Step 1: Focus on the pleasant sensations first in order to resource yourself.
Once you have done an overview scan, turn your attention towards any pleasant sensations you are noticing. This will help to provide you with the strength and the resources to gradually move your attention toward the more unpleasant ones. If you find that your attention is moving all over the place to many different sensations in the body, focus on one or two that are demanding the most attention and let the rest go.
If, when you scan your body, your attention is immediately drawn to unpleasant sensations, you will have to search deeper for a pleasant one to counter it. When feeling uncomfortable, it can sometimes be hard to find that part of your body that feels resourced. However, it is important to start this exercise knowing where in your body you are sensing strength so take the time to locate it, even if you have to draw your attention to just one tiny molecule that barely seems perceptible. Keep your attention on it until it starts to grow.
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where in my body do I feel the strongest?
- What words would I use to describe the characteristics and qualities of the sensations I feel in that part of my body?
- Do they have size and/or shape?
- Are they a certain color and/or texture?
- Are they heavy or light?
- If the sensation was a thing, what would it be?
- Do they have movement and, if so, how do they move? In what direction(s)?
- Do they go from outward to inward or inward to outward?
- Can I notice the edges and, if so, where do they begin and end?
- Is there a center point to the sensation?
- What happens next when I stay present with the sensation? How does it change?
- Are there certain images that go with the sensations?
- Does focusing on the sensations evoke certain emotions?
- Do I feel compelled to move my body or behave in any particular way in response to the sensations?
- Do I attach any particular meaning to the sensations?
Stay with the pleasant sensations as long as you are able and see what happens. Explore them with pure curiosity without judging them. As you follow the sensations, notice:
- Where do they go?
- Do they become more intense?
- How do they change?
- Where or how do they move?
- If they are stuck, how might they move if they could?
- If they could say something, what would they say?