Mindful body scan
Listening to your body and intuition
You can think of a body scan as a mental X-ray that slowly travels across your body. This is a great check-in with your body to notice what it is telling you that needs attention. It might be helpful if someone reads this out for you as you do this. Make sure they give you time to process each step.
Follow these steps:
- Get comfortable. Lie down or sit in a position that allows you to stretch your limbs easily.
- Focus. Become present. Close your eyes and begin focusing on your breath. Notice the sensation of your breath filling and leaving your lungs as you inhale and exhale.
- Choose where to start. We find beginning at your feet works well. Focus on that spot as you continue breathing slowly and deeply. Then head slowly up the body.
- Pay attention. Open your awareness to sensations of pain, tension, discomfort, disruption, or anything out of the ordinary.
- Acknowledge. If you notice pain and discomfort, acknowledge, and sit with any emotions and energies these sensations bring up. Accept them without criticism. For example, if you feel frustrated and angry, do not judge yourself for these emotions. Notice them and let them pass.
- Ask your intuition. What do I need? What is this telling me? What is beneath this? Sometimes looking beneath this disturbance or resistance can also reveal something. An example is a belief or a value.
- Release. Release it, change it, do what you need to, to release this. Ask yourself is this relevant anymore, if not challenge it and let it go. Is this way of thinking serving me? If not, decide to change it, this is all in your mind and you can change it at any moment to something more helpful. Acknowledge it, and in doing so it is seen and will be released.
- Continue. Now apply this change, observe, and feel as it changes. Once it feels balanced, continue moving up the body.
9. Finish. Once you have scanned the whole body, double-check it feels balanced, and then you can open your eyes.