How are you feeling today?
It’s critically important for you to pause occasionally from your parenting duties and consider how you’re feeling. That’s because when you are highly stressed, you likely don’t have the physical or mental resources to care for your child effectively.
You may notice that stress tends to manifest physically through clenched fists, a tight feeling in the chest, a knotted stomach, and a headache. According to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, the Body Scan is especially effective at calming negative thoughts. Practicing the Body Scan compels you to focus on body parts individually from the bottom up.
As you mentally scan each part, be intentional about letting go of any areas of tension.
15-Minute Body Scan Meditation to Reduce Stress
- To begin, sit or lie down comfortably, paying attention to your surroundings. Notice that you are safe. Then, close your eyes.
- Next, bring your attention to your body. Feel the support of the chair or floor beneath you. Take several deep, calming breaths, inhaling through the nose; exhaling through the mouth.
- Beginning at the feet, notice the sensation of them touching the floor. Next, notice your legs against the chair or floor. Are they heavy or light? Do you feel any pain or pressure?
- Focus on your back. Relax any tense muscles. Then, focus on your stomach. Allow any tightness or tense muscles to soften. Take a deep breath.
- Think about your hands. Are they clenched into fists, or are they relaxed and open? Do whatever you can to soften your hand muscles, and then focus on your arms. Soften tense muscles. Relax your shoulders, neck, and throat.
- Move to your face. Unclench your jaw and relax your facial muscles.
- Finally, notice the body as a whole, relaxed being. Take another deep breath. Open your eyes and gently rotate your head and neck.
Complete this brief mediation any time of time to relieve stress and recenter yourself.