What Is A Body Scan & How To Do One

Through practicing body scan awareness meditation, we can greatly reduce the detrimental effects of stress and make our working lives pleasant and enjoyable.” – Christopher Dines

What Is A Body Scan?

Sometimes we can be so caught up in the whirlwind of like that we don’t realize how much tension and distress is in our bodies. On top of this, we don’t realize how much it’s connected to our emotional state.

A body scan is a great way to release tension in your body. It’s a form of meditation that’s focused on tension. The tension that you might not even realize is impacting your body. A body scan involves paying close attention to different parts of your body and the sensations that you feel.

By mentally scanning yourself you bring awareness to everything. Both physically and mentally because it involves using your brain to pay close attention to your body. Doing a body scan won’t relieve the pain or sensations that you notice, but it’ll help you recognize it and figure out how to better manage it.

How To Do A Body Scan?

Similar to other forms of meditation doing a body scan is meant to be simple. It may be simple but with consistent practice, you can see significant results.

Here are the basic steps to do a body scan:

  1. Get comfortable. Whatever this means for you whether it be laying down, sitting in a chair or against a wall, or anything else.
  2. Take a few deep and intentional breaths. Slow your breathing and heart rate down, take the breaths from your stomach instead of the chest. Really feel them and don’t just let them happen.
  3. Bring your awareness to your feet. Every part of this is meant to be done slowly so slowly bring your attention to your feet. Observing any sensations, pains, as well as thoughts and emotions that occupy it.
  4. Breathe into the tension. If you notice any painful or uncomfortable sensations focus your attention on them. Focus your breathe on them and visualize your tension leaving your body.
  5. Scan your entire body. Once the tension has lessened, disappeared altogether, or if you feel ready to move on continue the practice on each area of your body. Gradually move up your entire body until you reach the top of your head. Notice how you feel, where you’re holding stress if there’s any tightness, pain, or pressure present.
  6. Continue breathing into any tightness. If you still feel like there’s tension present continue to take intentional breathes into it. Do this until you’re comfortable and ready to leave this state.

Body scans can be extremely helpful, in particular for those that deal with chronic pain. It’s a great form of self-care and doesn’t require a large time commitment.

Whenever you have a chance, do a body scan and figure out how you feel. Acknowledge every aspect of your body and any of the sensations that arise.

You’ve got this.

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