Body scan meditation is one of the most simple, effective ways to manage stress.
Your reactions to things that stress you will be stored in your body; your physical self holds memories of stress. Research has shown that your 'mind' is not just in your head - all the different cells and tissues in your body are capable of holding emotional patterns. Often you are unaware of the level of discomfort that you are actually holding.
Use this ten minute body scan meditation exercise to increase your understanding of where you hold tension in your body. Once you identify this, you will be able to recognise it immediately and take steps to overcome it.
This exercise needs you to be focused and aware - it might help to make a tape recording of it to follow.
Don't worry if you feel you have not dissolved all the tension in one go - you may need to repeat this exercise a few times before you feel the difference. The more you practise, the more you may begin to notice the typical locations in your body where you store stress. getting to know these parts through body scan meditation is really important - then you can choose the right tools to help you relax them.
If you want to learn more about meditation for stress relief, we recommend a good book!
Meditation for Dummies is a simple, clear introduction to the basics of meditation, including an overview of dozens of techniques, practices, and specific meditations, plus direction for going deeper. You get step-by-step instructions for a variety of meditations, including body position, mental concentration, where to put your attention, what to contemplate or notice, physical movements, and breathing.
In A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, mindfulness experts Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein adapt Kabat-Zinn's groundbreaking program into an accessible workbook format. You use this book once a week for eleven weeks, gradually improving your ability to relieve intense stress and reconnect with the present.
The workbook invites readers to participate in formal and informal practices and use fill-in exercises to reflect and track their progress. After each weekly session, readers can apply the techniques they learned that week into everyday life, gradually learning to replace stress-promoting habits with mindful ones.