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

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Julia Healey

1. I tried the Body Scan meditation initially unguided and then with guided version. As my own guide, I was caught in a push pull – wanting to go slow..gentle while feeling pushed to move quickly from one body part to the other – a race to finish and move on. When listening to a guided voice, I felt the hurried pressures decreased – the voice giving permission to be slow and follow along – able to bring self back to voice whoever I jumped ahead to next body part. It was challenging to just put my attention on noticing sensation without judging any tightness or constriction in self blaming/negative thought. Needed to keep working to suspend judgement but it kept pushing back in like a rebounding boomerang. I can see benefit of practice to strengthen focus.
2. Focusing on object in mindful way was interesting exercise. I chose a smooth rock eroded by ocean waves that I found on a local beach. Touching it conjured the smell and sound of ocean. Blue sky and warm sun. Mind wandered to memories of being at beach and visual picture. More easily able to bring attention back to object than to body part in exercise one when mind wandered. Thoughts more pleasant in reminiscing rather than critical
3. I have actually tried both meditations in a DBT group I co facilitated. The body scan experience was in my own therapy in my early 20.s at college when experiencing self imposed pressures to succeed and anxiety. In groups, it was both an individual and shared experience as member first spent time with object and then shared experience/opened to feedback with other members of group. Body scan more individual. More distracted and challenging in group. My own experience was laying in floor in counselor office which felt very strange but yielded grounding and comfort. Counselor led scan . So many years later And I can still recall the exercise – see items in room and recall the peace I felt. I think exercises can be adapted to different settings in various forms with benefit