Feel outside the body is a corollary to “think outside the brain.”
Think outside the brain means your cognitive and intellectual capacity is directly affected by people, places, things, and actions that take place outside the physical limitations of the head: skull and skin.
Maybe you do your best, most insightful thinking while walking. Step, step, aha! Step, step, hmmm. Step, step, yes!
My brother used to say he thinks of his best poems while running through the streets of New York City. Action: running, which physiologically affects the body and brain. Place: Outside, open spaces, fresh air, novel odors, sunlight. Place: New York City, full of sights and sounds, people, lights, activity.
My cousin, a Physical Education teacher, says that teachers in his school report that kids who do PE first period are much more engaged and active in class in 2nd period than those who start the day with class.
A strong cup of coffee might stimulate remarkable creativity. Some artists use chemicals to create, while others say it hampers creativity — no recommendations here other that to be healthy — just pointing out the chemicals introduced from the outside into the body effect the mind.
Your best strategizing may come with a particular colleague, or friend–your (social) mind at it’s best in connection with another person. Think John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
With greater awareness and understanding of the fact that our intellectual abilities are not bound by the physical limits of the brain, rather, the extend beyond the head and connect to the world, we can take advantage of the power of thinking outside the brain. (See the book The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul.)
So, too, then, we can feel outside the body.
Feeling in a funk? Dance a goofy jig in the privacy of your living room.
Down? Feeling the blahs? Go splashing wildly through a cold stream.
Anxious? Feel the soles of your feet on the ground, and the chair or a surface around you.
Tense? Take a deep breath, slowly. Ask someone to tell you a (dumb?) joke. 🙂
Your moods and feelings live in your body, the physical world around you, and the people you interact with. There are contexts of time, place, visual cues, audio cues, and associations.
Your emotions are not only inside of you, they are in the world.
So what’s the point?
Point is, you can use the world to influence, affect, and effect your emotions. And not only can you, it’s already happening.
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