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

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#33522
Adeena Vogel
Participant

Question 1: I really enjoyed this particular activity. At first, it took some time for me to adjust my body to being calm and in a relaxed state. For some reason, I tend to think of my breath as colors, and that helps me focus, and visualize the colors going in, and out, of my body. This was helpful as I breathed into the different parts of my body to bring awareness to them. I noticed at one point, about halfway up my body, my focus shifted when I felt an itch on my ankle. Initially, it was difficult to tune this out, but I really, really tried to refocus my energy and concentration on my belly (the part of the body I was on in my practice). To my surprise, this worked! I was excited about this and then had to shift that excitement back to the exercise itself. I noticed with this how distracted my mind was; every time I heard a noise, I thought about it. But I really attempted to focus on the parts of my body that I was trying to focus on. I tried to think of my intrusive thoughts as passing clouds in the sky. I was kind to myself and able to bring myself back to the activity. I really enjoyed focusing on specific parts of my body, and this was helpful. I think it allowed a space for me to keep my focus more. I do believe that this is an effective intervention to help with concentration, as the physical imagining of my body, in the moment, provided a concise focus for me.

Question 2: Focusing on a single object was a really helpful practice for me. I have some crystals, and I took one out and used that as my object (in taking a mindfulness course in the past the instructor talked about how we are always touching smooth plastic objects, so I wanted to veer away from that). I did notice that observing was a bit more challenging compared to when I actually explored the crystal with my physical senses (touch). Again, with this exercise I did experience external stimulation, specifically noises, that would briefly draw me out of this experience. I found with this particular exercise, however, it was much easier to bring my awareness back because it was a tangible item and I used descriptions to fully refocus. This particular intervention, I believe, would be so effective with a wide range of individuals, including some younger folks. Being able to fully absorb yourself into an object, at least for me, was almost mesmerizing.

Question 3: I do believe that both of these exercises can be incorporated and weaved into the work that I do with individuals. Many of the people I serve experience prolonged and acute feelings of stress and dysregulation. This exercise would be helpful in gently bringing them back to the here and now and focusing on “one thing in the moment” (we teach a lot of Marsha L. here at my program). As I mentioned earlier, I would like to be able to do this activity (focusing on a single object) with clients that does not involve the focusing on smooth plastic; such as something from nature; a rock, a leaf, an acorn, or pinecone. I think that way all of the various senses can really be tuned in to. I think that both of these exercised can help my people refocus and ground themselves to be more present.