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

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Kayla Hamel

1. I very much enjoyed the body scan exercise. I have engaged in similar muscle relaxation/body scan exercises before, but what I really liked about this one, was the focus on the experience/sensation of that body region, WITHOUT fixing or changing it. I recognized a deeper sense of physical relaxation the further I got into the meditation, becoming more comfortable with simply sitting with my sensations versus trying to manipulate them in some way. I believe what I noticed most about this meditation exercise was just how much I miss – by this I mean that doing this exercise allowed me to tune into the feelings and sensations of every tiny part of my body; sensations that I never tune into or recognize, but are always there (i.e. I used the guided voice and I was able to actually tune into the sensation of each one of my fingertips). I would rate this meditation very effective for supporting me in making contact with my sensate experience in the present moment, and more so because of the instruction to not change of fix any sensation. I also would rate this meditation very effective in helping me develop both concentration and flexibility of attention, as it supported me in attuning only to my bodily sensations, but provided the freedom to both scan so many areas and allow myself to accept the sensations as they were without judgement or a need to alter them.

2. This exercise proved both interesting and fascinating to me, as it brought to my awareness just how much we can learn and notice about things if we are able to be non-judgmentally devoted and open to observing them. It was neat to allow my sensations to explore more deeply than they normally would, as I was able to recognize and appreciate the qualities of the object that if I hadn’t engaged in this exercise, I likely would have never noticed. I found this exercise slightly more challenging, in the sense that my mind wandered more frequently than the other meditation exercises. Because my mind wandered a bit more than the other forms of meditation, I found it a bit less effective in enhancing my ability to focus my attention and concentration on the present. Perhaps if I chose a bit more detailed, intricate object, this might change. I also recognize that my personal judgement about my wandering mind might play a role in how I rated the effectiveness of this exercise.

3. I work with a lot of younger children coping with trauma, anxiety and ADHD. I great portion of my focus with many children centers on supporting them in developing skill in identifying and regulating emotions. I believe I could so wonderfully incorporate the body scan meditation into my work them in multiple ways; 1) as a method of helping them learn about the sensations in their body and what they mean, and 2) as relaxation tool to bring them into the present moment as we have done ourselves here. I believe that both of these meditation exercises could be so easily adapted to use with all ages and I could imagine myself using them in sessions on a regular basis with my children as ways to regulate and reduce tension and anxiety. I also find that these are so versatile in the sense that they could be used successfully via telehealth with clients as well, given that you provide them with the effective tools to do so.