You know meditation is good for your health but you don’t know how to get started with this “medicine for mind technique”? Don’t worry! We’re here to guide you, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by all the types of meditation out there. Enter a meditative practice that can help you scan your body for all sorts of sensations from tension to pain or anything else that bothers you.
The body scan meditation assists you in developing a bodily sensation awareness that will help you be more connected to the physical self and understand better the possible caused of your unwanted feelings. This way, you’ll know get to know how to address the problems you have and to find solutions to achieve body and mind wellness.
Why it’s worth trying
Experts suggested that body scan medication can help you improve your sleep patterns, relief stress and anxiety, reduce pain, reduce cravings, increase self-compassion and achieve greater self-awareness.
Let’s take a look at some of these benefits:
Mindfulness meditation improves the quality of sleep if you practice it before bedtime and it can be a great remedy for insomnia. You may wonder what makes this practice so efficient in solving some types of sleep issues? Well, most of us are not able to rest especially if we feel stressed or worried. Mediation is a sure way to get relaxed and to feel calmer, while letting go of tall those thoughts that trouble you. So if stress is the one that keeps you awake, this meditative practice can ease distress.
For stress and anxiety
As we previously mentioned, mindfulness meditation can help you better cope with stress and anxiety and achieve a greater capacity of relaxation. As you breath out the released tension, you allow yourself the permission to be peaceful and to float above every form of conflict or to watch things from a new, wider perspective.
Intense pain can significantly impact your life, making it for you impossible to think or do something else. Although meditation does not take the pain away, that increased awareness of your emotional state and body can help you embrace the pain and increase the quality of your life. After you tune into your pain, you can choose to experience that sensation and soften or regulate your response to it.
How to get started
- Lie down or get comfortable in a sitting position so you can stretch your limbs easily.
- Close your eyes and start paying attention to your breath, while the air is filling and going out of your lungs.
- Think of your mind as a mental X-ray that scans your whole body and helps you pay attention to the sensations of tension, pain, discomfort or anything that bothers you.
- Take your time to acknowledge these sensations, from 20 seconds to 1 minutes.
- When you begin to notice that discomfort, sit with it, accepting it without criticism until it passes.
- Continue to breath imagining that tension or pain decrease with each breath.
- Slowly leave behind that part of your body and redirect your mind to another area of focus.
- While you move along your body, from the top to bottom or up one side then down to the other note all the thoughts that are drifting away.
- Get your thoughts back on track and continue with the body awareness where you got stuck.
- Let your scanning travel across your whole body, while breathing. Visualize with each inhaling and move forward with each exhaling as if a liquid is filling up a mold.
- Sit with the awareness of your whole body for a few seconds and return to your surroundings slowly, releasing your focus and attention off your body.
Make it a habit
Sometimes you’ll notice immediate improvement, other times you’ll feel as if you have awakened your senses around your discomfort. Nonetheless, try to commit to several sessions and see how things improve. Consistent meditation leads to significant health benefits including greater ability to manage unpleasant emotions, better focus, increased concentration and more compassion to others plus a series of other positive emotions.
Think of this practice as a brain exercise that you can do whenever you had a rough day and we promise that at the end of it, you will feel pretty good. Also, it will get easier with every practice, over time.
Other beginner tips
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel something changing from the beginning. It is completely normal to get used to it in time. Until then, here are a few tips that can help you perfect your body meditation technique:
Forget about perfection
There is no right approach in meditation, it’s just what works best for you. For example, there are people that prefer to always meditate in the same place and at the same time. You will find your own routine as well. Sometimes you might not manage to meditate more than 15 or 5 minutes, other times you’ll get distracted. It’s OK, it happens to everyone, the important thing is to keep trying and to remember that it doesn’t matter where you meditate as long as you do it.
So the next time you feel tired or fatigues at work, take a 5 minutes break and do a quick body scan. Learn to practice acceptance and compassion through meditation and send kindness to everyone.
If you don’t find a comfortable position, you can even stand up or seat with your legs crossed.
Avoid going into meditation with specific goals
If you have specific goals you want to achieve, this might defocus you from the bodily sensations and the meditation might not work so easily. Of course you want to get better or to reduce stress or improve sleep but don’t go into this practice with something more specific than this because you will end up more stressed than when you began.
Just start with the goal of understanding your body better and manage your challenging emotions well.
However if you notice some dark thoughts or emotions that get worse after meditation, talk to a therapist before continuing.