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Body Scan: Anxiety Management

At these difficult times, self care is essential. We need to set time aside to connect with ourselves, our bodies and our emotions in order to process them and manage them.

When anxiety and fear seem to be frequent emotions throughout our day, and anticipating the future is almost inevitable, we must find ways to ground ourselves in the here and now in order to break through these feelings and return to our normal self.

Mindfulness is a great way to achieve this, and we can all take advantage of its benefits in our overall health. Our physical as well as our mental health have to be our priority during this time.

First of all, it's important to let go of preconceived notions about mindfulness and meditation. This usually just hinders us from even trying. We have to make these techniques our own, and find what works for us at different times. Remember to be patient with yourself, as they say practice makes perfect.

Secondly keep in mind the reasons you are doing this to keep your motivation up, and take it one day at a time.

To get you started, here are the basic principles of mindfulness:

  • Try to leave judgment behind, become an observer of your own experience.
  • Center your attention in the here and now.
  • Notice intruding thoughts, and re- direct your attention as many times as needed
  • Openness to experience
  • Choose your experiences(what would you like to center your attention on? Your breathing, your body,objects, etc.)
  • Let go of control, just observe.

Now, there is a type of meditation called Body Scan which is a great way to connect with your body and the present moment.

To improve our chances of succeeding, we should always follow these indications:

  • Start your practice on “good” days, so it's easier to relax and clear your mind. The last thing we want to do is add frustration to our list.
  • Set aside time in your day to do a 5- 10 minute practice either in the morning or before bedtime.
  • You can also start with guided meditations online, be curious and search the web to find the practice that suits you best.

Follow the instructions and begin practicing the body scan technique:

  • Start by choosing a place where you can be comfortable and uninterrupted.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
  • Take a few deep breaths to prepare yourself for the meditation.
  • Then start bringing your attention to your feet:pay attention to the weight of them on the floor;note any sensations such as pain, warmth or coolness, tension or ease.
  • Remember the aim is not to control or change how your body is feeling, but simply to notice.
  • Next, move your awareness slowly up your body, scanning your legs, buttocks, hips, pelvis, lower back, stomach, chest, upper back, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, neck,jaw, cheeks, eyes, forehead and temples, noting how each body part feels in that moment.Take your time which each part of your body.
  • After the exercise, evaluate how you feel, take a deep breath and get back to your day.

Bringing awareness to our bodies, helps us disconnect from our racing mind and find a place of peace within us. When it seems it's impossible to shut down our thoughts, our bodies, our breath are great allies to regain control, and remind us that right now we are safe, right now we are ok.

Remember self care is necessary. Take the time to nurture your body and your mind !!

Posted on 08 April 2020 by Laura Ramirez Vergara
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