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.
March’s Mindfulness Exercise:
This month, we are going to use our mindfulness exercise to explore the idea of acceptance. I nearly wrote the word “discomfort” there. We think of acceptance of warm and fuzzy, but a lot of times acceptance is really, really uncomfortable. Today we will do a short breathing exercise while practicing a non-judgmental, accepting attitude.
Take a breath in, and exhale at your regular breathing pace. Without changing it or judging it, notice the pace of your breathing. Pay attention to the feeling of air passing through either your nose or your mouth. Is it warm or cool? Are you breathing into your chest or deeper into your belly? Keep in mind the statement that “as long as you are breathing, there’s more that’s right with you than wrong with you.” Notice what thoughts come up for you. Are you judging your breath? If so, just notice that too. Notice what emotions you are holding. Notice how you feel physically, and where you might be holding tension.
What is it like to accept your breath? Without trying to change or judge it?
What would it be like to accept other things in your life in this way?
It may not be warm and fuzzy.
It might be healthy.
Take one more minute to notice how you feel after completing this exercise, and what (if anything) you might like to do differently as you go about the rest of your 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.