Body scan mindfulness is observing the state of your body in the moment. Bringing awareness to what aches, what tingles, what is sore and becoming curious about each of these sensations and the connections they have in our minds. The benefits are:
- Boost self-awareness
- Reduce tension
- Improve sleep
- Increase focus
One of the purposes of mindfulness is to engage in an intimate relationship with the self. I know that sounds woo-woo but give it some consideration. As human beings, we are our thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and action urges with all states interconnected and always interacting. You have been moving through the world using these interconnected parts of the self to guide how you move, the decisions you make. Most of us pay little to no attention to each individual thought, feeling, urge, and/or sensation, which means we are reacting to the world around us. To move through the world more intentionally with purpose, increasing your awareness for each of these is important.
The sensations in your body expand beyond just physical information about the world around you, like pain and temperature. The butterflies you feel, pit in your stomach, and an inability to sit still are all messages requiring attention and consideration. Often your body reacts to events around you that your thoughts and feelings have not paid attention to yet. How often have you gotten a gut feeling about something, ignored it, and then regretted it later?
There are so many different ways to practice a body scan, so play with what works for you—or, better yet, figure out what works for you at different times based on different situations. As you practice the body scan, here are some optional questions to consider:
- When have I felt this sensation before?
- What thoughts come with it?
- Is there an emotion associated with it?
- How intense is it?
- Does it change with my breath?
- What are my urges to act?
For more reading on the topic:
Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for mental health or medical treatment. It is important for those with clinical and medical diagnoses to receive the appropriate treatment from trusted and trained practitioners.