The health benefits of meditation are well documented, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin or which type of meditation will best suit you and your lifestyle. Meditation is used by many to improve clarity and emotional stability, and it’s been proven to reduce stress and increase calmness.
In this post, we’ll define body scanning, explore the benefits of including it in your routine and provide some helpful tips for getting started.
What is body scanning?
Body scanning is a form of meditation that involves mindfully ‘scanning’ your body and paying attention to any unusual sensations, or areas where you feel pain or tension.
The practice of meditation stretches back thousands of years, but what makes this type of meditation so unique?
Whereas some types of meditations ask you to focus on your breathing, body scanning is about focussing on different areas of your body, for example starting from your toes and working your way up to the top of your head. It helps you to train your mind to be more open by connecting with your body at an even deeper level.
Why is body scanning beneficial?
So, why should you use body scanning? Not only does it help you to release tension, but it can also help you to reconnect with your physical self and pay attention to your body. It’s also been linked to many mental and physical health benefits. Here are three ways this will impact your overall wellbeing.
Being relaxed makes it easier to get good quality sleep, and you may struggle to get to sleep or get a good night’s rest if you’re anxious or stressed. What’s more, one study even found that mindfulness meditation may be effective in treating the effects of sleep disturbance. So, if you have trouble getting your forty winks, it could help you get some well-deserved rest!
Be in the present moment
Turning inwards and disconnecting from the busy outside world to reconnect with your body and focus on yourself can help you to be truly present in the moment. You might notice different sensations, like pain or tingling. Acknowledge these and pay attention to your body. If you find your mind starts to wander, be sure to refocus and continue with your meditation.
Relieve stress and anxiety
Ultimately, one of the main benefits of body scanning is using it as a way of reducing stress and anxiety and shifting your focus to more positive emotions. By gaining a deeper insight into what might be causing negative or unwanted feelings, you can free yourself of any built-up stress or tension.
How to get started with body scanning
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of body scan meditations, let’s take a look at some best practices. If you don’t know where to begin or are just getting started on your mindfulness journey, here are a few tips to get you started.
Find a comfortable space
Free yourself from distractions so you can focus on your meditation. Use a dedicated space in your house to get yourself into a relaxed state of mind. You might like to listen to your favourite mindfulness playlist or light a scented candle.
Regularly engaging with the process will help you to reap the full benefits in all areas of your life and mindset. Make it a habit – you might not feel like anything has changed the first time you do it. It sometimes takes a few times to start to notice improvement. Think of it like exercise – you don’t drastically lose weight after one run, it takes repetition and determination to see the benefits.
As a beginner, it can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, or you might feel unsure that you’re doing the right thing. That’s where guided meditations come in. They support you by building structure and purpose, allowing you to follow along and learn new techniques. Check out our app for guided meditations that have been used in therapy.
Learn to love yourself
With this course, you’ll reconnect with your mind and body, heal old wounds, and learn to love yourself again. Instead of doubts pervading your mind, you’ll feel secure and valued, helping strengthen your relationships with others too!