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Body Scanning: What it is & How to do it

This is not something you will need heavy machinery for. A body scan is a form of mindfulness meditation and one of the most effective ways to begin a mindfulness practice. The purpose is to tune in to your body—to reconnect to your physical self—and notice any sensations you're feeling without judgement.

Body scanning has been found to be the most effective technique in identifying trauma. Traumatic incidences can be stored within our body, unknowingly. The trauma manifests in how we behave—raging one minute, crying another, completely stone-faced the next. If you’re unable to identify a sore spot on your body where your grief may be showing up, though, a body-scan meditation for grief can help you pinpoint the problem.

If you feel a sudden wave of grief strike, try to notice where you feel it in your body. If it’s something you are grieving, then you might feel a constriction in your heart, throat, or belly. Our body tends to hold on to traumatic feelings, feelings of grief that show itself in the form of muscle aches and pains, cramps, tight muscles.

How to do a body-scan meditation for grief

A body-scan meditation is like slowly shining a flashlight to all parts of your body, from head to toe and observing what you find. That means you’ll be feeling out areas all over your body and letting them dispel the tension stored inside. It comes down to a few simple steps.

1. Find a quiet place to lie down on your back

2. Deepen your connection with the surface

Feel all the places of the body making contact with the ground and allow yourself to feel held and supported.

3. Breathe deeply, and begin to do your scan

Begin to use your senses and your breath to become more present. Then, start at the crown of your head, go through each part of your body as if you’re shining a flashlight inside yourself. You are aiming to look for points of tension. This should take a few minutes.

4. When identifying points of tension, listen to how your body wants to move

Pause when you get to an area of your body that feels tight or heavy. For example, if you find your stomach clenched up, take a deep breath and long exhale release those muscles. If your head feels tight, maybe do some neck rotations. Do whatever feels good to you and your body.

5. Do this until all your points of tension feel relaxed

Once you have scanned every part of your body and the exercise feels complete, gently roll to one side and come to a seated position.

6. Do a final self-check to gauge where your mind and body are

Keep your eyes closed and bring your left hand to your heart and your right hand to your belly; notice how you feel. Chances are, you’ll feel lighter for having released those negative feelings and can move through the day feeling a bit less burdened.

You could also do this simple technique right before you sleep as it has been found that body scanning provides a better sleep experience.

Try it out and share your experience in the comments section and reach out for more tips on leading a better life for yourself over on my instagram page here

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