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

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Lauren Porter

Question 1
One part I initially found challenging was the directive to “not [try] to achieve a different state or experience.” This was difficult because for me and for clients I have often encouraged mindfulness or meditation as a means of alleviating anxiety or other distressing experiences. The idea of using this to solely sit with physical sensations was initially off-putting to me. I also struggled with staying focused on each area and to not rush through the process. I felt more comfortable lying down that I have while doing seated exercises, and I was able to focus more on sensations. While I had some areas that were uncomfortable, I found myself wanting to get through those areas faster. I think this could be effective for people who are not aware of how and where different emotions manifest in their body.

Question 2
I found this exercise easier than grounding exercises like 5-4-3-2-1. It was good to have a set object to return my attention back to. Of course, I struggled with my thoughts wandering, but rather than trying to “reign them in” and remain present as a more abstract concept, I was able to connect to a specific thing. I think this is a good exercise for people just beginning mindfulness in particular as there is a concrete object to focus on.

Question 3
I would encourage the body scan meditation when people are experiencing physical cravings, both to assess where in their body they experience the cravings and also become developing emotional intelligence and vocabulary. I also think the single object focus could be best used in beginning the mindfulness journey and as an option when thoughts of using or acute symptoms are particularly strong.