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

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Susan Salomon

1. I used the guided audio to practice this meditation. My initial observation was that I had difficulty focusing my attention on a specific area in my body and noticed feelings in multiple areas at the same time (i.e. pulsing, tension, heaviness, tingling). The audio helped me bring my attention back to one specific area, but it required some effort. As the meditation progressed, I felt it was easier to isolate specific areas of my body and focus my attention solely on that area. I also noticed that I struggled with simply accepting rather than changing/ fixing the experience. Specifically, my lower back started to hurt and I wanted to adjust my position rather than just “notice” the discomfort.
2. I found the exercise of focusing on an object both visually and using sense of touch to be grounding. My mind wandered occasionally, but I found it fairly easy to return my attention to the object in front of me. Focusing on one object in this way became easier as time progressed. I can see this as a powerful technique for cultivating being in the present moment.
3. I can see using both of these exercises in clinical practice. The body scan meditation seems appropriate and useful for clients who are willing to try noticing sensations in their bodies. The benefit potentially is improved emotional regulation and stress reduction. I have had clients who tell me it’s triggering to focus on body sensation and that it causes them increased anxiety. For those folks, the focusing on an object exercise may be less intimidating yet help to cultivate awareness of the present moment and to reduce stress.