Mindfulness: Body scan

I have started work on mindfulness, which I wrote about in my latest CBT post.

I have got to do a guided meditation called the body scan everyday this week as homework. Yesterday I listened to it for the first time, and somehow I think I managed to fall asleep! Oops! The track is 43 minutes, and you lie with your eyes shut so it is easy to fall asleep, but that definitely is not the plan!

I underestimated how hard it would be to try and keep concentration on each part of the body as instructed. There were lots of intrusive thoughts and mind wanderings… “I can’t concentrate”, “I can’t do it”, “I wonder how much longer this is”, “kind of bored now…” etc.

I repeated it again today and although it was still hard, I think it was better than yesterday. Hopefully it will become easier each day! And I managed to stay awake for it today, which is always a bonus! 😉

The point of the body scan is to pay attention to each part of the body and breathing. To become aware of all of these processes instead of doing them on autopilot. Presumably the point is that once you learn how to shift attention within the body, you can then use the skills to practice mindfulness in everyday life, staying in the moment and paying attention to reality rather than going onto autopilot and repeating the same behaviours we usually do.

So far I am not sure how helpful mindfulness is going to be because I’m struggling to do it, but I have been told that it normally takes a while to get it, and that’s why I have to do the body scan everyday as practice. With the CD, A gave me some paperwork – an introduction to mindfulness and the body scan. There is an example of a participant’s report about the body scan, and it says “For the first 10 days it was like a burden. I kept “wandering off” and then I would worry about whether I was doing it right.” This sounds very similar to my experience (so far – it’s only been 2 days!) and that’s reassuring. So I will definitely be keeping this up, and of course I’ll keep you all updated on how it’s going!

Now it’s off to bed for me because I’m taking part in a psychology study for a friend and it involves being at uni at 9:00 tomorrow morning. This may not sound early, but getting up before 8:00 is a difficult thing for me! 😛

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

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10 thoughts on “Mindfulness: Body scan

  1. indytony says:

    I’m struggling to get out of bed in the morning myself. I used to be such a morning person – often getting to work by 6 a.m.. Now, though, I’ve turned into a night owl.

    I hope you pass the psychological test. 🙂

  2. Grace says:

    I find mindfulness so hard. I never managed this stuff – and I did try lots of times because everyone says they find it so helpful… maybe this will work out for you, hopefully 🙂 Who knows? And ya, I probably would have fallen asleep too and the fact that you fell asleep only makes you more likable IMO 😉 xx

    • anxiouselephant says:

      It is really hard – yesterday was a bit better again (although it turns out I think I did fall asleep on the second day as well – oops!!) but yesterday there was no sleeping! I’m hoping this will be helpful too, thanks for your support Grace 🙂 xx

      • Grace says:

        I was curious about the person who seems to tweet / link to your posts on twitter because there often is a (1) on this twitter share button below your posts…. So I checked it out (after having written my comment) and realized it is not you tweeting /linking your posts on twitter but someone else. (I think it’s this blogger whose blog is madsuspicicions or something – s/he says that on his/her twitter profile that madsuspicious or something is her/his blog if that matters). But I had assumed it’s you and that’s why I asked xx

      • anxiouselephant says:

        Ohh I see, I had a look too and it’s another blogger (who I do speak to!) and he often tweets people’s blog posts. That explains the mystery of people coming from twitter though!! xx

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