Struggle with Professional Challenges New York City

Mindfulness In Everyday Activities - Attention and the Body Scan

By George Marino, CPC, CMMT

Midfulness in everyday activitiesThere are so many things that can draw our attention. Most of us pay relatively little attention to the now. Rather, our attention is directed towards the past or future. As we are traveling to work, we rarely pay attention the immediate surroundings itself, rather our attention is often directed towards things that need to be done that day or the things we did the day before. Of course, there is a place for that, so the question is, how much space is there between thoughts of the “to do” list.

Mental “tools” like thinking and planning can be very useful. However, thoughts can cause an emotional imbalance when we link thoughts to a sense of self and become attached to viewpoints or start worrying if we can complete our tasks. These “mental positions” become lodged in our mind with an energy field with little or no room for spaciousness. As a result when we look closely, we think about life rather than experience life itself.

Mindfulness can help us realize that our thoughts are not reality. When we focus our attention on the present moment, we free ourselves from the stream of repetitive and obsessive thinking .We connects with our present experience rather than a mental story. Soon we realize that in this moment, right here and now, there is rarely an actual problem.

There are various portals that can help us connect with the present moment. The body scan is one of them. As the name suggest, bringing awareness to each part of the body. Here are some suggestions to help us with the body scan meditation.

During the meditation, you may get distracted, fall asleep, find your mind wondering, and feel body sensations. This is part of this exercise challenges. Try to let any thought that tells you “this is silly”, or “I can’t do this” to float right bye. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. The moment you realize you are not present in this exercise, you are in fact already present. Simply realizing you are not present is a success, and the non-presence makes that possible.

The body scan is not a competitive sport and it is not a skill to be achieved! The only thing that really helps is practice.

An accepting attitude with whatever your experience may be will help you. Short sayings when you notice these challenges can help such as “that’s just how it is for me right now”. Try not to suppress, avoid, or expel any unpleasant thought, feelings, or physical sensations, chances are high that they will return more often.

The body scan teaches us to recognize and experience physical sensations. Much of our attention focuses on our thoughts and on matters outside our body, such as our job, social environment, etc. This increases the risk that we will pay very little attention to any physical signals. The recognition of physical signals, such as stress or restlessness, is important, especially for the prevention of stress and burn-out.

Body Scan Meditation



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