I mention relaxation, controlled breathing and body scans throughout my blog. A question was raised about how it all fits together and here are my thoughts on that
…. however, possibly attending a class in your area would be the best introduction. For the present, meanwhile, consider these experiments.
ATTEND TO YOUR POSTURE
sit upright, look straight ahead, place your hands on knees or upper leg; keep your feet firmly on floor.
THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING
breathe only through your nose, with your mouth closed. Breathe in slowly to the count of around three; in through the nose and out through mouth. Evenly in and out.
USE THE BODY SCAN
slowly allow your attention to travel from the top of your head to the smallest pinkie on your toes. Notice what thoughts, feelings and sensations you observe as your focus moves down your body (it can be up, if you prefer)?
Note any Subjective Unit of Discomfort (SUD) level (0-10) associated with a particular thought, feeling or sensation.
your attention on a specific thought, feeling or sensation. You may need to make choices as a body scan will produce more than one result. Consider address each choice in an organised way. To help you focus, consider these further experiments:
- use external objects – fix your eyes on an object above you and to one side.
- use internal information – ‘just notice’ the disturbance(s) of thought, feeling or sensation from the body scan.
use your internal dialogue to acknowledge any disturbance of thought, feeling or sensation.
use any other self-talk or diversionary strategies, as you wish. This may include
- affirmation work. “Even though I am feeling [name the feeling you observe] I can deeply and completely accept myself”.
- use of your breathing to attend to any unwanted tension in your muscles and body.
- using the out-breath to let go of the unwanted tension, allowing your body to relax down, little by little, at the same time.
as your eyes become tired, having ‘played’ with images created around the fixed object, allow your eyes to close in your own time and meditate on any image created within your ‘inner eye’.
THIS PROCESS CAN CONTINUE FOR A FEW MINUTES OR FOR PARTS OF AN HOUR, AS YOU WISH, OR AS TIME ALLOWS.