The body scan meditation is another potent tool for relaxation, anxiety, and releasing stress. It can also be surprising – especially if you find yourself holding tension in areas you’d hardly considered. This does more than relieve tension – it helps you recognise it, helps you find where stress is stored in your body. During my time as an intern for a clinical psychologist, the psychologist I was working for was an advocate for regular massages to relieve these stress areas.
Below is a poster which breaks the technique down into simple steps. Beneath that is a script you can use to get started.
Sit, if you can. In a chair or on the floor.
Take a deep breath in. Hold it for three seconds, and let it out. And another. Do this until you’re ready to proceed. You can also start this meditation with the grounding technique.
Take notice of the sensations in this moment. The feeling of the floor beneath you – the tiles, the carpet, the wood. The fabric of the chair you’re on. Any breeze in the air.
Start with your jaw. Unclench it. Now, to your shoulders. Relax them, let them slump at your side. These are common areas where you may carry tension.
Go through your whole body – find where is tense, and relax it. Your hands and face are more areas where we can be noticeably tense.
Once you’ve released the tension you’ve found, take one last deep breath. Hold on for three seconds, and let it out.
I hope you find this as useful as I have.