October’s Mindfulness Exercise

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.

Advertisements

September’s Mindfulness Exercise

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.

September’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Let’s go back to the basics this month and focus on mindful awareness of our thoughts. Take a couple nice even breaths in and out. Engage in a gentle rolling of your shoulders, stretching of your fingers or gentle twist in the spine to bring awareness to your physical self. Check in with what level of stress you are holding today.

Without judging or trying to change them, begin to notice your thoughts as they pop into your head. You can think of them as clouds up in the sky, hanging out or drifting past. If you begin to drift with them, return to your breathing.

To distance yourself from your thoughts (in order to better observe them), visualize that you are standing on a grassy hill, looking up at the sky. Picture that the clouds you see above are your thoughts. Notice them as they swirl, drift past, or even develop into storm clouds.

Return to your breathing and write down anything you noticed or would like to process further regarding your thoughts. If you are an active client, feel free to bring your observances to your next counseling session.

August’s Mindfulness Exercise

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.

August’s Mindfulness Exercise:

We often wake up and jump into our day, picking up our train of thought where we left it the night before. It might be a negative train of thought; it might be one full of worries or a “to-do” list; it might be one that takes over our well-being for the rest of the day.

We can’t control what pops into our heads (if I tell you to think of a white elephant, good luck trying not to picture one!), but we can control where we go with our thoughts. This month’s mindfulness exercise is focused on our thoughts that start and end our day.

When you wake up in the morning, notice what thought firsts pops into your head. (For me, it’s usually what I’ll be eating for breakfast). Leave yourself a post-it note next to your bed with a thought you’d like to start your day with – maybe it’s a quote, or something you’re grateful for, or something you are looking forward to during the day. Notice where your thoughts go after reading the post-it, and pay attention to how this impacts the rest of your day.

At the end of the day, take another moment to notice your thoughts before you go to sleep. Consider what is lingering on your mind from the day, and what thought you’d like to end the day with (if you’re stuck, think of something small you are grateful for that occurred during the day). Consider what thought you might want to start tomorrow with before you drift into sleep.

Most of our thoughts are the same, day to day. But in practicing mindfulness about our thoughts, particularly at the beginning and end of our days, we can control the train of thought with which we start the day!

 

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.

Lunchtime Mindfulness

Beginning August 14th, Johanna will be offering 30-minute Lunchtime Mindfulness classes at the Brighton office. Come for one class or come every week! Each week we will cover a new mindfulness exercise and discuss how you can incorporate the exercise into your own wellness practices.

When: Mondays, 12-12:30pm

Cost: $20 per class

Location: 2561 Lac de Ville Blvd, Rochester NY 14618

Sign up by emailing jbondperspectives@gmail.com or calling (585)406-3012.

July’s Mindfulness Exercise

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.

July’s Mindfulness Exercise:

 

Take a moment to consider the following situation.

Your phone buzzes. You can’t see the screen, but you hear the buzz.

What is your response to this? How do you feel physically? What is your level of distress? What thoughts are popping into your head?

Take a breath in and out. Notice the expansion as you breathe in, and the release as you exhale.

We are so connected to our phones, and to technology. When your phone buzzes, what comes to mind? Do you feel a pull to instantly check it? Are you happy with the habits you have developed around texting, social media, emails, and phone calls?

For this month’s mindfulness exercise, try to notice what comes up physically and emotionally when you use technology, in particular when you use your phone. If you find yourself reacting before you are aware that you are even doing so, practice taking one deep breath before engaging with the technology to notice your habits.

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.

June’s Mindfulness Exercise

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.

June’s Mindfulness Exercise:

In therapy, we often will explore self-care strategies and the ways in which we practice self-compassion. We all engage in basic hygiene practices (showering, brushing our teeth, etc). In what ways do you engage in mental hygiene?  Today, consider your self-care strategies.

Take a minute to consider your approach to caring for yourself and your mental health. What do you do daily to care for your mental health?

Breathe in and out. Check in with yourself. How are you doing in this moment mentally, physically, emotionally? Bring your awareness to your breath and the thoughts that pop up in your mind at this moment.

Notice whether thinking about your self-care increases your feelings of distress or decreases them. Is your self-care effective in decreasing distress?

 

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.

May’s Mindfulness Exercise

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.

May’s Mindfulness Exercise:

 

This month, we return to the body and physical awareness for our mindfulness exercise. As you begin to bring awareness to your breath, raise both hands so the palms face each other, about a foot apart. Slowly bring the hands closer to each other until they are nearly touching; notice if you become aware of any feeling of heat between the hands. On your next inhale, gently press the fingertips together and then as you exhale, release them. On your next inhale, gently press the whole hand together and then release. Repeat this several times and then let your hands rest gently on your legs or the arms of a chair.

What did you notice physically as you did this? How do your hands feel afterwards? Notice what thoughts and emotions you are experiencing in this moment, as well as the physical feeling in your hands.

This is intended to increase your awareness and acceptance of your own thoughts and feelings as you engage in a brief exercise using your hands and palms. If you are a current client in therapy, please feel free to bring in your observations to your next appointment!

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.