Mindful Monday: Body Scan

Today I taught my students how to do a body scan as a relaxation technique.  It is an excellent way to become aware of stress that you may not even realize that you have as well as a great way to relax.  Through a body scan, you focus on each individual part of the body.  Through a guided body scan, you focus on each body part and become aware of how each part feels.  You can see where you hold your stress whether it be in your shoulders, your jaw or in your back.  This allows you to become aware of your stress and gives you the chance to try to relax the muscles that are the most stressed.

This is a perfect time of year for the students to learn this exercise.  For my students, they are heading into exam week soon and this is all very new for them.  Many have expressed their stress and concern for how they will do.  As their teachers, we are working on teaching them how to study and prepare for these assessments.  I hope that they will also use what they have learned to help them relax and focus on their tests.

After we did the guided body scan, I asked the students to write about what they learned about themselves by doing the activity.  Was their body more stressed than they thought?  Where did they find themselves holding their stress?  How did they feel after the body scan?  Many of the students were surprised to see that they were tense in their jaws or other parts of their body that they did not really realize.  Some also expressed how relaxed they felt and how they plan to use this technique to help them to fall asleep at night.  One of my students even talked about how she could not believe how tense she was in her jaw and wondered if that had anything to do with the frequent headaches that she got.  She said that she may try this technique the next time she felt a headache come on.

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