Health and wellbeing calendar

#Headstrong challenge


16 April 2019

Headstrong challenge: week two

Week 2.png

We hope you’ve enjoyed the first week of the Headstrong challenge. It’s now time to be Headstrong with the body scan.

For Week 2, we continue our focus on mindful breathing, but we’ll be adding a technique called 'body scanning'. You should aim to complete 20 minutes of this activity each or every other day.

What is body scanning?

Doing a body scan as part of your mindful breathing practice can help you identify areas where you hold tension throughout your body. By practising regularly, you can improve your awareness of how everyday stresses affect you physically.


As before, we’ll begin by focussing on mindful breathing.

If you're struggling to focus on your breathing we suggest visualising a relaxing colour (often this is blue or green) or a word, such as 'relax' as you breathe in, and then a colour associated with anger or stress (often black or red) or a word such as 'release' as you breathe out.

Imagining yourself in a comfortable, safe place such as your bedroom or favourite beach can also help you focus all of your attention on breathing.

Begin to body scan


  • Once your breathing has settled into a rhythm you can begin to scan your body.
  • The aim is to start with your head – noticing tension in your scalp and neck, and face.
  • Take a breath in as you focus on each body part individually, and think about releasing tension with every breath out, all the way down to your toes.
  • Go slowly. You should feel your body become heavier as you do this.
Come back to your breathing
  • If the mind wanders, gently bring it back to focus on breathing and continue to scan down your body.
  • Don't rush out of the relaxation, open your eyes and begin to move your arms and legs. Sit for a short while before slowly getting up.
  • Continue this for 20 minutes each or every other day.

The technique might feel tricky at first. Don’t be too hard on yourself, some days it will come easier than others.