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Active Body Scan to Calm Anxiety Over COVID-19

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Beach scene for story about doing active body scansCOVID-19 isn’t only making people sick, it’s infecting our psyche with anxiety and fear. As individuals, we cannot control this pandemic (although we can help slow its progression by following stay-at-home orders), but we can manage our reactions to it.

Meditation is a relaxation practice that can keep our thoughts and feelings in the present moment. While meditating, you are not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. It trains us to be mindful —aware of each moment without the soundtrack of judgement running in our heads. NewBridge Services is presenting a different meditation practice each day over five days. Today’s topic is the active body scan.

Active Body Scan

  1. Sit or lie down and close your eyes. 
  2. After taking a few deep breaths, tighten all the muscles in your head and face for several seconds, then release. 
  3. Next, tighten the muscles in your neck, hold a few seconds, then release. 
  4. Now gently roll your shoulders forward a few times, then backwards. 
  5. Next, squeeze your shoulder muscles, hold a few seconds, then relax. 
  6. Work your way down your arms (biceps and triceps, forearms, and hands).
  7. Now bring your attention to your chest and tighten, hold a few seconds, and release. 
  8. Do the same to your midsection and lower belly. 
  9. Move onto the lower body: your buttocks, thighs, calves/shins and, finally, your feet. 
  10. Starting at your feet, imagine energy moving up your body. Any place you feel tension, squeeze, hold a few seconds and release. Allow the energy to move to the top of your head. 
  11. Imagine a thin silver thread coming out of the crown of your head that continues ad infinitum, connecting you to the universe. 
  12. Now, imagine looking down from your head, through your body to your feet. You are completely relaxed.

If you prefer, listen to NewBridge Services Director of Community Response and Education Beth Jacobson lead you through the body scan:

Still Struggling?

If you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, please contact NewBridge Services at (973) 316-9333. NewBridge, a community provider of mental health care for 57 years, now offers telehealth sessions. NewBridge’s skilled, licensed counselors can help people cope with:

  • Anxiety, depression and other mental health problems
  • Addiction
  • Grief and trauma
  • Relationship challenges
  • Anger management
© 2021 Newbridge Services. E-mail And Voicemail Cannot Replace Counseling.