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

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Hilary Pelletier

1. The Lying down/body scan meditation is one that is very familiar to me. I frequently practice it in times of stress and prefer having the guiding meditation, with several favorites on YouTube. I came to the practice feeling somewhat tense. In focusing on and making contact with the different areas of my body, I find it easier to relax, or accept the way my body is feeling. My mind tends to wander less during body scans. I find body scan meditation to be very effective in developing concentration in the moment , but also increasing flexibility of thought by allowing the body to “be” in its current state.

2. I found the focusing on a single object helpful, but one I will need to practice! In this exercise, I felt more alert initially and perhaps less focused and more easily distracted then when doing the other meditations, were I tend to close my eyes. After the initial feelings of distraction, I was able to focus my mind and thought process back to my object (A facial jade roller) and each time my mind began to wander, I was able to bring my focus back more quickly. As mentioned before I found this meditation more difficulty to maintain my focus. On the other hand, I think it is one I would like to practice as it would be a good meditation to use it times of anxiety or stress, where I might not be able to do one of the previous meditations, but could use an object to focus and relax.

3. In thinking about incorporating these meditations in to my practice, it would be more feasible to incorporate the focusing on a single object due to the setting that I practice. In my current work on an inpatient mental health unit, it would be difficult to complete the body scan practice with patients. Fortunately, we do have groups that incorporate this, so patients on our unit are able to benefit from it. However, frequently patients are stressed and overwhelmed when I meet with them and at times have difficulty focusing on what we are trying to accomplish in our meeting (frequently discharge planning). Asking them if they would like to briefly stop and focus on a small object in their room and guiding them through this, would not take a significant amount of time but would likely be very beneficial to help calm and refocus their mind to better attend to our meeting.