What is Interoception?
Interoceptive awareness can be broadly defined as the conscious perception of an internal bodily state, for example, one’s heart beating and breathing. These senses are related to emotional experiences. Awareness of both biological and emotional internal body cues are impacted through our experiences (what happens to us) and our biology (how our bodies and brains are wired). As we teach in positive mindset theory however, this is not fixed.
Interoception was introduced to our school at the beginning of the 2020 school year and classes have been participating in regular (at least twice daily) interoception activities. We would like to encourage all parents to consider participating at home with this program as many schools have evidenced extremely positive results.
What are Interoception activities ?
An interoceptive activity focuses on creating and noticing a change in some aspect of one’s internal self, such as, one’s muscular system, breathing, temperature, pulse or touch. People with atypical interoception are not able to identify the physiological changes that signal mood changes or bodily self-regulation needs. Interoception activities teach all of us to increase our connection with these.
An interoception activity focuses on a particular part of the body for at least 30 seconds.
- It enables a change to occur in one’s body state while labelling the movement and part of the body involved (e.g. toes, stretch and curl up or curl under)
- Repeat the same activity for a second time
- The individual is encouraged to identify a change in their body state (eg hot & cold, soft & hard, stretch & relax) and where they felt that change (arch or ball of foot, on top).
We will be regularly sending out a few suggested activities which we hope you will find useful. For further information the Department for Education Interoception Resources goes into detail with the research and experience supporting the practice with comprehensive activity guides.
As a part of our Intervention Programs students are also invited to attend interoception instensive sessions to aid with emotional regulation and develop plans to assist them make proactive choices to bring positive outcomes.