Reply To: Week 3 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Adeena Vogel

Question 1: The soft belly meditation was comforting for me today, and I am not sure if it was because I had a particularly difficult day, or more so because it is an effective intervention. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised with how relaxed I became. I noticed during this exercise that physically, my body really truly felt at peace and relaxed. It was almost as if the focus on my belly helped any other deterrents of focus to other parts of my body drift away. I have found that fixating on particular points is helpful in maintaining concentration and focus in my mindfulness and meditation. I do believe that this meditation was effective in enhancing the acceptance of my feelings and sensations in the moment. I was not as focused on the sensations of other parts of my body, but the stomach, and placing my hand on my belly and physically feeling myself breathe in and out, was helpful. I did not feel a need to acknowledge and accept a whole lot of feelings, because in this moment, I found that I did not have a whole lot of intrusive thoughts to accept! Again, it could have been due in part to the day that I have had and fully being able to relax into the moment, but I am going to consider this one a win!

Question 2: I found the Acceptance exercise to be a bit more challenging. I found it more difficult to focus on the words that I was saying and I found my thoughts drifting off more frequently in comparison to exercises that we have done in the past. It was almost as if the saying prompted me to dig deeper into how I was actually feeling in that moment, which took me out of being present, I believe. I would say that this could be an effective intervention if I am in a physical space with no distractions. I do believe that it could be effective for most, but the words really threw me off.

Question 3: I feel like I have already integrated the soft belly meditation in the work that I do with the people that I serve. When I work with kids, I often have them put a stuffy on their belly and have them focus on the breathing that moves their bellies up and down, thus giving their stuffy a ride! Working in a partial program, specifically working with co-occurring disorders, meditation is effective and a skill that we teach here to our clients. The belly breathing can help clients who may feel dysregulated and overwhelmed, and help to pull them back into the moment. I do believe that clients with SUD’s can benefit from having the meditation skills available to them in their tool boxes for when they experience potential urges to use. These techniques can help ground them in the present and prompt them to be kind to themselves in regards to where they are at.