The Physical (Bodily-Kinesthetic) Learning Style
If the physical style is more like you, it's likely that you use your
body and sense of touch to learn about the world around you. It's likely you
like sports and exercise, and other physical activities such as gardening or
woodworking. You like to think out issues, ideas and problems while you
exercise. You would rather go for a run or walk if something is bothering
you, rather than sitting at home.
You are more sensitive to the physical world around you. You notice and
appreciate textures, for example in clothes or furniture. You like 'getting
your hands dirty,' or making models, or working out jigsaws.
You typically use larger hand gestures and other body language to
communicate. You probably don't mind getting up and dancing either, at least
when the time is right. You either love the physical action of theme park
rides, or they upset your inner body sense too much and so you avoid them
When you are learning a new skill or topic, you would prefer to 'jump in'
and play with the physical parts as soon as possible. You would prefer to
pull an engine apart and put it back together, rather than reading or
looking at diagrams about how it works.
The thought of sitting in a lecture listening to someone else talk is
repulsive. In those circumstances, you fidget or can't sit still for long.
You want to get up and move around.
Common Pursuits and Phrases
Pursuits that involve the physical style include general physical work,
mechanical, construction and repair work, sports and athletics, drama and
You may tend to use phrases like these:
- That feels right to me.
- I can't get a grip on this'
- Stay in touch.
- Get in touch with'
- That doesn't sit right with me.
- I have good feelings about this.
- My gut is telling me'
- I follow your drift.
Learning and techniques
If you use a physical style, use touch, action, movement and hands-on
work in your learning activities. For visualization, focus on the sensations
you would expect in each scenario. For example, if you are visualizing a
tack (turn) on a sailboat, focus on physical sensations. Feel the pressure
against your hand as you turn the rudder, and the tension lessening on the
ropes. Feel the wind change to the other side, feel the thud as the sail
swaps with the wind, and feel the boat speed up as you start the new leg.
For assertions and scripting, describe the physical feelings of your
actions. For example, a pilot might script as follows: 'I feel the friction
as I push the throttle forward to start my takeoff run. The controls start
to feel more responsive as I check the airspeed, oil pressure and
temperature. At takeoff speed, I pull back slightly, and I feel the
vibrations of the wheels stop as the plane leaves the ground. After a few
moments, I reach down and set the gear selector to up. I feel the satisfying
bump as the gear stops fully up.'
Use physical objects as much as possible. Physically touch objects as you
learn about what they do. Flashcards can help you memorize information
because you can touch and move them around.
Keep in mind as well that writing and drawing diagrams are physical
activities, so don't neglect these techniques. Perhaps use big sheets of
paper and large color markers for your diagrams. You then get more action
from the drawing.
Use breathing and relaxation to focus your state while you learn and
perform. Focus on staying calm, centered, relaxed and aware. If you want to
gain more control over your physical state, look up some references on
Autogenics. This was a secret behind the great Russian athletic performances
over the past few decades.
Use role-playing, either singularly or with someone else, to practice
skills and behaviors. Find ways to act out or simulate what you are