Sometimes, you may become so addicted to stress that you don’t realize that the physical discomforts you are experiencing (such as headaches, back and shoulder pain, and muscle tension) are related to your emotional state.
Body scanning meditation is a great way to release physical tension, you may not even realize that you are experiencing it. The body scan involves focusing on body parts and body sensations in a gradual order from feet to head.
By performing a mental scan of yourself, you can bring your consciousness into every part of your body and pay attention to any pain, tension or general discomfort. The goal is not to relieve pain completely, but to understand and learn from it in order to better manage it.
Benefits of regular practice
It’s best to do it every day (or even several times a day). Practicing body scanning meditation can bring many physical and mental health benefits. Studies have shown that reducing stress is one of the main benefits of body scanning meditation, which in turn can bring physical benefits, including reducing inflammation, fatigue and insomnia.
In this way, this body scan can break the cycle of physical and mental tension that may feed on itself.
Body scanning meditation is a very useful and effective meditation that can help you recover and stay relaxed when you are too stressed.
How to perform body scanning meditation
As with all forms of meditation, performing a body scan is simple. Here are some instructions to help you get started.
- Be comfortable. It is best to lie down, especially if you do a body scan meditation before going to bed. If this is impossible or uncomfortable, sitting comfortably is also an option.
- Take a few deep breaths. Let your breathing slow down and start breathing from your abdomen instead of your chest. Let your abdomen expand and contract with each breath. If you find that your shoulders rise and fall with each breath, pay more attention to breathing from your abdomen, just like a balloon inflates and deflates in your abdomen with each breath. For more exercises, try these breathing exercises.
- Bring consciousness to your feet. Now slowly focus your attention on your feet. Start to observe the sensation of the feet. If you notice pain, acknowledge it and any thoughts or emotions that accompany it, and breathe it gently.
- Breathing strained. If you notice any uncomfortable sensations, please focus on them. Breathe into them and see what happens. Imagine the tension leaving the body through breathing and evaporating into the air. Move on when you feel ready.
- Scan your entire body. Continue this exercise on every part of your body, gradually moving up through your feet until you reach the top of your head. Pay attention to how you feel and where you are under stress. If there is any tightness, pain or pressure, continue breathing for any tightness, pain or pressure you feel. This can help you release the tension in your body now and be more aware of it in the future, so you can release it too.
- Practice this body scanning meditation whenever you feel stressed or multiple times throughout the day as a regular practice.
- If you don’t have a lot of time, you can do a simplified version of this body scanning meditation, just sit down and pay attention to any part of your body that you are under stress instead of moving from one part to another. The more you practice body scanning meditation, the easier it will become.
- Body scanning meditation can promote body awareness, stress awareness and relaxation. Practice often. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises or visualization exercises to release your body’s stress and tension.