Evidence That It Works
Of all the mindfulness practices on offer, the body scan is the most popular—and it’s a great introduction to mindfulness. Adults who regularly engage in the body scan report greater psychological well-being and self-compassion, less reactivity to stress, and a decrease in depression.
And teachers who practice mindfulness for just a few weeks report a decrease in burnout, stress, anxiety, and depression. They also experience a range of physical health benefits, including better sleep quality.
Why Does It Matter?
With only 47% of Americans reporting that they are well-rested during their work week, a good night’s sleep can have a significant impact on health, helping us to feel more rested, energized, and able to meet the needs of our students each day.
When work stress is high at school, we tend to get caught up in the stream of thoughts and feelings we experience, so it’s crucial to take regular breaks to reboot our nervous systems. The body scan helps us to shift away from our thoughts to focus on physical sensations. Because the mind can only be aware of one thing at a time, a systematic, head-to-toe focus on the body can provide relief from a barrage of thoughts, slowly stabilizing our minds—helping us to drift off to sleep.