This mindfulness exercise on Full Body Awareness helps to relieve stress by allowing us to become more mindful of how our body reacts to external stimuli.
– why you chose this topic
– how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic
– the emotions that you can associate with these visceral feelings
– the positive or negative impact of any stories you believe in regarding this topic
– the consoling/humbling/inspiring fact that many others are feeling similarly about this topic as you
– how you will feel with increased awareness around this topic
– when you can apply increased mindfulness to this topic in your day-to-day life
Body Awareness meditations are often underestimated, but they can be invaluable in one’s own journey. Especially when we are experiencing a lot of stress in our daily lives, we can feel disembodied and lost in “head space”, disconnected from ourselves and our surroundings. Full Body Awareness meditation offers a simple way to ground ourselves in the world.
But this is not the only advantage. Because the body has its own inner “knowing” (like when it “knows” that you are uncomfortable in a certain position), by familiarizing ourselves with this kinesthetic sense, not only we will be more grounded in life while, but at the same time we will develop an invaluable tool for being in touch with how our body naturally likes to move and act in the world.
Some inquiry practices use this sense of knowing to let the body reveal how it feels about a specific issue or question. Full body awareness however is much simpler. All we need to do is to move our attention throughout our body and assess how each part of our body feels.
In performing this Full Body Awareness meditation, don’t think of it as a detached, dispassionate analysis: to be effective, it needs to come from a place of caring. Think how a mother would assess the health of her child, when compared to a doctor.
Once you give your body attention, most of the emotional knots that have been somatized, will untangle themselves. With time, the result will be an experience of your body as much more relaxed and free.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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