Befriending the Body & Mind
By: Teresa Young
Many of those working in helping professions, especially those in healthcare, are quick to focus on helping friends, patients, clients and coworkers manage their stress, yet take too little time to nurture and calm themselves. We often get so involved in ruminating over problems that we can’t seem to actually think about them.
“You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it” – Albert Einstein
Let’s all take a few minutes to focus on ourselves…
A body scan is a great way to relax, and has also been shown to reduce chronic and acute pain (Ussher, et al., 2014).
Body scans involve focusing on parts of the body, usually from the toes to the top of the head, and noticing sensations, thoughts and emotions without judgment.
And how do you notice these things and not judge them? For me, I like to imagine I am Jane Goodall observing the chimpanzees of my mind; taking note, but keeping my distance, so as not to disturb them.
Photo: Jane Goodall observes the jungle chimpanzees without judgement.
With practice, these scans can become second nature, and allow you to calm your busy mind any time. For now, though, to get you started, follow along with Michael Apollo as he guides you through a 15 minute exercise.
Immediate effects of a brief mindfulness-based body scan on patients with chronic pain. Ussher, Michael, et al. (2014) Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Vol. 37, Iss. 1.