Dr. Robin Dilley, Author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Breast Cancer Psychologist’s Trip and Licensed Psychologist in the State of Arizona.
Our bodies don’t lie. You always tell the truth. In our western culture, however, we often use our bodies as if they were machines, neglected machines. We wake up in the morning expecting that when our feet hit the ground, our legs will work, our balance will stabilize, and our bodies will move throughout the day to do what we think is necessary. We seldom think about our body. You are on this website or blog because you have an interest in the mind-body connection. You have realized that it is important to involve your body in your healing process. Some of us resonate with yoga, some don’t. No problem. Here is a simple exercise I created for you so that you can get in touch with your body. This exercise will help you get to your body YESin the previous blog. Our bodies deserve our focus and attention, and it can be so easy to stop our endless activity and take three minutes to check in. The three-minute check-up is a simple mindful body scan to see what your body wants and doesn’t want.
How do I do a body scan meditation?
Learning to scan your body for information is one way to practice mindfulness. Here are a few simple steps.
- Turn your attention to your body. You don’t need a fancy way of sitting, a meditative place, or special equipment. Inhale and focus your attention on your body.
- Note what position it is in. How are you sitting right now? What hurts What is uncomfortable? Take a moment to practice slow breathing. Fully inhale and exhale as if you were blowing out a candle. Grind your body tightly and gently let go of it. Breathe, grind, and breathe again.
- Bring your goal, wish, or desire to the fore in your mind’s eye. Allow yourself to sit with it for a few moments. In fact, allow yourself to say your goal softly or out loud. Allow yourself to imagine that this goal will be achieved. See the finished performance. Notice what you are feeling. How does your body react to this accomplished achievement?
- What happens to your tension, your neck, your back, your shoulders and your stomach? Just notice it. Take another deep breath and carefully blow out the candle.
- Notice any negativity, resistance, reluctance and watch. Breathe in and slowly exhale.
- Again, pay attention to your body. Is there a YES? If not what is there? Sadness, fear, anger. Accept it, smile at it. “Ah yes, there you are. You tried to get my attention and I ran and avoided you. What do I have to know? “When you have your YES, make it bigger and then smaller.
- Just watch what happens to your body if you stop long enough to listen.
- Let yourself experience something while listening. Stay close to you Use your breath to regulate your emotions. Move toward the emotion, not away from it. Take some time to be here now.
- Bring your consciousness back to your body. Notice what it feels and where. Use your breath to gently raise and lower your stomach. Let yourself smile and say thank you.
- Gently allow yourself to return to the here and now.
Do this exercise as often as you can. If you experiment with this exercise frequently throughout the day, you will learn information about yourself that you normally do not take time to pay attention to. This important information will lead you to better and more positive decisions for yourself and even for those around you. If your body flinches every time it’s around a certain person, what does your body want you to know? If your body is feeling optimistic and energetic towards other people, take this into account. You can choose who, how often, and under what circumstances people are in your daily life. Your body can become your best radar for who is good for you or who to protect around you when you need to be around. Your imaginary guard ring will help you not to absorb their energy or cause you to fall due to their negativity. The imaginary ring protects. More about protection, security and emotional health in the next blog.
Dr. Robin B. Dilley, Author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey With Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the state of Arizona. Her eclectic practice enables her to overcome diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their distress to help them respond to life in a healthy and powerful way, rather than responding to life circumstances.