The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

30-Day Mindfulness Challenge – Body Scan Meditation

February 3, 2022 / by John Engel, MA

Week 4 of the 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge started Wednesday, February 2. During the (optional) weekly Challenge Zoom session we engaged in a body scan meditation practice. This post includes a brief summary of the event and resources to sustain your personal practice.

Summary

The body scan meditation offers an opportunity to systematically explore sensations in the different parts of our bodies. One potential benefit of the practice is simply the awareness that arises from directing our attention to our moment-to-moment bodily experiences. As RC treaters, we are often more in touch with our thoughts and emotions as we interact with colleagues and the individuals we support, but often are unaware of our own body and bodily sensations. For example, we might not be aware of sensations of hunger or thirst, tension in our neck or back, or constricted or shallow breathing. Without awareness of these types of sensations, we are missing vital information about what our body needs to stay refreshed and ready to serve others.

Our bodily sensations might also include nausea, tension in the chest and arms, or sleepiness when working with a client. As RC treaters we know that these types of bodily sensations are important clues for noticing and understanding our reactions to others, including both colleagues and those we support.

Consider experimenting with the body scan meditation – even a brief micro-practice while seated at your desk or standing in an elevator – as a way to embody mindfulness throughout your day.

Challenge Tips

Consider the following steps as a way to sustain your successful Challenge experience:

  • Recommit to your Challenge intention
  • Experiment with Body Scan Meditation using this 14-minute script (a version of the meditation used in our community session)
  • Consider the prompts found in the Challenge Tracking Calendar
  • Record daily minutes of practice in your calendar 

Micro Practice (1-3 minutes or so)

Body Awareness

    • Scan your attention through your body beginning with your feet, lower legs, knees, thighs, buttocks, back, the belly, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck and head. Simply notice how things are.
    • Bring your attention to your feet on the floor if you are standing or your sitz bones if you are seated, and continue on with what you are doing.

Tags: Mindfulness

John Engel, MA

Written by John Engel, MA

John Engel, Program Coordinator at the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers, where he serves as a trainer and consultant for agencies adopting whole-system change to trauma-informed care. John also facilitates strategic change initiatives and product development for TSI, including development and launch of the Online ARTIC Scale. John also leads mindfulness in the workplace initiatives, including design and delivery of a webinar entitled, ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace: Practices for Sustaining Trauma-Informed Care,’ a day-long virtual training event, ‘Mindfulness: The Inner Work of Racial Healing and Trauma-Informed Care, ‘Monthly RC Mindfulness’ pilot and a ‘30-Day RC Mindfulness Challenge.’ John is a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator (CWMF), is certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and has participated in virtual and in-person Mindfulness in the Workplace Summits by Mindful Leader.