Month: January 2022

42 Journal Prompts for Self-Love – Ultimate Guide!

42 Journal Prompts for Self-Love – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing 42 journal prompts for self-love. It’s so easy to be self-critical. Sometimes, you’re not even aware you’re being too hard on yourself. That said, self-love isn’t always easy. This is especially true when you’re going through tough times such as…

Cultivating Gratitude – Ultimate Guide!

Cultivating Gratitude – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking through exercises and habits for cultivating gratitude. The benefits of having a daily gratitude practice are nearly endless. This is a simple practice but the challenge is taking the time to integrate it into your daily life. It can take…

Mindful Morning Routine – 12 Amazing Ideas!

Mindful Morning Routine – 12 Amazing Ideas!

Today I will be digging deep into some mindful morning routine ideas.

When is the last time you had a calm and peaceful morning?

Think about that for a moment…

How we start our mornings has a huge impact on how the rest of our days go. And for many of us, the mornings are far from relaxing.

Quite the contrary – they’re hectic, busy and stressful.

Between rushing to get to work, or running around the house making sure our kids are ready for school, we find no time for a moment of quietude.

As if that isn’t bad enough, the day ahead brings another heap of stresses and struggles and we fail to be as productive as we’d like.

Is there a way to stop this cycle of stressful mornings?

Of course. How? One word: Mindfulness.

 

 

What is Mindfulness?

To keep it simple, being mindful means remaining present. Despite the hectic nature of our modern-day world, practicing mindfulness encourages self-awareness, acceptance, and taking in the moment.

It allows you to truly focus on what you’re doing right now.

Mindfulness stems from ancient Buddhist meditation teachings, but Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted the concept in 1979. Over the last few years, mindfulness has gained a lot of popularity.

This may be due to more mainstream coverage, publications like Mindful, and the power of social media!

After doing some research, I also found that mindfulness is often used in therapy. This is because it’s thought to help with anxiety and stress!

Top tip:

The Healing Power of Mindfulness: A New Way of Being (Coming to Our Senses) – Is an excellent book on Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

 

 

What are the benefits of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness has a lot of benefits for your overall well-being. It could easily be another blog post (maybe in future) – here are a few important points.

  • Mindfulness increases focus

We have a lot of things to cross off our to-do list every day. It would be simple if we could finish one by one easily.

But I find that whenever I am ready to do a task, I am reminded of something else that needs to be done. It makes me anxious because it is unfinished.

Then I feel the stress rising. I am not able to concentrate on the current task.

I feel overwhelmed.

In such moments, I do a mindfulness meditation exercise (read below to see how to do it). It calms my mind and helps me relax. I am able to concentrate on the task at hand better.

Mindfulness helps you increase focus and concentration because you are making an effort to bring your attention to the present moment repeatedly.

It even has the power to change your brain. The effect of mindfulness practice can last long even when you are not consciously doing it because new neuron connections are formed through neuroplasticity.

It’s amazing, right?

  • Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety

When you practice mindfulness you are more aware of your thoughts. So, if any thought comes up that gives you stress you try to acknowledge it.

You say to yourself “Ok. This is stressing me out. Back to the task”. So you get to respond to your  negative thoughts rather than being controlled by it.

You can choose to step back from them as you are mindful of your emotional state. You acknowledge your thoughts and you are able to respond rather than react to it.

  • Mindfulness improves physical health

Research has proved that our brain has the ability to influence the body’s inflammatory responses. Our brain and immune system are interconnected.

Mindfulness meditation can be used as a pathway to train our brain to control stress reaction and prevent a lot of stress-based diseases.

It also improves your memory retention, promotes heart health, improves the quality of sleep, etc.

But how do you become more mindful? How to incorporate mindfulness in daily life? Read on.

 

Why practice Mindfulness?

Over the years, many benefits of mindfulness have been scientifically proven. For example, being mindful improves your mood and enhances your creativity and it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

It also makes you more focused as you train your brain to remove distractions and concentrate on one task.

Mindful-Morning-Routine

But Mindfulness also helps you to slow down and stop rushing, to stop dwelling on the past but focusing on the present.

You’ll notice that you’re enjoying the little moments and appreciating life more, because you’re actively concentrating on being in the moment.

Now let’s go into the mindful morning routine ideas.

 

Mindful Morning Routine – 12 Amazing Ideas!

 

Resist technology

Social media algorithms are designed to hijack our minds, ensnaring us into endless, scrolling rabbit holes.

If the first thing you do in the morning is open Instagram or Twitter, you’re handing over the day’s most precious moments to AI designed to distract you.

Greeted by a list of notifications each morning, we frame the first moments of our day around ‘catching up’ rather than setting up.

In reality, most, if not all, of those notifications can wait until later in the day.

Avoid the temptation of reaching for your phone by turning it on to a “Do Not Disturb” setting until 9am, or whenever you’re ready to start your work day.

 

Journal mindfully to get to know your thoughts and emotions better

Journaling lets you release your thoughts and feelings onto paper. If you don’t speak about your emotions, they may build up in your body so let it all out on the page.

You can write letters to people, discuss how your felt during certain times and find what is truly working for you.

You can even use your journal as a template to turn your imagination into a reality. 

Express yourself and if you can’t think of anything to write, one day, just write down things you are grateful for.

This will help you to appreciate life more and hopefully take one day at a time. Be present, be here and now.

Practicing gratitude in the morning is a great way to introduce positivity to your day right away.

Instead of dwelling on things that aren’t going well, focus on the many things you have to be grateful for.

Practicing gratitude daily will help you think more positively by teaching you to focus on the what is going well in your life instead of spending energy focusing on what isn’t.

Try writing down 5-10 things each morning that you’re grateful for to create a mindful morning routine.

 

 

Move your body mindfully

When you move your body, you stimulate your mind. Movement can produce creativity, relaxation and help you lose weight. 

A mindful morning routine could be anything sort of exercise while present and aware.

I exercise first thing in the morning – I train yoga, weights and the exercise bike (depending on the day.), and then I walk my furry friend.

During these isolating times, it’s best to stay physically and mentally fit so you don’t go down a depression rabbit hole, even if you just exercise for 10 minutes.

So, get outside or move inside with online classes you enjoy.

 

Mindful meditation

Mindfulness meditation is practiced by focusing the mind on the present and keeping your thoughts from wandering into the past and future.

It focuses on breath awareness to draw attention to your body, open up your senses and anchor you into the present and your immediate surroundings.

  • Sit comfortably with your upper body straight but do not stiffen.
  • Relax and pay attention to what every part of your body is doing like how your legs are positioned and where your arms lay.
  • You may close your eyes if you need help getting more focused and relaxed, but it’s not necessary.

Mindful-Morning-Routine

  • Gently inhale and exhale, getting into the rhythm of your breath noticing how each part of your body reacts and what you’re currently feeling.
  • Open your eyes and with a soft gaze, notice your surroundings using your senses, without allowing your mind to wander. See your surroundings and free yourself of any judgment.

Meditation for any period of time, is a good meditation. So, start off small (5 mins) and build yourself up.

When you feel the benefits of meditation, and how beautiful stillness feels, you will fall in love with the practice.

 

 

Recite positive affirmations

Make it a habit to recite positive affirmations aloud to yourself every morning. We often don’t realise how negative our self-talk is.

Affirming good qualities, you have of yourself is an amazing way of boosting your productivity. Just think about it: you wake up in the morning more or less knowing what needs to be done.

It’s a busy day ahead. What will make you feel better and inclined to work hard?

Language like “I can’t be bothered with this. I’m too lazy” or “today will be an amazing day and I will tick everything off my to-do list”? The second one, right?

You can write a list of positive affirmations in a notebook beside your bed and read them every morning.

Or if you prefer, on your smartphone. To give you an idea of what you could say to start your day right and be productive, here’s a post about positives affirmations for you.

 

 

Read mindfully

By reading here, I don’t just mean a book. It can be a quote or poem, anything that inspires you.

Every morning, take a couple of minutes to read a few pages of an amazing book on personal development you love or a positive poem.

To read mindfully, I advise that you think about what the words are teaching you. What lessons and benefits can you learn?

Another type of mindful journaling is writing down your thoughts on what you read.

Share your thoughts on what you learned and loved; it’ll stick with you throughout the day.

If those words inspired you to be motivated and productive, that’ll give you the boost you need to own the day.

Top tip:

The following books I cannot recommend enough:

 

 

Take a mindful walk

Being in nature is one of the easiest ways for me to be mindful in everyday life.

Mindful-Morning-Routine

I regularly take my dog for a walk over the local lake. When I’m there, I take deep breaths, taking in the fresh air.

I listen to the sounds, watch the birds, and I enjoy the smells. Depending on what weather it is, the lake always smells differently.

If you don’t have the luxury of local lake, try take a walking break during the day and go to a park or the woods/forest.

Notice everything around you and enjoy. You’ll return to everyday life recharged and with a fresh mind.

 

 

Take a mindful shower

Being mindful doesn’t require much effort. You can be mindful with every little task. Try to take a mindful shower.

Feel the water touching your skin and notice the temperature of the water.

Focus on smell of the soap, it will give a calming effect. Listen as the water hits your skin and falls on the floor.

Touch your skin and notice what this is like for you.

Pay attention to your feelings. Do fresh? Be aware of your thoughts and feelings as you do this.

This will also enhance the need to care for yourself, which is a very good practice for your personal wellbeing.

 

Mindful breakfast

Often when we are rushed in the morning, we combine eating breakfast with another task like reading news, checking email or driving.

By slowing down, being present and eating your breakfast mindfully, it is a way to bring calm into your morning for even a few minutes.

Plus, your breakfast will taste much better, with no added cost or effort.

 

Watch the sunrise mindfully

This may not become an every-morning ritual, but have you considered adding more sunset-watching to your morning?

It’s a beautiful thing that happens every morning, whether we see it or not. It really feels you with a warm sense of gratitude inside.

 

Open the curtains and welcome the day

Be there. Embrace the moment. Take a deep breath and open the curtains.

You may also want to add in a phrase, mantra or a simple “I am grateful for today”.

 

Plan my day

I use the Journal to help me plan out my day, writing out what my goal for the day is, what inspired actions will get me there, what tasks I have to complete and I schedule it all in.

My days don’t always go according to plan, but it helps to have something to guide me and keep me accountable.

 

Mindful Morning Routine – Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading these mindful morning routine ideas and tips. I hope you can successfully incorporate them into your life and allow yourself to follow your dreams.

Never stop believing in you. You have the power, and determination, to be unstoppable so go grab life by the horns.

Be the best person you can and treat yourself with care.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MINDFULNESS BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

Mindful-Morning-Routine

Mindful Walking Meditation – Ultimate Guide

Mindful Walking Meditation – Ultimate Guide

Today I will be talking through mindful walking meditation and the benefits of this practice. If the word meditation brings to mind an image of someone sitting in a perfect upright posture, cross-legged on the floor with eyes closed, it’s not surprising. While this is…

Daily Affirmations for Self-Love – 100 Amazing Ideas!

Daily Affirmations for Self-Love – 100 Amazing Ideas!

Today I will be sharing with you daily affirmations for self-love and how they can have a positive impact on your mindset. Self-esteem is how much you appreciate and value yourself – In other words, self-esteem is feeling good about yourself. Using self-love affirmations can…

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Ultimate Guide!

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing with you my guide to practicing mindfulness for beginners.

Mindfulness is the act of living in the moment and being aware of your surroundings and behaviour while focusing on the now and the present.

It is a philosophy as well as a way of life that encourages active engagement and concentration on the present, taking each moment with complete command and control of your thoughts and actions.

The most basic aim of mindfulness is to bring positivity and accountability to our lives for a more immersive living experience and better control of our actions and circumstances.

It is a means of making our lives healthier and more productive by actively working towards the state we want to achieve with complete dedication.

We can easily incorporate mindfulness into our busy routines and daily life by investing some time in mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to slowly train our mind and body for the most effective application of mindfulness over time.

 

 

What is Mindfulness?

To keep it simple, being mindful means remaining present. Despite the hectic nature of our modern-day world, practicing mindfulness encourages self-awareness, acceptance, and taking in the moment.

It allows you to truly focus on what you’re doing right now.

Practicing-Mindfulness-for-Beginners

Mindfulness stems from ancient Buddhist meditation teachings, but Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted the concept in 1979. Over the last few years, mindfulness has gained a lot of popularity.

This may be due to more mainstream coverage, publications like Mindful, and the power of social media!

After doing some research, I also found that mindfulness is often used in therapy. This is because it’s thought to help with anxiety and stress!

 

What are the  benefits of mindfulness?

Mindfulness has a lot of benefits for your overall well-being. It could easily be another blog post (maybe in future) – here are a few important points.

  • Mindfulness increases focus

 We have a lot of things to cross off our to-do list every day. It would be simple if we could finish one by one easily. 

But I find that whenever I am ready to do a task, I am reminded of something else that needs to be done. It makes me anxious because it is unfinished.

Then I feel the stress rising. I am not able to concentrate on the current task. 

I feel overwhelmed.

In such moments, I do a mindfulness meditation exercise (read below to see how to do it). It calms my mind and helps me relax. I am able to concentrate on the task at hand better.

Mindfulness helps you increase focus and concentration because you are making an effort to bring your attention to the present moment repeatedly. 

It even has the power to change your brain. The effect of mindfulness practice can last long even when you are not consciously doing it because new neuron connections are formed through neuroplasticity. 

It’s amazing, right?

  • Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety

When you practice mindfulness you are more aware of your thoughts. So, if any thought comes up that gives you stress you try to acknowledge it.

You say to yourself “Ok. This is stressing me out. Back to the task”. So you get to respond to your  negative thoughts rather than being controlled by it. 

You can choose to step back from them as you are mindful of your emotional state. You acknowledge your thoughts and you are able to respond rather than react to it.

  • Mindfulness improves physical health

 Research has proved that our brain has the ability to influence the body’s inflammatory responses. Our brain and immune system are interconnected.

Mindfulness meditation can be used as a pathway to train our brain to control stress reaction and prevent a lot of stress based diseases.

It also improves your memory retention, promotes heart health, improves the quality of sleep, etc.

But how do you become more mindful? How to incorporate mindfulness in daily life? Read on.

 

Why practice mindfulness?

Over the years, many benefits of mindfulness have been scientifically proven. For example, being mindful improves your mood and enhances your creativity and it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

It also makes you more focused as you train your brain to remove distractions and concentrate on one task.

But Mindfulness also helps you to slow down and stop rushing, to stop dwelling on the past but focusing on the present.

You’ll notice that you’re enjoying the little moments and appreciating life more, because you’re actively concentrating on being in the moment.

 

 What are Mindfulness techniques?

Mindfulness isn’t always about meditation. It can be very easily incorporated with daily activities.

However, practicing Mindfulness Meditation can certainly help in bringing the focus back to the present moment. Thus, making mindfulness, a part of the lifestyle.

Mindfulness-for-Beginners

So, what are Mindfulness techniques?

Mindfulness techniques are any activity or practice that you perform in a mindful way.

Now, you can perform everything in a mindful way. But there are some activities that are easier to be mindful in than others.

And it’s these mindful activities that I am going to share in this post.

Now let’s jump into the details of the Mindfulness techniques that you can implement into your everyday life!

Top tip:

Some great channels from YouTube that I use for mindfulness, are as followed:

 

 

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Ultimate Guide!

 

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is practiced by focusing the mind on the present and keeping your thoughts from wandering into the past and future.

It focuses on breath awareness to draw attention to your body, open up your senses and anchor you into the present and your immediate surroundings.

  • Sit comfortably with your upper body straight but do not stiffen.
  • Relax and pay attention to what every part of your body is doing like how your legs are positioned and where your arms lay.
  • You may close your eyes if you need help getting more focused and relaxed, but it’s not necessary.
  • Gently inhale and exhale, getting into the rhythm of your breath noticing how each part of your body reacts and what you’re currently feeling.
  • Open your eyes and with a soft gaze, notice your surroundings using your senses, without allowing your mind to wander. See your surroundings and free yourself of any judgment.

 

 

Conscious breathing

There’s no need to wait until stress rises to use breathing methods for well-being. You experience balance and harmony when your breaths are of equal length and depth.

As inhaling and exhaling uniformly are the natural response to inner peace, your brain thinks you are relaxed even when you breathe this way intentionally.

Take deep, even breaths throughout the day to preserve well-being.

 

Don’t judge or react to your thoughts

Our minds can run away with themselves. Reacting to these thoughts can cause anxiety and stress. We can feel guilty or ashamed of our thoughts.

But what if we just allowed those thoughts to pass gently? Without judging them as they arise?

Take a few minutes to focus on your thoughts. Notice them coming and going without judging and labelling.

If you do judge or react to any thoughts, acknowledge that, and then gently let the thought pass.

Being mindful in this way helps you to develop an awareness and understanding of how your thoughts affect you, and how you can better control your thoughts every day.

 

Awareness of your bodily sensations

So often we live in our heads and we completely forget about our body, unless of course, we are in distress.

And here’s the problem:

We think that our mind is completely separate from our physical body.

But it’s not.

To become aware of your body, send your breath to different parts and acknowledge those body parts.

  • Notice the tingling in your fingers
  • Release the stress in your stomach
  • Become aware of the top of your head and the tension in your neck

Becoming aware of your body will bring you into the present moment. It will fine-tune your senses and quiet the mind.

 

 

Noticing your thoughts

Whenever you are meditating, it’s normal that thoughts will enter your mind and sometimes your mind may wander – that’s okay. But, whenever you notice a thought, not just in mediation, just observe it, acknowledge it, and then let it pass. And bring your attention back to your breath.

 

Tune into your emotions

Move your focus inside your body and try to notice any emotions you can feel in your body. Maybe some anxiety in our chest, fear in your stomach or happiness in your heart.

If you notice something, just observe the sensation. Is it heavy or light? What shape is it? Is it moving? Does it have a colour? Is it changing?

Spend as long as you like just observing the feeling. And if you can’t notice anything, that’s okay as well. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just try it again next time.

 

Tune into your touch

Start by noticing the sensation of the air on your nostrils. Observe the temperature as it enters and leaves – does it change?

Then move to your face, can you feel a breeze or any other sensations on your face?

Now, try to feel your hair touching your head. And then focus on your shirt touching your shoulders, your bottom touching the seat and your hands touching your lap.

And finally, focus on your feet and feel them connecting with the ground.

 

Tune into your hearing

Focus all your attention on your hearing – what sounds can you notice? Start with the sounds close to you and work your way further out.

When you notice these sounds, just observe them. Notice the way they appear and disappear into silence.

 

Tune into your smell

Take a few deep breaths and focus on your sense of smell. What smells can you notice in the air?

 

Tune into your taste

What tastes are in your mouth? Maybe you will notice saliva and need to take a swallow.

 

Softly open your eyes and blue your vision

Slightly open your eyes so you are squinting and your vision is blurred. Don’t sharpen your focus on anything, just notice the different shapes and colours and how wide your field of vision is.

Tune into your sense of vision for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes again and bring your attention back to your breathing.

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

A great mindfulness activity for just before bed is progressive muscle relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation involves taking a moment to check in with your body by paying attention to how it feels, one muscle group at a time.

This involves lying down and then clenching or flexing your toes for ten seconds or so and then releasing.

Focus on how the area feels and then move up to flex your ankle and your calves. This can be very relaxing but it can also help you to identify areas that might need a good stretch or a light massage.

 

Take a mindful walk

Being in nature is one of the easiest ways for me to be mindful in everyday life.

Mindfulness-for-Beginners

I regularly take my dog for a walk over the local lake.  When I’m there, I take deep breaths, taking in the fresh air.

I listen to the sounds, watch the birds, and I enjoy the smells. Depending on what weather it is, the lake always smells differently.

If you don’t have the luxury of local lake, try take a walking break during the day and go to a park or the woods/forest. Notice everything around you and enjoy.

You’ll return to everyday life recharged and with a fresh mind.

 

 

Doing laundry, washing dishes & cleaning

Try dishwashing, cleaning and doing laundry a little bit slower than you usually do, focus your entire attention on what you’re doing and be aware of your body movements.

Pay attention to when your mind wanders, go back to what you’re doing and become aware of your body movements.

Repeat if necessary. Pay attention to possible after-effects.

 

Take a mindful shower

Being mindful doesn’t require much effort. You can be mindful with every little task. Try to take a mindful shower. Feel the water touching your skin and notice the temperature of the water.

Focus on smell of the soap, it will give a calming effect. Listen as the water hits your skin and falls on the floor. Touch your skin and notice what this is like for you.

Pay attention to your feelings. Do fresh? Be aware of your thoughts and feelings as you do this. This will also enhance the need to care for yourself, which is a very good practice for your personal wellbeing.

 

Observation exercise

Choose something small, like a stone, a leaf or a flower. If you can hold it in your hands and take a good look at it and try to observe everything about it. Focus all of your attention on it.

Notice the items appearance, what size is it? what shape is it? What colours can you see? Does the item have different textures?

Do not assess the item or judge it just observe it for what it is.

 

Practicing Mindfulness for Beginners – Final thought

I can’t tell you that your life will change instantly but I can tell you how my life has changed.

Since I began practicing Mindfulness I have become so much more aware. I’m aware of other people’s feelings, I notice the beauty in life and because of this I can appreciate this life a lot more.

I don’t let the little things get to me so much, I can take a breath and realise that I don’t need to react to this situation.

In reality my life hasn’t changed, the things that used to stress me out are still there for the main part.

It’s how I choose to respond to these stressors that is different. The change is within me, not life that happens around me.

That’s the beauty of Mindfulness you don’t need to take on the world, just yourself.

I would recommend to anyone to give Mindfulness a try. If you have already began the practice, how is it going for you?

Do you have any other Mindfulness activities you would like to share? I look forward to hearing them.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MINDFULNESS BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

Practicing-Mindfulness-for-Beginners

Managing Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Managing Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be writing about managing negative thoughts. When you’re having negative thoughts, you know that getting your mind off of it is easier said than done. In fact, research shows that when people are instructed not to think about a specific topic, it makes…

How to Balance the Heart Chakra – Ultimate Guide!

How to Balance the Heart Chakra – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking you through how to balance the heart chakra. The heart chakra is the fourth out of seven chakras in the human body and is referred to as ‘Anahata’ chakra in Sanskrit. The word ‘Anahata’ translates to ‘unhurt.’ It is located at the centre…

Meditation Body Scan – Ultimate Guide!

Meditation Body Scan – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking you through the meditation body scan practice.

This is a deep and full exploration of body scan, a meditative exercise that calls your awareness to each part of your body for total relaxation and rejuvenation.

Body scan meditation is incredible for stress and anxiety relief, and wonderful to do in conjunction with a regular yoga practice or exercise routine.

For most, this is best to practice while lying down so you have full access to your body, although some people prefer to do it sitting down – it’s really what suits and is most comfortable for you.

It’s recommended to do when you’ve completed the active part of your day when you’re winding down an active and frazzled mind.

There are as many ways to relax and meditate as there are benefits of meditation. So how do you choose? A good one to try if you’re just starting out is body scan meditation.

A 2019 research review found that body scan meditation techniques can better your relationship with your body by increasing bodily awareness and positivity.

 

 

Meditation Body Scan – Ultimate Guide!

 

What is a body scan meditation?

It’s when you focus on how each body part feels, from the crown of your head to your toes, so that you learn your body’s physical distress signals.

Body scan meditations are a very popular method of mindfulness. You practice by returning your awareness to yourself through focusing on different parts of the body.

Meditation-body-scan

There are infinite ways to start since there isn’t a single body scan meditation script.

A lot of people find this relaxing and this helps to reduce anxiety (though the focus is to simply be present and aware of sensations). It is a very simple technique that anyone can practice.

By directing your attention to how each part of your body feels, this type of meditation can help you better manage pain, stress and anxiety.

 

What are the benefits of body scan meditation?

 

Better Mind-Body Connection

Yoga and meditation teacher Jennifer Robinson, helps her students connect their mental and physical health with guided body scan meditation.

The practice enables you to focus on the moment by what’s happening inside your body that you might’ve previously ignored.

“Body scan meditation introduces you to the three major categories of bodily experience: neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant,” Robinson says.

“Regularly practicing body scan meditation, you’ll learn to support your mind calming down with less effort and focus,” she adds.

More Self-Compassion

Research supports that having a mindfulness practice, like body scan meditation, increases self-compassion by rewriting negative thought patterns.

Robinson suggests two to five minutes of body scan meditation to silence your inner critic.

Since the brain can’t focus on multiple things at once, Robinson says body scan meditation “gets you out of mental loops.”

A Good Night’s Sleep

You can use body scan meditation to promote healthier sleep, as seen in this 2020 study of teens.

The study reported that combining body scan meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy positively affects sleep more than CBT treatments alone.

Zen meditation teacher Taiun M. Elliston Abbot from the Atlanta Soto Zen Center says that his body scan meditation students report better sleep following the practice because the technique aims to ease tension and clear mental confusion.

Stress Relief

When we experience stress, our bodies tense, and that’s where body scan meditation comes in.

Participants in this 2019 psychological stress study had reduced cortisol (the stress hormone) levels following an eight-week body scan meditation stint.

 

5 tips for a body scan meditation

Body scanning takes practice and patience. Whether it’s your first time or your fifth, here are a few tips to help you improve your body scan practice:

  • Find a quiet place: It’s easier to focus when there are fewer distractions. Find a safe, quiet place to do your body scan.
  • Practice regularly: Regular practice of this meditation can help with stress management, tightness, and help ease (or prevent) pain or other unpleasant sensations, leading to improved physical and mental wellness. Try body scanning multiple times a day, whenever you feel stress or pain.
  • Start small: Forcing your mind to focus on one thing at a time can be challenging. If it’s too difficult to stay focused when scanning your body, try concentrating on one area at a time per meditation (for instance, if you have pain in your elbow, try only scanning your arm).
  • Try a guided meditation: There are apps, videos, and classes that can support your meditation sessions. Pre-recorded guided meditations usually feature a soft, soothing voice-over narration that can help practitioners stay on track. Below is an excellent guided body scan meditation that I use regularly.

  • Avoid judgment: Try not to judge yourself too harshly if you’re unable to have a successful body scan or if you feel like it didn’t work for you. Getting to know the parts of your body better takes time and patience. You can always try again tomorrow.

 

Body scan meditation script

You should set aside at least ten minutes to do this practice. You can do it either lying down or sitting up.

Take a few full breaths to help your body and mind begin to relax. Feel the sensations where your body connects with the floor or surface under you. Feel your body getting heavy.

Starting by sensing your head. Sense your forehead and the area around your eyes. This is an area lots of us hold tension. There’s no right or wrong thing to feel. Just notice and gently name any sensations silently like warmth, tingling or pressure.

Let your attention move to the top of your head, to your scalp, and down the sides and back of your head. And feel your neck, the muscles along the back and sides, and even sense inside your neck and throat.

Now sense your shoulders, the large heavy muscles of your shoulders and shoulder blades. If you notice any tension or discomfort here, it’s not anything you need to change, just be aware of it. If you like, you can breathe into any area that feels some discomfort. This just means that you imagine your breath is moving in and out of the area, instead of your nose. 

Meditation-body-scan

Let your attention move slowly down your arms, sensing your upper arms, elbows and lower arms. Sense the muscles and bones here. Feel the bones of your wrist and the softness of your palms. Our hands are a centre of so much activity and expression. Feel all the sensations in your palms, fingers and fingertips.

Now shift your attention to your chest around your heart and solar plexus. What do you notice there? Breathe and feel it. It may be different in the next moment. You’re just tuning in right now to your body to these precise physical sensations. And remember: be patient. Your body moves at a slower pace than your mind.

Now allow your attention to move into your stomach and hips. Let your attention rest here for a few breaths. Continue down your upper legs, knees and lower legs, taking as much time as you need to feel the sensations and awareness there. Remember that there’s no right or wrong experience, only to be as present and caring as you can.

Then move down into your feet, ankles, the soles of your feet and all ten toes. Your feet work so hard all day long: really feel all the muscles and tendons and tissues there.

Now, take a big breath and see if you can feel your whole body all at once sitting or lying here, breathing. From the tips of your toes, up through your legs, your torso, your arms, into your head and face. Feel your body as one, whole field of sensation and energy. Keep breathing and finish the practice. And when you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.

 

How to end your practice

How did it go? When you’ve finished the body scan meditation script, take a moment to notice any sense of freshness, relaxation or grounding.

Take a moment to observe and feel your body and mind, before you return to your day.

Once you have used this body scan meditation script a few times, try doing the practice in your own way.

Move your attention through your body at your own pace, in any way you like, following the tips in this article and, most important, being curious and kind.

You may find that going solo allows you to be even more attentive to what is going on for you, and to connect more deeply with your inner world.

 

Meditation body scan – Final thoughts

This simple practice can be done as much as you like. Studies have shown that regular practice of the body scan can reduce stress and have a positive effect on emotional and physical well being.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MEDITATION BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

Meditation-Body-Scan

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