I do a quick scan, ask my body how I’m feeling, and it (usually) tells me!
By Valérie W., a buddhify user since 2018
Valérie has been exploring multiple tools in order to cope with recently diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder as well as C-PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Since discovering mindfulness within therapy groups, she’s been meditating almost every single day. Here’s a new insight that has been enriching her meditational practice.
I didn’t initially see the point of body scan technique, until I made the connection that if we can more easily notice what’s happening in the body, we can correlate it with the mind. Once we recognize how things are during particular mental states and that the body reactions follow the mind, we can change the mind by physically changing the body.
For me, when I experience anxiety, I have a tight chest and shallow breathing. By opening up the chest, breathing deeply, and adjusting my posture, I am able to shift my mood. This was a huge eureka! moment for me, and it’s helped quite a bit.
The scanning process has helped a great deal with the difficult question posed by therapists “How are you feeling?” My previous answer was typically “I don’t know.” Now I do a quick scan and ask my body how I’m feeling, and it (usually) tells me! Extremely cool.
The more I practice, the more confident I feel. Tapping into my own ability to heal and center has helped my confidence and self-sufficiency. When I feel the edge of a panic attack, or just start feeling particularly stressed, I’ve found meditation gets me back on track faster than anything else.
I don’t think there’s an area in my life that doesn’t benefit from meditation and mindfulness. When dealing with depression, everything from getting up in the morning to falling asleep at night can be a challenge. That’s why I’ve tried to find ways to practice various techniques throughout the day.
Aside from being a tool to calm panic attacks, I’ve now incorporated meditation to my wake up, sleep, and work routines. It continually provides a rare moment of calm and helps to keep me centered. Since I started meditating several months ago, I find myself dealing with far fewer symptoms on the days that I practice compared to the occasional day that I miss.
Valérie W. is based in Portland, Oregon. To give this body-awareness technique a try, check out Scan (Meditation 101).
If you feel you have learnt something important through your meditation practice and you’d like to share your insight or experience, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.