March’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.

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.

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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.

April’s Mindfulness Exercise

Mindfulness is something that everyone can incorporate into daily life.  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.   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.

April’s mindfulness exercise:

This month for mindfulness, we are returning to basic breathing.  Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly.  Begin to take slow, even, deep breaths.  Which hand is going up and down?  As you breathe, notice first your surroundings and what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.  Then turn your awareness inwards and notice your thoughts (without following them away too far), your emotions, and how you are feeling physically.  Return to the sensation of breathing, and notice which hand is going up and down – the hand on your chest, or the hand on your belly?  Try to notice without judging or trying to change your breathing.  This exercise is intended to build awareness.

NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy.  Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in individual or group therapy.

March’s Mindfulness Exercise

Mindfulness is something that everyone can incorporate into daily life.  Mindfulness involves observing and accepting the things around and within us, without judgment.  In therapy, Johanna may involve mindfulness skills to build awareness of various issues and to develop coping strategies.   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:

In Wegmans, every so often you may hear an announcement that “it’s time for a stretch break.”  How often do we give ourselves a stretch break?  This week, set a daily alarm for a time of day that you know you tend to be tense or act on autopilot.  Each day when the alarm goes off, take three deep breaths.  With each breath, stretch as you inhale (your arms, your back, or your legs – you pick) and relax as you exhale.  Pay attention to any thoughts or feelings that may come up within you as you complete this exercise.

NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy.  Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in individual or group therapy.

October’s Mindfulness Exercise

Mindfulness is something that everyone can incorporate into daily life.  Mindfulness involves observing and accepting the things around and within us, without judgment.  In therapy, Johanna may involve mindfulness skills to build awareness of various issues and to develop coping strategies.  If you are interested in group or individual therapy for mindfulness, please call the office.  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:

Set a timer for three minutes.  Start by taking three deep breaths and notice each inhale and exhale.  Do a mental scan of your body from head to toe.  Starting at the crown of your head, try to bring your awareness from the top of your scalp all the way down through the fingers and to the toes.  Notice where you might carry tension or pain, and where you might feel more relaxed.  If you still have time left before the timer goes off, choose one area to bring your awareness back to.  When your timer goes off, take a deep breath and stretch before returning to your day.

NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy.  Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in individual or group therapy.

August’s Mindfulness Exercise

Mindfulness is something that everyone can incorporate into daily life.  Mindfulness involves observing and accepting the things around and within us, without judgment.  In therapy, Johanna may involve mindfulness skills to build awareness of various issues and to develop coping strategies.  Johanna also runs a mindfulness group – call the office if you’d like to sign up!  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:

Set a timer or an alarm for three minutes.  Start by taking three deep breaths, noticing how it feels to breathe in and out.  Next, bring your attention to your thoughts.  Just as you might notice clouds in the sky drifting past, I want you to notice your thoughts as they drift past.  Some might hang out up there, some might threaten with an impending storm, and others may drift quickly by.  What thoughts come up for you?  Without judging them as good or bad, just notice what thoughts are there.  If you find yourself drifting away WITH the thoughts, come back to your breath.  Do this until your alarm sounds and then expand your awareness to your surroundings.

 

NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy.  Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in individual or group therapy.