Just keep going, no feeling is final.
– Ranier Maria Rilke
The purpose of the body scan is to simply notice your body. It’s not about relaxing, though that might happen. It’s about becoming aware of the physical sensations in your body.
This is a foundational tool of mindfulness. While some practice body scanning for a full 45 minutes in supine position, it can also be done as for just a few minutes whenever you think of it.
- Get into a comfortable position, supine or sitting.
- Take a few deep breaths before you begin.
- Starting with your toes, notice what you feel.
- Any discomfort? Tension? Coolness? Heat?
- Don’t judge these sensations as bad or good, just be aware of them.
- Let your awareness sweep up your body, gently noticing the physical sensations in each part. Shins, knees, hips, abdomen, low back etc. until you reach the top of your head.
- Get as granular as you like (left eyeball, right ear…)
- If thoughts interrupt, just notice them and gently guide your awareness back to your body.
- Take a few more deep breaths and continue with your day.