The Panic Pod
The Panic Pod
Apr 8, 2021
Episode 31: Body Scanning vs. Body Awareness
Play • 37 min

It helps to remove yourself and re-centre for a moment before you start mentally justifying why you are anxious.

There’s a lot of wellness narrative around “listening to your body” but when we’re experiencing disordered anxiety then somatic experiencing isn’t easy. Say you’re at therapy and your therapist is trying to get you to notice what some subtle sensations in the body are telling you about how you feel talking about something. A chronically anxious person may have to respond with, “As much as I’m trying to do what you say, I’d like to experience my body when my anxious response isn’t firing at all cylinders with cortisol and adrenaline.”

Not trying to deter anyone from slowing down and listening to their body, this conversation between Ella and Josh attempts to unpick where “body scanning” and “mindfully assessing the body” are two very different activities for people with chronic anxiety - when the body is in a hyper-aroused state, body scanning (where one assesses their own physical comfort for harm) tends to replace a mindful examination of the internal sensations we all experience. Josh’s advice is to catch and notice your nervous compulsions before you try to notice other sensations in the body.

Things we talked about:

Dr. Clare Weeks Video:

Untangle Your Anxiety - by Joshua Fletcher and Dean Stott:

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