Body Scan Meditation for Stress Relief
Body scan meditation is an easy meditation technique useful for stress relief and for becoming more peaceful inside our bodies.
We often live in our head and do not connect with our bodies. Sometimes we are just too busy to connect and sometimes we ignore our bodies on purpose. We don't want to feel unpleasant sensations or emotions.
We turn away from what we are feeling and the feelings and the tension in the body get stuck. If we are feeling pain or unpleasant emotions, we say "we don't want that" and we run away by ignoring these sensations.
So what?, you ask.
Well, when we run away from sensations, we are in a "flight" mode, we are essentially saying that there is a danger in our body and we don't want to deal with it.
And this creates a lot of stress.
One way to release this stress is with a body scan meditation.
You simply pay attention to the sensations in your body without any judgment. Nothing is either good or bad, it just simply is. You acknowledge any sensation and stay with it without judgment.
The sensation will change in time.
As you learn to stay with your body, you will experience the ever changing quality of sensations. You will learn that sensations come and go. When you allow whatever arises, the sensations simply transform.
Now, let's get started with a body scan meditation.
Sit (or lie down) in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and begin to take deep, slow breaths into your abdomen.
Turn your attention to your body. What does your body feel like? Is it heavy? Is it warm? Is it tingling?
Acknowledge any sensation that arises. Welcome it without judgment. Be kind and patient. Let your attitude be of loving kindness to any sensation that arises. Stay with it and just breathe.
Begin scanning your body from head to toe. Turn your attention to your scalp. What are the sensations? Allow yourself to experience the blood flow, the hair on your scalp, any pressure that you feel, or tension. As you continue to breathe, pay attention to any changes in these sensations.
When you are ready, move on to your forehead. What does your forehead feel like? Is it warm? Do you feel the pulsing in your veins? Any tension? Breathe deeply and allow for any tension to dissolve.
If your mind wanders off, gently bring it back to the sensations. Continue to breathe and turn your attention back to your body.
Now, turn your attention to your face, your eyes, your jaw, your nose. Feel your eyes resting in the eye sockets. Feel the air moving through your nostrils. Feel your jaw. Is there some tension? Watch anything that you experience. Accept it without judgment.
Just neutral, non-judgmental attitude.
Scanning your body.
Watching whatever arises.
Continue scanning through other parts of your body in the same way. Continue to your neck, right and left shoulders, your arms, hands, chest, back, abdomen, buttocks, genital area, thighs, your knees, calves, and feet.
Remember, accepting and watching as the sensations transform. That's the basis of this body scan meditation.
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