Many studies have proven that practicing body scan meditation or regular body scan meditation can help reduce stress, improve health and reduce pain.
Meditation and its benefits are things you seem to understand all too well. However, have you been able to choose the right meditation practice for you? If you are still struggling with this problem, please take a few minutes to review the following sharing of easyhealthylive.com to better understand the body scan device and consider whether this meditation is right for you.
What is Body Scan Meditation?
Body scan meditation is a technique of observing and relaxing each part of the body from the feet to the head. During the observation, you will look for pain, tension, or anything else in each part to release. This meditation method will help you feel more deeply about your bodily sensations, you will feel more connected to yourself, and better understand the potential causes of unpleasant feelings.
Why should you try body scan meditation?
Experts have found evidence that body scan meditation can improve physical and mental health by:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Know more about yourself
- Increase love and compassion
- Pain relief
- Reduce cravings when quitting smoking
Improve sleep quality
According to a 2019 study, body scan meditation can help treat problems with sleep disorders and improve sleep quality. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, practicing regular body scan meditation right before bed can be helpful for treating insomnia.
The reason why it’s hard for you to get a good night’s sleep is feeling anxious or stressed. Meditation can help you relax, get rid of disturbing thoughts, and feel calmer. Therefore, practicing meditation regularly can help you sleep well and have a clear mind.
Body scanning meditation can reduce anxiety symptoms
Reduce stress and anxiety
Research from 2013 shows that body scanning meditation can reduce symptoms of anxiety. Not only that, but a 2014 study of 47 clinical trials also found that body scanning meditation is a very helpful method for dealing with anxiety and stress.
According to the majority of people who are living with chronic pain, every time the pain strikes, it will be difficult to distract your attention to forget about the pain.
Meditation can’t cure your pain, but it can help increase awareness of your emotional state and can help you change the way you think about pain. From there, you will easily accept and forget.
According to a 2017 study that compiled the results of 13 studies, body scan meditation can help reduce the effects associated with chronic pain, such as depression or reduced quality of life.
How to practice body scan meditation?
Body scanning meditation can be done in a lying or sitting position. The ideal time to exercise is after lunch or before going to bed. During the exercise, you use your awareness like an X-ray that scans each part of the body:
- Choose a comfortable position, you can lie down or sit in a position where you can straighten your arms and legs easily.
- Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Notice how you feel as you inhale and exhale.
- Select where to start scanning. You can start anywhere like left arm, left foot, right hand, right foot, top of head. Focus on that point, continuing to breathe slowly and deeply.
- Focus on observing and looking for pain, tension, discomfort, or anything out of the ordinary for 20 seconds to 1 minute
- If you feel pain and discomfort, accept it and face it. For example, if you feel frustrated and angry, don’t judge yourself for these feelings. Instead, focus and let it pass.
- Continue breathing, imagining the pain and tension diminishing with each breath
- Slowly release awareness and move on to the next department.
- Continue scanning along the body, you can move from top to bottom or side to side.
- As you scan your body, notice the times when thoughts start to drift away. This will probably happen more than once, so don’t worry. You can easily bring your thoughts back to where you are scanning.
- After you have scanned all your body parts, let awareness travel through your body for a few seconds. Continue to inhale and exhale.
- Slowly release your focus and return your attention to your surroundings.
The ideal time to exercise is after lunch or before going to bed
Make meditation a habit
The first time you exercise, you may see some changes in your body, however, on subsequent sessions, you may find that the body scan doesn’t seem to have any effect. You may even feel uncomfortable.
This may cause you to stop exercising, however, before you come to this decision, do a few more workouts to see if things improve.
A lot of people don’t enjoy meditation or don’t notice any benefits in the first few times. But experts say you should still practice meditation regularly, even if you don’t like it. Because regular meditation practice can lead to positive changes in the brain such as:
- Improve concentration
- Increase compassion and positive emotions
- Increased ability to deal with unwanted emotions
Body scanning meditation tips for beginners
If doing body scan meditation or any other meditation method doesn’t work for the first time, don’t get discouraged. Because it may take you a while to get used to it. Here are some tips you can try:
- There is no correct concept of how to practice meditation. Therefore, you can meditate however you want, as long as it is suitable.
- Many people find meditating at the same time each day and in the same place can help ease the habit. However, if there are days when you can’t exercise, don’t worry too much.
- You can meditate for 15 minutes, 10 minutes or even 5 minutes. As long as you practice, it’s better than not, right?
- You may get distracted while practicing and this is completely normal. Almost everyone has it. Instead of criticizing, encourage yourself to keep trying.
- You can meditate anywhere: at home, at work when you’re tired or even, when on the road and feeling annoyed by traffic jams
- Avoid over-focusing on results. You can practice meditation for many reasons such as wanting to reduce stress, relax or improve sleep. However, if you are too focused on these goals, it will be difficult for you to focus on other sensations in your body.
Body scan meditation is a very beneficial exercise and many experts recommend it as a useful way to manage negative emotions.
How to Do a Body Scan Meditation (and Why You Should) https://www.healthline.com/health/body-scan-meditation Access date: September 23, 2020
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.