Reply To: Week 1 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Hilary Pelletier

Question 1:
During the Breath Counting Meditation, my physical body was initially somewhat tense and I was experiencing some feelings of anxiety. However, as the exercise progressed, I felt much more in a relaxed state with no anxiety present. With the initial counts of the exercise, my mind wandered slightly, however it became easier to focus only on the breath and counting and be present with this. For me, this exercise was quite successful in calming and stabilizing my mind and I felt quite relaxed afterwards.

Question 2:
During the Basic Mindfulness meditation, which I did several hours after the first, I was not really experiencing anxiety beforehand and was able physically feel a sense of calm, immediately. My mind did wander more frequently in this exercise, without the focus of the count, but I was able to refocus, each time to the breath and this did help to focus and clear my mind. I think with practice of this exercise I would be better able to understand the habits of my mind, but I did notice that my mind can wander fairly quickly without a focus.

Question 3:
In my experience, both exercises led to a sense of calm, I actually became sleepier with the Basic Mindfulness Meditation, but both did illicit calm. My mind wandered much more in the Basic Meditation as compared to the counting. In integrating meditation in my clinical work, I might suggest, particularly to people that are struggling with racing thoughts or trouble concentrating, the Breath Count Meditation as a place to start.