Mindfulness involves observing and accepting the things around and within us in the present moment, without judgment. In therapy, Johanna may involve mindfulness skills to build awareness of various issues and to develop coping strategies to reach optimal wellness. The exercise below is not individualized to your needs as it may be in therapy, but is rather intended as a general exercise that you may find useful.
October’s Mindfulness Exercise:
This month we are going to continue to explore the basics of mindfulness, with a focus on emotions. To begin, take a nice even breath in and out. Notice the feeling of expansion as you inhale, and release as you exhale. Pay attention to how your physical body is feeling today, as well as the pace of your thoughts as you begin this exercise.
Try to notice sensations, thoughts, and feelings without judgment and without attempting to change them.
As you breathe, pay attention to what emotions draw your attention. Do you feel joy, fear, sadness, contentment, anger, guilt? Are you irritable or stressed out? Notice what emotions bubble to the surface, and notice what your response is. Do you try to push the emotion away, or do you engage in it? Notice if there is a physical space in the body where the emotion resides. What emotions are more comfortable for you to experience?
Continue to breathe and notice what you experience. After engaging in this active accepting awareness for a few more minutes, gently wiggle your fingers and toes, bringing movement back into the body.
We develop patterns in how we respond to various things, including our own emotions. It can be helpful to increase our awareness of our emotional responses and what we do with those responses.
NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy. Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in engaging in counseling for optimal wellness.