[00:00:00] Welcome to Move With Deb. I'm Deb your friendly neuroplastician. And this is a podcast that explores the relationship between the body and the mind from a health at every size, judgment, free perspective. I teach you how developing a new internal conversation based on curiosity, self friendship and simple neuro-plasticity techniques can rewire your bodymind out of pain and emotional overwhelm to help you build the rich full life that you want to live. Disclaimer, this is not a replacement for medical care.
[00:00:50] Hi everyone, it's Deb from Move With Deb, the podcast. Today I'm gonna talk about an idea that I called the Human Envelope, which was inspired by an article from the Scientific American magazine about misophonia. So the article is called Misophonia, Might Not Be About Hating Sounds After All, and the subtitle is, the Phenomenon Triggers Strong Negative Reactions to Everyday Sounds, but might come from subconscious mirroring behavior.
[00:01:33] And what is so powerful about this is that it's really not about disliking the sounds, the triggers, like what we associate being triggers. And then they include in this article, um, cuz they describe misophonia as in strong discomfort, annoyance, or disgust when you hear particular triggers, and that can include chewing, swallowing, slurping, throat clearing, coughing, and even breathing.
[00:02:07] And researchers thought this reaction might be caused by the brain over actively processing certain sounds. So, and I've talked about kind of like sensory sensitivity. So they were saying the old theory was that our brain was over actively processing the auditory input into our brain from these categories, but now there's this new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience that has linked some forms of misophonia to heightened mirroring behavior in the brain.
[00:02:48] So those affected feel distress while their brains act as if they are mimicking the triggering mouth movements. And to me this is just like a a whole new level of weird, cool brain shit. And what's so interesting about it is what we dislike is the, is not just the sound but how it makes us feel, because it makes us feel like our bodies are not under our own control.
[00:03:29] I'll link to the study and you can read all about it, and you can come to your own conclusions. And I'm not saying this study is the penultimate reason of misophonia. But this is a kind of concept that I work with my clients. Maybe it, maybe you could just look at it as a metaphor.
[00:03:47] This idea that there's a human envelope. You know, we have these barriers between us and our external world, and whether that's other people, whether that's anything that comes into our bodies through sensory processing. So anything that's external that comes into our brain that our brain has to evaluate and decide what to do, and all of this happens, you know, on this very subconscious, automatic level, and it's based on everything that we've learned for our entire lives about what's safe, what's not safe.
[00:04:26] We have this process called neuroception. In which our brain behind the scenes is processing sensory information. What is really interesting in this, it's almost like somebody's reaching in. So it's like you hear in the sounds of somebody chewing, but actually what's happening is it's like it's reaching into your brain and it starts making your mouth move.
[00:04:57] And of course if that actually happened, like if that was a thing, say aliens came and took over your body and started moving your mouth and you were not, you're like, I'm not moving my mouth but my mouth is moving. Um, that would be terrifying and probably create a very strong negative reaction.
[00:05:26] And that's this idea in the in this article and I am also noticing in myself and in my clients that oftentimes when we feel triggered, and I'm kind of using air quotes, and I don't mean air quotes in order to like dismiss the idea of being triggered, a hundred percent believe in the concept that we can be triggered. So maybe I don't need air quotes, but when we're being triggered, when we have a nervous system response that's like a negative one, that's like a high negative fear response.
[00:06:04] It could be because there's a part of us that is believe that we're, that we're being made to do something against our will, something we don't want to do. And sometimes that content comes from inside of our own brain, from our thoughts. Right. Just that basic concept of should. When we're shoulding on ourselves is almost like somebody coming inside of you and like manipulating and controlling your body, trying to make you do something that you don't want to do, but you feel like you should do it. And then that often ignites a lot of tension, conflict, high emotional distress.
[00:06:49] One of the things when I work with my clients and I work with myself is, is finding the parts of you that are always deciding. And when we can connect with those parts, the parts of us that we, that we're like identifying as being inside of our human envelope, the parts that we're identifying as us, ourselves, the deciders, the creators, the ones who are making the decisions, a lot of that distress and that high intensity emotional arousal can go away, can just be worked with, can be separated from, and we can start to understand and see what's happening inside of us And one of the things that I know is when we feel and believe and understand that we have control over what is happening inside of our bodies, what is happening inside of our brains, what's happening in relationship to thinking and feeling and sensory input that we actually can feel better, even if we haven't resolved the trigger.
[00:08:07] So in this article they talk about when people were listening to, those sounds, chewing unpleasant sounds like a baby crying and neutral sounds both in the resting state and the listening trials. People with misophonia showed stronger connections between the auditory cortex and brain regions that control movements of the face, mouth, and throat.
[00:08:36] And that this connection was most active in participants with misophonia when they heard triggers specific to the condition. So just by listening to the sound, they activate the motor cortex more strongly. So in a way as if they were doing that action themselves. So, yeah, this loss of control, right? So the, the negative reactions aren't really just from like the sounds being loud. That's why I kind of wanna bust that myth, because when we perceive things, when we perceive a trigger incorrectly, then we have an incorrect solution, right? So the incorrect solution would be, I can't hear loud sounds. I have to be quiet. I have to be calm all the time. But actually what the trigger is, is this sound is making my mouth move. You know, is recognizing that there's this loss of control, this feeling of an invasion of personal space, and it's literally interfering, whatever it was that you were doing.
[00:09:44] So say you were. Reading or focusing on something else, and then somebody like comes up inside of your body and starts moving your mouth that's interfering and interrupting you with what you were doing. And so then the reaction to that, that trigger, that's what we want to start to explore and play with.
[00:10:08] I always stress that when we understand what's happening in our mind and body, we can start to create solutions. And so some of it even can be like, these sounds are not dangerous. What I'm noticing when I hear that, so going back to my episode 40, which is the I notice practice, just being able to create that ability to self witness, create that ability to observe what's happening without reaction.
[00:10:42] Okay. I noticed that I'm hearing people chewing and I'm noticing these sensations in my body. And when we start to create the ability to look inward, to witness, to self witness, to use tools like somatic tracking, with hypnosis now we're looking at, at actively unwiring triggers, right?
[00:11:07] So we're not just letting time and perception and that kind of neutral observer over time doing that work, but in hypnosis, we're doing it a little bit more actively with our imagination. With our creativity, with our subconscious, we're using kind of different levels of connection, awareness to the trigger, to rewire that, to interrupt those old patterns and create new ones.
[00:11:38] But it all starts with understanding. Understanding is just so helpful. So we want to, you know, be able to know that like, yeah, your reaction is like, because it feels like somebody's moving your mouth, but we know that nobody is moving your mouth. So always, again, we talk about identifying the locus of control, the locus of control of so many of things in your life is within inside of you, even if we have a story that other people are in charge of what happens to me. And so we can just start to find and identify places in which we could have and create that feeling of control. And sometimes there are things in life that we can't control and instead of having a battle, sometimes the answer is surrender. Sometimes the answer is releasing the habitual pattern of always controlling things. So it's, it's kind of a, there's a yes and there's a both and happening here. Kind of depends on your habitual patterns. If you have spent your whole life only feeling safe when you control everything, then sometimes the answer is to practice the opposite. To create safety, feeling things that are not under your control. And that's where that like curiosity, that self witnessing that ability to just like pay attention and get curious and be like, ah, that's so fascinating when I'm hearing these sounds, this weird stuff is happening inside of my body. And just be like, huh, well that's cool. Isn't that weird?
[00:13:30] So we're not trying to change it or control it by making people chew differently. We're not trying to control it by like putting things in our ears. We're just witnessing and experiencing it with a different kind of quality. Even if you do get activated, right, even if you do first initially feel that intensity of that unpleasant sensation and your body's like pushing against it, right?
[00:14:01] If you feel like somebody's violating you, violating your human autonomous self, like of course your first reaction is going to be, to fight against that. But in that next moment, right, because this is what, this is the ability to change our state without story. This is our ability to self witness what is happening inside of us and to be like, even though I feel unsafe at, at this moment, I recognized I am sitting at my desk, or I recognize all that's happening is I'm sitting next to somebody chewing.
[00:14:42] It just feels this way in my body, but I also can see, feel, know, that I'm safe right here, right now. And oh, isn't this interesting? Isn't this fascinating? The human body is fascinating. We can even think, what is the biological benefit of having your chewing being linked to other people's chewing? Like, maybe there is some kind of really cool, neat human survival mechanism happening in here that is just not really valid for life today, but maybe it made sense a long time ago.
[00:15:30] Right. There's, there's all kinds of really cool brain stuff that we just don't know a lot. And evolution isn't really updateable in the same way that like a computer program is. So we are still operating with some base code, with some like human neurons that have been developed and cultivated years and years and decades and generations.
[00:15:58] And you know, some of that shows up at, when we talk about epigenetics, what we carry with us from the people who came before us. What they did, what they survived, how they created safety or survival, or just the ability to keep going through different generations. What did they experience? What made sense to them and what made sense to them, made sense to them in that period of time, and it may not make sense to us today, but we carry them with us. And we carry that legacy of survival with us.
[00:16:40] So when we think about safety, we can't, you know, it can be so simple to be reductive and think about like, well, I'm safe right now. You know, I'm looking around. There's nobody here. Like, okay, I'm safe, except I don't, you know, there are lots of times where I don't feel safe. Um, and it. You know, we could get into what does it mean to feel safe? And maybe that's an, maybe that'll be my next podcast. But I can think about, I can think about my own family of origin. I can think about all of the different ways in which difference showed up in my body in the ways that difference was safe or not safe in my ancestral Jewish experience, um, I can think about how I was treated about being a fat kid and being told a lot of stories about my body, about what was acceptable and what was not acceptable, and all the stories that other people had that we just repeat and repeat like a really bad game of telephone.
[00:17:55] And even just, you know, there's so much research about, um, attachment styles as children. So even just the way that we felt before we could talk, before we could experience the world. As, as adults, you know, even just how you felt when you were crying or how you felt when it was cold, or how you felt when you were hungry. There's just so much like we can't solve for it at all, but we can begin to understand who we are right now and recognizing this idea of our human envelope.
[00:18:39] So I am talking to you. I'm an adult. I am 53 years old, and you are probably also an adult as you are listening to a podcast. Maybe kids listen to podcasts, but they probably don't listen to this one. So I wanna invite you to think about your today body. And experiencing what we're calling your human envelope.
[00:19:06] I think of your human envelope as, this is a concept I'm still playing with. So also, if you have some insights into, you know, this idea of a human envelope, I would love to hear them. But it's this idea of like that permeability of our individual human, solo self. So usually we are one person that lives inside of a community or lives inside of a family or lives inside of some, a larger system that includes other people.
[00:19:44] I mean, every human being that has been born has been born from some other human being. So even if you're completely estranged from your family, there was some other person involved in you being you. And then we like grow up and we live in all these systems and there's so many other people, you know, people, places, things, societal forces, social constructs. All the things that go into creating us and who we are. We can't be separated from them. And yet we do have this human envelope that is just us. First of all, let's just think about our skin. The skin, your skin is like the largest organ.
[00:20:30] I think people call the skin and organ and it's the largest organ that covers your whole body and it's full of sensory receptors and there's, and it's transmitting data into your brain, right? So we, I, I always want you to reflect on what is the brain doing with all this data The brain is assessing all of this stuff and sometimes it needs to like get a little course correction. That's what we're working on, right? This cognitive, intentional part. When we try to feel better, I want maybe to think about it as like this course correction. What is the story that I am telling myself about this sensory experience?
[00:21:24] And is it helpful? Is it useful? Is it telling me a proper story? Like what is my body sensing? What do I know about this feeling? So, right. So we have all of our senses. We have sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. And I would imagine there are people who study metaphysics and maybe they would have some other senses to talk about.
[00:21:52] And then we have neuro associations. So we have memory, we have all the things that have happened to us or neuro associations to things that have happened to other people, like stories, things we've witnessed, things we've read about, like it doesn't even have to be real life, but we have neuro associations that connect things together.
[00:22:17] We have like our brain, it's got some baseline programming and then it's like, mm, let's just keep moving this thing together, right? Like if you imagine learning how to walk, if you slow that down there's so much that's happening inside and outside of that one being's human envelope, like there's sensory input and cues and things being triggered from the external as well as from the internal that all goes together and ending up in being able to walk, including lots of failure, including lots of neurochemicals being triggered, and, and so on and so on. So in your human envelope, I want to invite you to start to think about things that feel unpleasant or things that are triggering you or things that are associated and linked together and start to explore them from this idea of like, what's coming into me and what am I feeling?
[00:23:31] Am I feeling compelled or pressured, or like I have to, or like there's a demand being placed on me and notice what your response is to that. One of my clients and I, we talk about text messages and they have a lot of distress about responding and replying to text messages. And one of the things that we were talking about was that feeling of, I have to, like, if I don't reply in the right way, in the right time, this friendship is at risk and I want the friendship.
[00:24:13] And so I feel like I have to respond in the right way. And so inside of that kind of math equation is self pressure, perfectionism, the belief that, without getting input from the other person, like the other person's just sending you a text message and they may not be like, and our entire friendship is on the line if you don't respond to this text message completely, perfectly, absolutely in the way that I want you to.
[00:24:43] Right. But that's a thought that's coming in with this experience of receiving the text message. So as we are starting to explore all of this, we are, we're breaking down the story that's coming with the experience of receiving a text message. And so receiving a text message has a bunch of different qualities to it, right? There's a visual aspect. Maybe there's an auditory aspect, right? It's definitely interruptive if you've got your notifications on, if you have your phone on and you're looking at your phone while you're also trying to focus on something else, right? There's a lot of reasons why people say like, put your phone away, because it's built to be distracting, right?
[00:25:28] They build phones for them to be compelling for your attention. Our experience of life as often related to what we do with our attention. And some of this is all about recognizing the agency and control and the ability to put our attention on things on purpose. That we have agency and control, but the discomfort of not doing something that feels compelling can be high. And so that can feel really uncomfortable in your body.
[00:26:09] When we start to break down that story and experience that state we can start to tell ourselves a better story or a different story, or recognize the fear that lies beneath this triggered feeling because getting better at text messaging isn't really the point.
[00:26:29] The point is to understand when something's coming into your human envelope, into your brain, into your eyeballs, like what is happening, and then being the one deciding how you respond, and also being the one deciding like my friendships are really important to me and I'm going to set aside time to connect or that really what this is showing me is I am missing a, a feeling of connection or maybe I'm remembering a time when I. When I lost a friendship, so every time I get a text message from a friend that I really enjoy our friendship, what's happening is it's triggering this neuro association to this memory of losing a friendship, which then makes this friendship that that you're actually in feel very vulnerable.
[00:27:28] And so then we want, you know, then that might launch a bunch of people pleasing or activities or feeling like you're not in control of the friendship and that it's all on the other person and that, you know, they're the ones that decide and you are just helpless, right? So, so many, um discoveries to be made when we start to explore this experience of what happens in our bodies, or sometimes we get mad, we're like mad at the person who texts us, but like all they're doing is sending characters, you know, they're just typey, typey with their thumbs on a phone and then sending you a message. You know, you are the one picking up the phone, looking at the message.
[00:28:14] Right. I mean, there are situations like if you told somebody never to text you again and they text you again. Okay. You know, like, but usually that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the like, you know, the part where it feels so confusing cuz you're like, I like this person. They are my friend, but I'm also feeling rage that I have a text message I have to respond to, and then I'm feeling avoidant, and then I go down a shame spiral and like all of these things, right? So it's like lots of emotions about something that might be pretty neutral. And so some of this is we want to explore this within this concept of this human envelope.
[00:28:58] What are you resistant to? What are you feeling triggered by? Are you feeling like you have to respond or are you feeling like there's something that's happening that's taking your body away from you? Like in the misophonia, the way that your ear is hearing sound. It's making your mouth move which is very distressing. So when you're looking at the text message and it's making you think about something in the past that you didn't wanna think about and it's making you feel like you have to respond. So when we explore, we can find all of the ways that we are mistakenly giving away our individual agency and control and how we're making it really hard to do the things we want to do.
[00:29:56] So again, with the text message and, you know, I'm extrapolating, I'm not really talking about my client's actual experience, but if you're texting with somebody that you care about or that you like, they're the desire for connection is there. But when we're stuck in the fear response connection can feel very hard to create. And certainly we don't necessarily feel like we can create it in a way that feels empowering or that feels full of safety and self trust where it doesn't feel heightened and frantic and scared.
[00:30:37] There's no kind of right answer about the human envelope. There's no way to have a perfectly bespoke designed human envelope because it's, it's really like this living dynamic process of being human, right? We are meant to be permeable. And then, but we have a lot of ability to control our permeability and that's the part that we get to play with. So in hypnosis, maybe we go into a control room and we build like a barrier. Maybe we create a permeability barrier or, you know, there's all kinds of cool ways and visualization. I've had people talk about putting on a cloak or like creating a bubble or some kind of thing that kinda like, let's in exactly the thing that we want to have let in. And then it keeps out the things that we don't. You know, that we want it to be kept out of.
[00:31:40] And then maybe outside of hypnosis, we actually just make choices. Like, I don't put my phone, I don't answer my phone or I turn the ringer off, right? So I'm not always having something connecting to my attention. I put the phone in the other room, there's a million decisions, right? So embodying the power of being the one deciding. And sometimes we don't know how it's gonna be, but like being willing to be playful and curious and be like, I wonder what happens when I do it like this. I wonder how that feels when I do it like this.
[00:32:15] And also reminding ourselves that we have the ability inside of ourselves to turn down that alarm. To turn up safety connection, joy, curiosity, fun, whether it's, you know, using those same sensory systems. And so really, you know, one of the things I've been saying recently has been like, let the things that feel good, feel good.
[00:32:44] So often we are rushing through things that feel good because we're like trying to solve the problem of the thing that feels bad. But in rushing to fix a problem, we actually just missed the entire, the entire thing, which was we just had something that felt good. So let it feel good, connect, understand, savor. You know, really let something that feels good to you be delicious and important.
[00:33:16] And you can imagine if this idea and concept of the human envelope really works for you, can you imagine making a home inside of this thing that I'm calling the human envelope? Can you imagine making a home inside of you for more of the things you want more of? There's so many creative and interesting ways that we can use this concept.
[00:33:43] So always we wanna start with creating awareness and creating safety becoming aware. And then starting to unravel the state versus your story, right? Just notice what your brain is saying about what it is that you're feeling, but recognizing that sometimes it's just a narration and it's not the reason.
[00:34:09] And then creating the pathway and the repetition of creating that state change, of getting into feeling more good more of the time, and doing those kind of nervous systems, somatic practices that help us slow things down and feel better, have less distress. And I don't know what that is for you. That's what's so wonderful is that we are all different. We have a lot and a lot, a lot of things that are the same, but we're unique in our human embodied experience. Let it be very, very, you in this process of creating change. So that's my treatise, is that the right word? On the human envelope.
[00:35:05] So I want you to start to think about what does your human envelope need more of? What would help you feel into your power? What would help you feel into your agency as being the one who decides what the next best thing to do is. If you wanna work with me right now, I am currently seeing people for like one or three hypnosis sessions. So if you wanna kind of a, you know, quick hypnosis journey, I am happy to do that with you. Or if you're looking for more of a kind of longer process, hybrid hypno coaching where we do some life coaching, where we are exploring these things and we're making change and we're creating this deeper awareness of patterns in your life and just noticing how they're, how these, you know, sometimes it's just the same five thoughts showing up wearing different outfits, or these same, you know, patterns over and over again. So if there are things like procrastination or self-doubt, and I certainly have my pain recovery program. So all of that happens within a 12 week container. I've got a few spots for new people. And I would love to work with you so you can hop on my Calendly and book a curiosity call and I can share with you how we would work together. So if you have specific goals like wanting to feel better, wanting to move more and feel better, like exercising and moving your body, if you wanna feel better, taking care of your human ecosystem to pull a concept from Kara Loewentheil, um, you know, this human ecosystem of you. So the parts of you that are, I think of the meat suit of us, right? So the parts that are needing food and needing sleep and needing connection and needing all of these things, like sometimes we need to find the ways it works for us to be uniquely human.
[00:37:27] And a lot of that can take some practice, but also it can really take some process of creating awareness of what are the messages that I've been told and taught about my body and how do I, like, how can I decide? How can I be the one who decides what I want to do with my time and with my energy, my imagination, and being able to meet you where you are and create a relaxed and comfortable and fun and interesting, and being able to hold all of your, Humanity, so being able to be vulnerable and to cry and to create safety, feeling strong emotions. That's the kind of space that I really try to create. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, please hop on a curiosity call. I would love to meet you and, thank you for listening. All right, I'll see you next time.