We often don’t notice how our body is really feeling day to day. If you’re new to meditation or are looking for a practice to help relieve tension and stress, try a body scan meditation. It helps you to bring attention to and connect with your body.
Scanning the body can make us more aware of the different sensations we’re experiencing such as tingling, tension, heat or coolness, pulsing or itching, aches, pains and numbness. When we’re stressed, we can also experience physical symptoms that we may not even notice such as headaches, muscle tension and back pain. A body scan can help us recognise these sensations and use our breath to help relieve them.
There are many benefits of body scan meditation such as:
• Reduced stress and muscle tension
• Decreased anxiety
• Better sleep
• Greater connection with our body
• Increased self-compassion
To prepare yourself, get into a comfortable position. You may like to sit or lay down. As you begin, close your eyes and focus on taking deeper breaths. The focus will then shift to your body and how it’s feeling. You will then scan through your body, focusing on different parts and noticing any sensations. Start at the tip of your toes and work your way up one joint at a time.
During the practice, focus on noticing how you feel without judging or trying to fix it. If you find that you’re not noticing any sensations, that’s also okay. If you find that your mind wanders just draw your attention back to the body.
There are various guided body scan meditations that you can follow along with or you may like to do a self-guided body scan.