2020 has brought so much stress to my life! I don’t know about you, but I have been searching for ways to keep my mind, body, and spirits up. I read different books to encourage and educate myself. I listen to podcasts (I am even going to be doing one with my son…to be continued!) that make me laugh, wanna organize my closets, and enlighten me to work on how I love myself.
One thing that I have been doing for years is meditation. It is how I start my day. My favorite way to center myself and get ready to tackle the waves of the day.
Body scan meditation is a new one for me. It has definitely helped me tune into how I am really feeling physically and has helped me get better sleep. Since all of this COVID craziness has begun, my sleep has been interrupted many nights.
Body scan meditation is very hard to do alone so I would try to find a guided body scan meditation, a teacher would be best. If you are going to make it a habit, the personal relationship between teacher and student will help fuel your practice.
With this type of meditation, you are focusing on the sensations in your body. You will scan and notice how each body part feels, from your toes through your legs, chest, arms and head. It is a form of mindful meditation where instead of focusing on breath, you change the focus to how your body is feeling. This can help you acknowledge and manage pain, stress, and anxiety.
There are quite a few benefits to mindful meditation. Research has been found that body scan meditation can benefit you …..
- Treating chronic pain. It can help you acknowledge and manage pain.
- Reduce anxiety and stress. Sometimes we really do not realize how much tension we are holding in our bodies, which often come from stress and anxiety. We can learn to recognize our body’s signals and improve our ability to deal with the stresses in our lives.
- Help get better sleep. Every form of meditation is calming and can relax your mind to obtain better sleep. Body scan meditation can be safer than a sleeping pill, and you will wake up less irritable.
- Manage the symptoms of PTSD.
How do you practice body scan meditation? There is a basic pattern …..
- Get into a comfortable position like sitting in a chair or on the floor. You can also lay down if that is most comfortable for you.
- Focus on how your body is feeling. Notice how you are sitting, feel the weight of your body on the floor or in the chair. Then take a few deep breaths.
- Move your attention throughout your body. I like to start from the bottom up. At each body part, stop and notice how it feels, is it relaxed, tensed up, painful, or tingling? Pay attention to the feeling. If there are no strong sensations, that’s cool, just noticing is enough.
- I have a wandering mind in my meditation. When you notice that your mind is wandering, acknowledge it and return back to your scan. The more you practice, the better you will be at wandering less. It happens to everyone.
- After you have gone through your whole body and checked on it piece by piece, notice how your whole body feels. Take a few deep cleansing breaths and open your eyes.
You can lengthen or shorten your body scan however you want. A lot of us do not have time to go from toes to soles to feet to heels. We may have to scan our whole foot and move up, for example.
We can also do little scans throughout the day. When I do that at work, I notice things like my shoulders tensing up or me slouching…something I never realized that I do a whole lot until I started body scan meditation.
Now, if you decide to try, which I really believe you should, here are a few tips that help me work meditation time into my day…
try to establish the same meditation time every day and the same place. Early morning has been good for me. I read my devotions and then my meditation begins. Some people may want to do it right before bed because it may help them fall asleep and sleep better.
- I definitely suggest using a guided meditation, especially if you are new to meditating altogether.
Let the journey begin!
Some guided meditations…..links below!!