How to Do a Mindfulness Body Scan

body scanning mindfulness Jun 09, 2021

Check out Bobby's video on Body Scanning on YouTube!

Body scanning, along with rhythmic breathing, can be a great way of introducing mindfulness into your busy schedule. Oftentimes people cite time as a reason why they don't participate in consistent self-care. The stress and responsibility of everyday life can overshadow the small things we can do to better manage our lives. Taking a few minutes daily to participate in your preferred mindfulness practice can have a lasting impact on your emotional and physical well-being. 

Body scanning involves either lying down or sitting in a comfortable position, focusing on your breath and setting your intention on sections of your body. People generally either start with their toes or with the tops of their heads and spend a few breaths in each section. The idea is to bring yourself into the present moment and with intentionality identify any sensations that are present in each area of your body. You do not assign meaning to the sensation, you just acknowledge that it's present, and then move onto the next section of your body. 

The practice of identifying sensations without assigning them meaning is one of the foundational skills that lay the groundwork for meditative practices. Mindfulness isn't about erasing thoughts, it's about learning how to maintain objectivity over them. Once you're able to maintain objectivity over your thoughts, then intrusive thoughts that once had the ability to lower your frequency, such as thoughts that create feelings of fear, sadness, and anxiety can more easily be identified. Over time you can more easily control the emotions that once held the ability to lower your frequency. 

Mindfulness can have beneficial results immediately, but the real benefits are demonstrated through longer-term practice and consistency. Building your practice can start with simple rhythmic breathing and body scanning. These practices can be done anywhere and at any time. Don't let the inability to find a perfect time or the perfect space be a barrier to initiating your practice. You can be at your desk at work and practice either method. You may even find that practicing between tasks or meetings can help you transition more easily from one task to the next. 


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