we know what those mean. And so, I think it'd be great, for the person who lives from the neck up, the busy physician, the busy professional running around who's just like, “Yeah, I'm in my head all the time. What are you talking about?” I'll tell my take, and then you tell me if I'm missing anything.

When I think about stabilizing my nervous system, I think about, “I'm going to actually slow down.” I'm going to notice that I feel, for lack of a better word, that my body feels, super activated. I might feel a buzzing. I might feel some heaviness in my chest. I might feel like every cell in my body wants to explode. It feels bright yellow. I really give it these descriptive terms, to put it to words the thing that's kind of hard to describe sometimes.

It doesn't feel grounded, calm, and settled. There's not a sense of clarity, which feels much slower and more settled. It's kind of an open spaciousness for me. And so, stabilizing our nervous system is going from feeling sort of out of control, overwhelmed, whatever term you give to it, to feeling a little bit more grounded, where you've got clarity. These somatic techniques, like putting your hand on your chest, breathing, moving, can help facilitate that. That's my take on that.

Then, when it gets to inner child, depending on which paradigm you think it is, can really literally mean the “me” that developed when I was younger, or it can also just be the part of me that is feeling deeply sad right now. And when I treat that part of me as I would treat a child, and I can use the term, this is my inner me, who's young, it makes it almost easier to be that nurturing resource for myself.

So, what would you say to the person who's like, “Wait a second, what do you mean stabilized? What do you mean inner child?” What do you say to them?

Amruti: Firstly, what I would say is, it's very normal to be a bit like, wait, what? This sounds very strange. I'm not willing to even think about that. It's very, very normal. What I would suggest, is just trying little, little things to pay attention. Say you're seeing clients or patients or something. It may be, in between patients or clients, maybe just taking a breath. It doesn't have to be anything that's really long or strenuous.

It could just be taking three deep breaths and noticing, how does your body feel after that? Then, seeing the difference between the two. Which one are you more able to make better decisions in? Which one makes you feel calmer and more in control of your body? Those little shifts can really help.

Another thing that I like to do, is really tune into my body before eating. Noticing, okay, what does hunger feel like in my body? That could be something that you could tune into right before eating, and then whilst you're eating as well, how hungry am I feeling now? Am I actually, physically satiated? Have I eaten enough? Or do I think that I want to eat more because it's tasting nice. Really tuning into the different sensations that are in your body.

It may be something that you could do in between, like when you're going to the bathroom. You could do a little stretch or something. It doesn't have to be anything major. But it's just something where you're signifying to your brain that you’re doing something a little bit different here. You've mentioned something like transition period, where you can do something slightly different then.

I think that's really useful, because it's showing your brain that, okay, now I finished this task. And now, I'm moving on to this task. That's a really great time to initiate some of these tools. Another thing of just being still, right before you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed in the mornings, or before you go to bed. Just noticing how you're feeling.

How does it feel? Does it feel warm in the bed? Does it feel cozy? Where are the contact points on the bed? It may be, how do the covers feel on my on my skin? It may be, when you're driving home, what does the steering wheel feel like on my skin? It may be, when you're listening to the music, what different sounds can you hear.

Basically, being aware in the present moment. Because so much of what we're doing is worrying about the future, or obsessing about the past. And so, when we can actually be really present in this current moment, that's when we can appreciate our life.

We don't know what's going to come. So, that's when you can really be present. What do they say? The present moment is a present, right? So, each moment is like new. When you can actually use these different tools to ground yourself in the present moment, everything does change.

Kristi: For the listener who's quite scientific, really likes to be very empirical about everything, this empiric approach of noticing what you notice... I loved how you said, just notice how you feel before you take a few deep breaths, how you feel after, and how you might show up differently when you have taken time for stillness or taking time just to tune in.

Just being really clear, do I ruminate less after I have done this grounding technique? Am I obsessing over the past as much when I lay in bed and I focus on the covers, versus when I lay in bed and I just go straight to my head?

Amruti: Yeah, I love that so much. When you notice yourself ruminating, you can just ask yourself: What if I'm wrong about that? That's one thing that I asked myself all the time. Because it's kind of like spinning again and again and again and again. So, sometimes just to put a cut in it, I often say, “Wait, hold on, what if I'm wrong about that?”

From a very curious, playful, fun way. Because when I'm telling myself off, that's my normal baseline, that's what the inner critic is always doing, right? And so, I have to be quite playful, quite cheeky, quite light with the coaching. Or when I'm challenging a belief that I have, because that's when I'm more likely to be on board with it.

I think of it like, how do I talk to my kids when I want them to be on board with it? If I'm telling them off and shouting at them, they're not going to listen to me. But if I'm a bit cheeky, or I'm a bit like playful and playing a game, making it into a game, or if I'm doing something a little bit out of the ordinary, they're more likely to pay attention.

So, I try and use the same techniques with myself, because our brains are exactly the same, right? Our primitive brain is like the brain of a child, and so I use the same techniques I use with my kids on myself. I've actually started asking my children for help.

Saying, “How can I have more fun? Can you teach me how to have more fun?” Things like that. It gets them involved. It makes them feel so much more involved in the process, and they feel really excited. The other day, Vivaan, my son, said to me, “Mummy, you're so much more fun.” It was like the warmest thing that he's ever said to me.

Because this is something I'm actively working on, how to have more fun in my life and not be so serious and things like that. And so, when you can get them involved as well, it's, I don't know, it just feels so much more fulfilling.

Kristi: Oh, absolutely. I love it. It wasn't on my radar that this would be a podcast that has so many pearls of parenting. I was just thinking how great that was, and it's got my mind turning on so many things. Separate from the parenting thing, I think it's so important, that question of, what if I'm wrong about this?

Being able to offer that to our kids, but also offer that to ourselves, about anything that we completely assume is just a fact. To be able to ask that, and use that in a playful way, is such a great in into investigating things. What if I'm wrong about being selfish? What if I'm wrong about knowing how to feel my emotions, my body? What if I'm wrong about…

I just love this conversation for so many reasons. I do feel like, and we were kind of joking beforehand, how sometimes podcast interviews can go on and on and on, because we just don't want to stop talking. I can totally see how there could be a part two to this.

As we kind of wrap up, is there anything, that when you're thinking about the impact that coaching has had on you and your clients and all the things that we talked about, about the embodiment practices, and stillness and slowing down, is there anything that you think we've missed that maybe you'd want to share? Or does it feel complete?

Amruti: The last thing that I'd want to say is, expect yourself to not want to do it, and remind yourself why you'd want to do it anyway. Keep reminding yourself of why you'd want to do it, and expect yourself to not want to do it. Sometimes you'll maybe try and do it, and sometimes you won't. That is completely okay. We don't expect perfection. We don't expect any of that.

But when you're willing to just keep giving it a go and be with yourself through it all, expect yourself to not want to do it sometimes. Allow yourself to do it when you do want to do it. That's when you're giving yourself that freedom, and you're more willing to explore it a little bit more.

Kristi: So perfect. For anybody who wants to explore this a little bit more, take all the things that we’ve already mentioned, and basically stop and slow down, just notice, perhaps in a transition period, how your body feels. If you just do that once a week, just that noticing, it will open up a whole new world.

I really thank you for your time. Thank you for coming and sharing such fun things about your family, about how coaching has shaped your life, and all this stuff that is going to be super useful for my listeners. I'm so happy that you did. Can you tell people where they can find you?

Amruti: Sure. Thank you so much for having me here, Kristi. It's been such an honor. I love your podcast, and I always recommend it. It's really fun to come on the podcast, as well. So, if any of the listeners found this useful, I have a group coaching program and a one-to-one coaching practice. I would love to connect with you.

If you'd like to find me on social media, I'm @Amruti.coaching on Instagram. I have a free podcast, Weight Loss for Women Professionals. And I have a website www.amruticoaching.com.

Kristi: Perfect. We'll include all that in the show notes. Thank you, everyone for listening. Thank you, Amruti, for coming on the podcast today. It's been so fun.

Amruti: Oh, thank you so much. It's such an honor. Thanks, everyone. Bye.

I hope you enjoyed our conversation. If you did, could you do me a favor and leave a review and a rating of the podcast? Reviews help the podcasts so much because they help it be discoverable, and this helps more people get access to this valuable information.

If you're interested in connecting with me for private coaching, I do keep a small panel of private clients and I love helping them explore their minds and explore their habits so they can make real shifts in their lives. To get more information, you can go to HabitsOnPurpose.com/private. Thanks for listening today, and I'll talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to Habits On Purpose. If you want more information on Kristi Angevine or the resources from the podcast, visit HabitsOnPurpose.com. Tune in next week for another episode.

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