September 9, 2021
The Body Scan
Feeling tense or distracted? Looking to feel more connected to your body and/or more present in the current moment? Carve out a few minutes to reset with our guided body scan from our Mindful Sex course.
In under ten minutes, you should be on your way to feeling more relaxed and more open to all types of connection (and pleasure).
And if you want to explore additional exercises and strategies for mindfulness with a focus on pleasure, connection, and intimacy, be sure to check out our self-paced Mindful Sex course. It includes over 20 video/audio guides and dozens of strategies and exercises to help you slow down, de-stress and savour every last moment — in and out of the bedroom.
If you’ve got questions for the podcast, submit them here. As well, you can now record your messages for us! Please record your message/question in a quiet room and use your phone’s headphones with a built-in mic if possible.
This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.
The Body Scan
00:00:05 – 00:05:06
You’re listening to the sax with dr jess podcast sacks and relationship advice you can use tonight. Hey it’s just here. And i am flying solo this week because we are doing something a little differently this because been a little bit of a stressful week and one thing i’ve noticed. Is that my tolerance for stress seems to be lower than usual and i’ve been chatting with friends who are basically saying the same thing and i i guess i don’t know so much has changed. I think a lot of us are feeling like our patients is thinner than usual. And i know for me. It can be tied to anxiety for other people. It can be tied to depression or hyper vigilance. Or the unknown and other issues as well. What i’m finding is that it’s hard to nail it down like i find myself snapping over the smallest little things earlier today. The the closet door wasn’t opening properly. the carpet was in the way and in the moment i was so pissed like it was the end of the world at the carpet was blocking me from. I don’t remember if i was open. Air closing the door and those types of experiences like being irritated with those little things. They’re really new to me. I’ve just never felt this way kind of at any point in my life. And i don’t think i ever really let little stressors get to me. And even big stressors have always felt manageable. In fact i actually think. I enjoy stress which i know. Some people can’t believe but that’s that’s a whole other conversation about you know dopamine and thriving and disruption and i know my therapist would say it’s a function of adhd. And that. i. I need things to raw me up to create dopamine and i guess my i’m talking a lot about myself here about my life has always been full of those things that are a little bit stressful but positive with my work and of course a lot of them are on hold the pandemic and then so the negative stressors they start to rally up in a nice way but they don’t have the same effect right. You get a little riled up which i need but you know unlike running late for a flight or being nervous about getting on stage which can be exciting. The stuff that i’m dealing with so some families staff somehow staff These stressors obviously don’t get my dopamine going us or gives me that tees of the feeling in my body but not the excitement and the anticipation. I’m used to and so bottom line is i’m just snappier than usual and kind of wish. Brennan was here to make fun of me. But i just feeling more stress so so i wanted to talk a little bit about stress and provide a tool in just a moment but one thing i’ve noticed that is that alongside feeling more stressed and having i think a lower tolerance for stress most is not doing the things i need to relieve stress My daily routine a sort of all over the place which is okay I can tell him. I’m not getting a ton of exercise. I’m spending too much time online. I’m feeling a lot of pressure. Because i’m online to produce you know different types of content and it’s just all feeling a little overwhelming at times and so i promise you i’m not using this podcast as a therapy session. That’s all i swear. I’m going to stop talking about myself. A but what. I’m getting at is that i know that right now. I need to do more to center myself and slow down. And i’m just the same thing from so many other people so that’s what we’re gonna do today. I thought i’d share a tool for doing just that. And this tool is the body scan and the body. Scan that i’m about to share is from our mindful sex course so this is an online course that i co host and co produced with my and colleague dr reese malone and It’s a self directed. I guess self paced course With you know many modules like so twenty-five video and audio modules. There’s i think over twenty activities you can use to be more in the moment and more at ease with yourself and of course more at ease in the bedroom and so it’s as i said it’s a video course. We walk through these different exercises. We’ve got real people who try these different activities and react to them kind of for the very first time like no script. No prompts or anything in the goal is to kind of teach the art of mindful giving and receiving physical affection and pleasure and get folks to slow down both in the bedroom but also around communication and in your day to day life to cultivate more emotional presence. So that you’re kind of primed for deeper pleasure and you know a part of it is just making life and the relationship more meaningful and more fulfilling and more pleasure. Pleasure centered and so the course. Mindful sex is available at happier. Couples dot com. But for now. I’m gonna leave you with one component of the course and this is the body scan which hopefully you can use to ground yourself bring yourself into the moment right now or feel more connected to your body or just to kind of relax and distress and not be scrolling on your phone for the next five to ten minutes.
00:05:06 – 00:10:09
I think it’s about eight minutes long. And it focuses on your breath so there are actually some quiet moments in it just for you to breathe for a moment without having to listen to my voice i recorded a while back and i just re listened to it right now and what while i was recording. What i realized was that i was sort of. Also just doing the body scan myself which Kind of just happened on its own so you’ll notice. My voice is different. it’s slower. it’s calmer might paces different but hopefully you find it useful in can take a few minutes to try it right now. I realized that. I just kind of rambled on about my life a little. So i don’t know if i’ve riled you up which was not the point obviously So i mean let it roll and you can use it right now and i won’t come back after the body scan to say goodbye or to wish you a great one wherever you’re at because hopefully in the next eight minutes or so you’ll be filling maybe a little more relaxed feeling good feeling a little grounded hopefully distressed. If you’re like me and feeling just a little bit stressed out and you won’t want me to interrupt so without further ado here it is. This is the body scan from our happier. Couples dot com mindful sex course. Welcome to the body scan. The purpose of this activity is simply to be more present in your body and mindful of your bodily sensations. Begin by getting comfortable in a chair with your feet planted on the ground. You’re welcome to close your eyes or keep them open and soften your gaze. Bring attention to your breath noticing your breath but not controlling it in any way. Be mindful of air flowing in and flowing out and take note of your torso filling and lifting with each breath. And then slowly deflating simply. Bring your attention to the breath flowing in and out for thirty seconds as you’re breathing you may start to notice. Sounds around you. And that’s okay just notice that they’re there and gently. Bring your attention back to your breath. Now that you’re comfortable let’s shift your attention to your feet as their planted on the ground. Allow them to be fully supported with the ground underneath them and simply in this moment. Think about how. Your feet are feeling physically. Now let’s shift our attention to your feet as their planted firmly on the ground. Allow them them to be fully supported with the ground underneath them. Maybe wiggle your toes for a moment and just take note of how they feel at this present time when you are ready. Bring your attention up to your ankle and slowly. Allow your mind to travel up to your calves to your knees and your size notice. Notice the sensations you’re experiencing throughout your legs and whatever sensations you notice just observe them without judgment if you don’t really feel anything but you feel your muscles relaxing. That’s okay to what we’re doing is simply being more in the moment specifically with the sensations of our bodies may bring your attention back to your breath and on the next exhale. Shift your attention to your lower back and pelvis notice if you feel soft or tight or perhaps something inbetween wiggle around a little if it helps you to be more mindful of a region and continue with your natural breathing allowing your breath to flow freely still breathing as you pay attention to your pelvis on the next exhale.
00:10:11 – 00:14:59
Move your attention to your mid and upper back allowing yourself to be curious what sensations do you notice. What do you feel as your back is supported by the chair. Take a few breaths here just being a little bit more mindful of the sensations in your body and then shift your focus to your stomach noticing your belly rising and falling with each breath if you have any thoughts in response to your bodily sensations gently. Allow yourself to put them aside. Let them float away as you return your focus to the movements of your belly. Let’s take a few more brass right here on the next exhale. Move your focus and awareness to the chests. Pay attention to your heartbeat. If you can feel it and observe the chest rises during the inhale and falls as you exhale on your next exhale. Shift your minds. Focus to your hands. One of the most sensitive parts of your body. See if you can feel your breath working. Its way down to your palms your fingertips your fingernails. The backs of your hands just feeling wiggle around a little if it helps before becoming still and mindful of how those hard working hands feel at this very moment in if your mind wanders gently bring it back to the sensations in your palms and fingers take a couple of breaths here and on the next exhale shift the focus and your mind’s awareness to your forearms observing the sensations or lack of sensation in this region. You might notice some difference between the left and the right arm and that’s perfectly fine. Continue to breathe and shift the attention to your shoulders and neck where we often hold a great deal of tension. Notice how you’re feeling tired or sore or relaxed. Whatever the sensations be with them in this moment notice whether your shoulders move as you inhale and exhale and on the next acceleration. Direct your attention to your jaw and the surrounding area without judgment. Acknowledge how you’re feeling in your body at this moment in time. Pay attention to your cheeks your forehead your lips and feel all sensations of breath as it moves throughout the body. Continue to breathe naturally and expand your attention to include the entire body as a whole. Bring your awareness from the top of your head. Traveling down the body to the bottom of your feet really be mindful of the sensations of your breath as it moves through out your body to fuel it. Take a few breaths here. And when you’re ready gently open your eyes or return your attention to the space around you you might feel. You’re more alert right now. So simply thank yourself and show some gratitude for the fact that you’ve taken the time to practice being more present and more mindful.