To refer to the feeling of being in charge of our lives, we use the term "agency". Being an agent of our life means that we know where we are, we know how to explain what happens to us, we are able to model the circumstances …
Physical agencies, such as travel agencies, provide services that help those who use them to meet their needs. We also have internal needs of different types. They are satisfied in the first instance only by our own agency although other aids or services are also involved. The importance of our agency works in the best way possible.
"Our existence is unique and the results we will get will depend on how well we do it."
The agency starts with interoception
We speak of interoception to refer to the perception that each individual has about the internal state of his organism. This is information that helps us maintain our body balance (homeostasis). Body, mind, brain are intimately linked, so interoception is not something purely physiological. Interoception is also related to subjective sensations as emotions can be.
The more important our personal knowledge is, the more capacity and potential we have to manage our lives. In fact, if we are aware of the changes occurring in our environment, outside and inside, we can better adapt.
"Freedom lies in being in control of our own life."
The effects of agency loss
In the wonderful book The body takes the score (Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.) the agency loss that often occurs among war veterans. Many of these men have remained rooted in the past, somehow attached to an environment in which they have learned to operate according to rules that apply only in a context of conflict.
In addition, for various reasons, people may feel at risk within their own bodies. For example, reliving the past through constant internal discomfort. We believe that we are people of tradition, but many people learn to ignore their instincts and to lull their consciousness about their interior. In this sense, ignoring our interior increases the loss of control.
Many health problems, such as chronic pain, fatigue, headaches and / or migraines are examples of internal cries that require urgent attention and may be the result of ignorance of our interior. Do not be an agent of our life at a price: that of ignoring or not to detect what is really dangerous or offensive for us, or on the contrary not to detect what is safe or rewarding.
How can we be more agents of our life?
"Being able to put words on what we feel, make sense of it, respect our feelings and emotions, connect with our needs, these are the fundamental keys to the art of being masters of our lives."Share
The medial prefrontal cortex (CPFM), known metaphorically as "The Control Tower" is responsible for overseeing our bodily sensations. Currently, we know thata conscious meditation and yoga can help us regulate ourselves and to be more aware of our bodily sensations, and thus to manage with force the controls of our life.
Today, the effect of somatic or bodily work on the release of energy has been proven, especially among stranded people such as war veterans stuck in terror. Working introspection through physical exercise is a good workout to better understand the messages that sends us our organization on our needs.
In definitive, to speak of an agency is to speak of knowledge and confidence in our presentiments, our body, our feelings, our selves. This agency understands that taking the reins of our lives (facing the other forces that want to govern it) is not an easy task. It starts with knowing ourselves personally, accepting ourselves and understanding us. From there, we will develop a personal project of life. Some questions can be of great help to us to reflect on our agency capacity: What do you expect from life? What are your dreams and aspirations? Who or what can help you promote a small change from where you are?
Quirós, P., Grzib, G. & Conde, P. (2000). Neurofisológicas bases of the interocepción. Revista de Psicolo. Gral. y Aplic., 53 (1): 109-129
Van der Kolk, B.A. (1994). The body keeps the score: Memory and the evolving psychobiology of posttraumatic stress. Harvard review of psychiatry, 1 (5), 72-73.