Body Sensations List

  • Overview

    Your thoughts, emotions and body all interact constantly in complex ways. Learning to tune in to what your body is trying to tell you about how you are feeling can be very helpful as part of working through places where you are stuck. The below list is a useful tool for helping you to identify pleasant and unpleasant body sensations. Use this in conjunction with the Feeling Word List to get a fuller picture of what you are experiencing.
  • Instructions

    • In the below list you can mark any Sensation as pleasant or unpleasant based on what you are experiencing in your body right now (or during a prior time period, if you are reflecting back on your day, or a memory you are revisiting).
    • Click/Tap once on a Sensation to mark it as pleasant and twice to mark it as unpleasant. A third Click/Tap will reset that item.
    • At the bottom of the page are links which you can use to return to your body sensation selections later. (Nothing is stored on the website—the links simply recreate your selections.) Note: The ability to save a link recreating your selections is currently disabled while I fix some bugs. Sorry for the inconvenience!
    • There is also a section displaying all of your selections in a list (for easy copying).
  • achy
  • airy
  • bloated
  • blocked
  • breathless
  • bubbly
  • burning
  • buzzy
  • chills
  • churning
  • clammy
  • clenched
  • congested
  • constricted
  • cool
  • cold
  • damp
  • dense
  • dizzy
  • dull
  • electric
  • empty
  • energized
  • faint
  • flaccid
  • flushed
  • fluid
  • fluttery
  • floaty
  • fuzzy
  • goose-bumps
  • heavy
  • hollow
  • hot
  • itchy
  • jerky
  • jumbly
  • knotted
  • light
  • moist
  • nauseous
  • numb
  • paralyzed
  • pins and needles
  • prickly
  • puffy
  • quaking
  • quivery
  • radiating
  • sharp
  • shivery
  • shuddering
  • sore
  • stiff
  • suffocating
  • sweaty
  • tense
  • thick
  • tight
  • tickley
  • tingly
  • trembling
  • twitchy
  • vibrating
  • warm
  • weak
  • wobbly

Exercises for Going Deeper

  1. From the Body Sensations you selected, pick one to focus on. Don’t overthink this—try to go with your gut feeling here, even if it doesn’t make sense to you.
  2. Notice what that sensation is feeling like in your body right now. Give yourself some time to just sit with that sensation.
  3. Notice what happens next. Are there any emotions (the Feeling Word List might be helpful here), thoughts/beliefs, or hints of movement (i.e., a sense that your body wants to move in a particular way) that arise? Whatever comes up, just let yourself notice and be curious about it.
  4. Notice what happens next. Does the sensation change in intensity (e.g., more or less intense), size (e.g., take up more or less space in your body), location (e.g., migrate to a different area in your body), or quality (e.g., shift into a different type of sensation)? Whatever happens, just let yourself notice and be curious about it.
  5. If anything is changing, does it feel pleasant or unpleasant? If it feels pleasant, see what happens if you focus more on that (or do more of it, if you are engaging in a movement of some kind). If it feels unpleasant, check in with yourself: Do you need to take a break? Are you able to still feel a bit grounded (e.g., can feel your body being supported by the floor, your chair, any surface that you are resting on)? What is your hunch/instinct of what would feel good in your body right now (e.g., standing, moving, pushing, self-hugging, holding a pillow, hand-to-chest, grounding through feet, etc.)?

A List of Your Selections


Body Sensation List Source: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment, by Pat Ogden and Janina Fisher. Used with Permission.