Do you like singing in the shower? No? Then, have you (in hindsight) noticed that you may be prone to more of your obsessive thinking or daydreaming in the shower? You want to know why? Read the article below.
To sing or not to sing in the shower?
Ever wondered why excessive thinking and daydreaming or sometimes even singing often happen in the shower? It’s most likely an avoidance mechanism, a way to check out of the body and transport ourselves somewhere else. In effect, it’s a recipe to not be present. But why (mostly) in the shower?
To answer this question, let’s look first at what it means to be present. It starts with being in the body and being aware of the body’s sensations. Importantly, we become aware of sensations through our senses: touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste.
Now, get in the shower and turn the water on. What happens is the water starts to wake up the skin receptors, which is an invitation to stay in the body and be present to yourself through the sense of touch. Don’t want to be present? No problem, you know the drill! Just turn up the dial on your thinking capacity, your imagination or whatever else is going to get you out of your body. Why not singing? It’s the perfect avoidance mechanism and works like a charm every time we want to escape and abandon ourselves.
Let’s take another example – eating. Eating wakes up the sense of taste, which is another way to get present to a sensation and stay with ourselves. But do we do that? Hardly ever! We prefer to turn on the TV, engage in a conversation, read a book, or listen to music while eating. We do whatever is going to help us check out and not be present and in our body.
So why do we fear staying with ourselves so much? Why do we self-abandon so often? That’s because of lack of self-acceptance. It’s because our shadow is somewhere there, physically embodied somehow. It could be trauma, shame, anger or fear of some sort. Whatever it is that part of ourselves that we reject, we can best get in touch with it through being present in the body (where the rejecting part practically lives). And if it’s hard for us to fully accept ourselves (with all the trauma, shame, guilt, anger and fear), it’s going to be hard to be present and stay in our body. Thus, we will naturally tend to want to escape the most when our senses are being stimulated (during eating, taking a shower, etc.), which is also when we can best get in touch with our body.
On the face of it, self-acceptance work (through various forms of therapy) can help us stay in the body and be present to ourselves. But the opposite is also true – staying present in the body (best achieved through breathwork and other mindfulness practices) can help the process of self-acceptance, sometimes even release trauma. So next time you are in the shower, don’t be afraid to feel the water on your skin and stay with that. Stay with your body, don’t abandon yourself. The more you manage this in the shower, the more you will manage it out in the world. You know what they say – how you do anything is how you do everything.