Body Scans and Action Crises

April 11, 2022
Man in green shirt and blue knit cap sitting on floor
Photo by Mulyadi
 

A person is a product of their dreams.
So make sure to dream great dreams.
And then try to live your dream.
    —Maya Angelou

Many of us know the excitement that can arise when we dare to "dream great dreams." I have spent a lot of time in my life dreaming up the next big thing. However, we all know that dreaming is significantly easier than doing. I think it was in college that I started a folder called "Big Ideas" because I could not possibly live all of my dreams. Great dreams would not be great if they were easy, and we will inevitably encounter challenges should we dare to pursue our dreams.

When we encounter difficulties in the pursuit of our most important goals, we must decide to either continue our pursuit or give up. These moments when we must make a choice are called "action crises." At these key points in our life, people make lists of pros and cons, talk to trusted friends and family, or perhaps carve out some time alone to just think.

Another method for coping with goal-related difficulties is to practice body scan meditation. In addition to its effectiveness in helping people manage stress, body scan meditation can help us to confront setbacks. According to a recent study, a regular body scan meditation practice "appears to be a viable option to both prevent action crises and possibly help cope with those that might still arise."

So rather than struggle to think your way through your next big challenge, you might instead sit down on the meditation cushion and practice a body scan meditation. Better yet, consider making body scans a regular practice. And then try to live your dream.

To help you get started, the following episodes of Pretty Good Meditation include body scans:

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