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

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Kayla Hamel

1. During the soft belly meditation, I noticed that despite the focus on creating a soft, relaxed belly, that my whole body achieved a more relaxed nature. I was actually quite surprised by this result and how quickly it happened. As mentioned in a previous homework response, I enjoy having a bodily point of focus when I engaged in meditation exercises, so I found this effective for myself. It was helpful and calming to have my belly as a point of reference when my thoughts came into my mind also. With the point of reference, when my thoughts came in, I was better able to accept them for what they were and let them go and return to the focus on my soft belly. I think that this was effective in helping me accept whatever I was feeling in the moment and something that I will use personally moving forward.

2. I noticed a similar sensation in regards to my body as I did with the soft belly exercise. I rather quickly felt an increased sense of relaxation and reduction of tension throughout my body. I very much enjoyed this exercise and the point of reference being a truly powerful phrase versus a part of the body/sensation. I felt like this exercise helped me in more than one way, it provided me with that sense of general bodily relaxation and a great sense of inner peace. The phrase began as a phrase/point of focus at the start of the meditation but as I got going, this phrase brought true meaning to my mind and soul. I use self-affirmations and statements of self-positivity daily, however I truly enjoyed incorporating such a phrase into a meditation exercise. I would rate this mindfulness exercise powerfully effective in helping me enhance my acceptance of myself in the moment!

3. I could envision incorporating both of these exercises into my work with children and teens as wonderful tools promote relaxation and acceptance. As mentioned in some of my previous homework responses, a large portion of my caseload right now is children, and I believe I could integrate the soft belly meditation very well into our sessions to support them in relaxation, emotional/arousal regulation and grounding in the present moment. I am excited and hopeful about trying to integrate the Acceptance Exercise into work with some of my teen clients who experience a lot of anxiety, depression and self-doubt. I could imagine that the exercise could provide many benefits to these clients, with relaxation, grounding and also self-acceptance.