Reply To: Week 4 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Ryan Crouse

Question 1

I struggled with being able to focus on one urge. At first it was the urge to scratch my head. I focused on my breath and visualized waves in the ocean. I it felt like I was on a boat going up and down on the waves at times. I then got the desire for a nicotine pouch I have been using to quit chewing tobacco. The thought came and went. I had the desire to stop the exercise and just went back to my breathing and that desire came and went. I did not notice anything different in my body during the exercise. I was not having cravings and I do know what those feel like in my own recovery. I work in an Opioid health home and I would envision teaching this skill to individuals with Substance use disorders to use when they are having cravings to use opiates or any other drug they are having a craving to use. I believe it would be helpful for people with any kids of strong urge or impulsive desires.

Question 2

I picked the thought diffusion meditation using the helping stressful thoughts video. I was visualizing that I was sitting on a bank watching a stream with leaves floating by and I was putting each thought on a leaf. My body felt warm and an occasional thought of discomfort in my lower back distracted me at first. The more time went by and I was guided to put my thoughts that came up on a leaf I did not notice my body as much. I had a thought of my motorcycle at first , then a thought of paperwork, f my guitar and I put them on the leaf and they drifted away. I think this exercise would help me when I am having distressful thoughts of the present, past or negative projections of the future. To allow myself to have the thought and let it go and not get caught up and dwell on the thought. I would like to try this exercise with clients with ADHD, anxiety disorder that have rapid cycling of thoughts that lead to distress. I believe it could be a good grounding tool and let them see that they are just thoughts and to let them go and not get caught up in them.

Question 3

I believe that using the mindfulness base practices and medications in my own life would be helpful for me. I want to continue using meditations to help me with distressing memories and regrets that pop up form my past. To allow my self to accept them for what they were and help myself let them go so I can be a better version of myself and not get caught up in negative emotions and regret. I can use the urge surfing to help me with cravings I have for nicotine and urges to over eat. I want to incorporate some of the technics in with prayer and see if it enhances it and gets me a better connection to my higher power. I have already had discussion with my colleagues at work about incorporating more mindfulness practices into our Opioid Health home and Substance Use disorder programs. I would like to practice more before implementing them into my individual or group sessions.