Your body is capable of healing. It will tell you what it needs. Doing a mindfulness scan of your body is one of the best ways to listen to your body and hear its needs and wisdom.
The benefits of a mindful body scan include:
- Improved sleep.
- Lessen anxiety
- Stress relief
- Greater self-awareness
- Increased self-compassion
- Reduced pain
When you do a mindful body scan you listen to what is going on in the various parts of your body. It connects you with your body. You begin to feel connected to and at one with your body.
At the same time you activate the healing qualities that are within your own body. This is what then starts a healing process where you have chronic pain or tension.
By listening mindfully you will learn what your body needs to function at its highest level. You become aware of your mind body connection. Body awareness is dependent on the capacity to perceive and integrate information coming from all sense organs, including muscles and joints. Listening to your body by doing a mindful body scan you become aware of your body sensations and the signals of your body going to your mind.
You will sense that you need to walk more or change your eating habits.
You can also become mindful of your body by doing yoga or getting a massage.
The body scan is the way to really take time and pay attention to your body. Body scanning involves paying attention to parts of the body and bodily sensations in a gradual sequence from feet to head.
The Benefits of the Body Scan Practice:
Improves your ability to bring your attention to what you are feeling and experiencing in the present moment.
It trains your mind to explore and be with pleasant and unpleasant sensations, learning to notice what happens when we simply hang in there and feel what’s going on in “body without trying to fix or change anything.
The idea here is not to try to change how your body feels or the feelings you experience but to just notice them without judgment. You are witnessing what is happening within you.
When you are just present in what your body/mind is feeling and experiencing you acknowledge it and the feelings will move through you and be release.
Find at least a half hour of time. You can do this just before you fall asleep.
Lay down and get comfortable. Close your eyes (you don’t have to but it helps you focus within).
Bring awareness to your breathing. Mindful breathing the foundation of bringing yourself into the present moment and into mindfulness.
When you’re ready begin scanning the areas of your body.
Begin with the toes of your feet then move upward through your entire body.
Pay attention to any sensations, noises, feelings, pain you may feel. Be open and curious. At some point your mind may begin to wander, just notice it and your focus back to where you were on your body.
- The rest of the feet – top, bottom, ankle
- Lower legs
- Pelvic region -buttocks, tailbone, pelvic bone
- Lower back
- Upper back -back ribs & shoulder blades
- Hands -fingers, palms, backs, wrists
- Arms -lower, elbows, upper
- Face and head -jaw, mouth, nose, cheeks, ears, eyes, forehead, scalp, back & top of the head
Return to your breathing and when you are ready open your eyes.
Did you notice any sensations? You might have noticed, tingling, pressure, tightness, pain.
Another way to do a body scan is as you scan your body, tense each area then relax it. This helps you feel and release any stress, tension or pain in your body.