Managing Stress Through a Body Scan

I wanted to post this last week on stress management but the plan I had, didn’t work out that great. So, it really was one of those weeks where I just needed to take a minute and breathe. Work stuff was just piling up and literally when one thing finished, there was another project waiting to be completed. As my days progressed and as emails kept piling up, I kept feeling a tightness in my shoulders. As I heard bad news about things, the tightness continued.  My thinking was focused on not having enough time in the day to finish everything and I just felt like I couldn’t escape this feeling of needing to finish everything, but how? Sometimes we forget that we can reach out for help, no matter how small the task, everything doesn’t have to be put on our shoulders. We tend to minimize our options when we have feelings of stress, just because our focus at times is on doing so much in a little amount of time, that we lose sight of taking a step back to really think things through and possibly delegate some responsibilities  to minimize all that stress we could be feeling.

I have come to be aware that I carry stress in my shoulders and so just feeling that tightness, inability to really move my neck around just tells me there is a problem. Are you ever aware of where you carry stress in your body? I have this massager that I use, sometimes after a long day or after a work-out and I love it.  I had to use it a few times last week and it did what I needed it to do, still felt stressed but my body was loosening up. The point I’m trying to make is that its key to pay attention to your body, check in with how you’re feeling throughout the day consistently. Try to identify if there are certain body parts that are not quite responding like they should and figure out a way to fix what’s going on. Be mindful of pain, sensations, tightness, lightness, etc, when checking in with your body. There’s several techniques out there on ways to scan your body and be mindful of whats going on. I have a script that I came up with but for purposes of just keeping your attention right here for just a little second longer, here is a quick way to scan your body.

  • Take a deep breath in and out, be still in this moment and get comfortable (sitting or standing), close your eyes if that works for you.
  • Just do a scan of your body, starting with your feet, then your legs, stomach, arms and shoulders and lastly your face/head. Take in a few breaths in and out, when you scan each body part and try to soften any areas where you feel tightness, pain, etc.
  • Then, be still for a moment longer and take in a few more breaths,  if you had your eyes closed, open them when you’re ready, don’t judge how you’re feeling, just take in this moment that you can always come to.
  • This moment is always yours. Everything around you will continue to go on and in this moment, the focus is being in tune with you for a brief part of your day. Check in with you from time to time, you can learn a few things about what your body may need to get you through certain moments.

Alvie

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