Reply To: Week 2 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Catherine VanDraska

The lying down meditation
This is one of my favorite medication exercises. I have done yoga for many years and this is often how I end my yoga practice. I notice a complete sense of calm and control. When practicing this exercise, I was able to identify sources of my tension in my body from work related stress and was able to let go most of that tension. Accepting the sensations feels freeing and allows me to move on from that tension without feel anxious. I have found this exercise to be extremely effective to stay in the present moment and allows for concentration and flexibility. I feel like this exercise may be difficult to convince my patient to try, as teens may find it a bit silly. It may be useful to verbally guide them through the experience rather than have them do it themselves the first few times.

Focusing on a sing object
I do this exercise often with my clients, especially when they are experiencing anxiety or a lack of control. When I practiced this exercise, it was nice to focus on something that was outside of my mind and body and had nothing to do with work or other life stressors. I focused on my Little Mermaid water cup in my office. It was easy to focus on this object without too much mind wondering. When I started to trail off, it was easy to accept the thought and to bring my mind back to the cup. I find this activity incredibly effective and I use it often. I have not used this activity when I patient is withdrawing or craving, but I would assume it would work well for that as well as coping through anxiety or feeling out of control. I will attempt this the next time an opportunity arises.

Catherine VanDraska