#StressReliefSunday #2

Sunday is a great day of the week to pause, rest and reset to enter your week calm, cool and collected. Simply taking a moment to meditate, be present, and focus on yourself are some methods we’ll cover in this series. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), evidence shows that meditation like this can help with stress, anxiety, and even high blood pressure.

Today’s stress-relief activity is a Body Scan Meditation. Sounds scary, but it’s easy to do on your own in any setting in which you’re able to sit down or lie down completely. You can listen to a three minute guided Body Scan Meditation produced by UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, or give it a try using the steps outlined below.

Reduce stress and reconnect with yourself.

1. Lay down comfortably with your eyes closed. Make sure you have enough room to stretch out your legs, but keep your arms at your sides with your palms up.

2. Start thinking about each part of your body, starting with your toes. You might try tensing and releasing them.

3. Move upward from your toes, to your feet, to your ankles, and so on, all the way up to your head, becoming aware of every part of your body as you breathe normally.

4. After reaching your head, take a moment to think about the sensations you experienced, end with a deep breath, and resume your day.

Body Scan Meditation is considered a more structured mindfulness activity, so it’s best to set aside some time in your day to practice this. It can be a great addition to your morning routine because we are typically rested and distraction free. Mindfulness activities like Body Scan Meditation are often recommended to reduce stress and reconnect with yourself.

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