Woman lying on her back practising Body Awareness exercise

MBCT Diary: 2 – Awareness of the Body |

I’m blogging about my experience of a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy treatment course. You can read the posts in order starting here.

In the next part of the session we focused on our awareness of bodily sensations by doing a ‘body scan’. We lay on our backs and were guided through a process of being ‘aware’ of each part of our body in turn. Liam (one of the instructors) explained that our minds would wander while we did this. Each time we became aware that our minds had wandered off, we should gently bring them back to just focusing on part of the body.

It was a strange experience; it’s incredible how easy it is for your mind to wander off into default grooves of thinking, even when you are trying really hard not to let it happen. I expected something like this to be relaxing but in fact it was a real effort to keep the awareness focused on the body and to bring the mind back every time I realised it had wandered off into other thoughts.

What was interesting was that I started to get a glimpse of the processes my mind goes through as it moves through thoughts. I’d suddenly realise that my mind had wandered from the body scan to thinking of something else, to a low feeling. Then I’d think: ‘Well how did I get here?’ At this point I could start to trace it back and see how often I jumped from one thought, to a more negative one, to a worry about something else.

One of the things everyone found it hardest to get their heads around was the idea that there was no right or wrong way to do the body scan. In fact, doing it ‘well’ was not the issue – we’re not even trying to relax and it’s ok to feel bored, or uncomfortable, or for your mind to wander. It’s how you handle that experience that is important.

Next week, we were told, we would still be focusing on the first part of the session – developing awareness – but this time the focus would be on automatic judgements and how we handle difficult experiences. I’ll be writing about that in my next post.

At the time of publishing, entering the code MINDFUL50 at checkout will reduce the price of any of our Mindfulness Courses by 50%.

  1. Sent by Ian McCubbin on

    This was really interesting and is a good lead into yoga and meditation as activities.
    These can focus and discipline the mind as they require in one, yoga focus on developing body moves to bring flow and strength.
    On two meditation in focusing the mind on relaxation and focus on a voice, space or scene.
    Extensions of mindfulness I think.

    1. Sent by Mark Harrison on

      Thank you for your comment, Ian. If you would like to read more about Yoga we have a blog article title ‘Surprising Benefits Of Yoga (They Don’t Tell You This In Class!)’, which you can read here:

  2. Sent by Lasean on

    I realized that relaxing is not my strong point. I had to continually bring my mind back to one focus point. I had a lot going on. It just didn’t keep going to the same thought it randomly have chosen a thought. I went form what I am going to eat to what was I looking for before I started the process. So many thoughts that the mind has to control.

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