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.

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January’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.

January’s Mindfulness Exercise:

It’s a new year! This month we will be mindful of our hopes and fears for the coming year. Take out a sheet of paper and number it 1-10 on one half of the paper, and 1-10 again on the other half of the paper. Writer down ten fears you have for 2017, and ten hopes.

Then set the paper aside and begin taking slow, deep breaths in and out. What did you feel as you were writing down the fears? The hopes? What are you feeling now? Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings (physical and emotional). Try not to judge or change them. If you find yourself becoming anxious or distracted by thoughts, return to your breathing.

 

This is intended to increase your awareness and acceptance of your own thoughts and feelings as you consider the coming year. If you are a current client in therapy, please feel free to bring in your hopes and fears for exploration at 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.

December’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.

December’s Mindfulness Exercise:

This month’s mindfulness exercise involves a bit of reflection. Take out whatever calendar you use for planning purposes – it may be on your phone, email, or a paper planner. Look through each month of the past year and for each month, write down one word that comes to mind. The word could be related to a feeling (“happiness,” “frustration”); an event (“birthday”); or anything else that comes to mind.

Then take a moment to look through your list of words. Breathe slowly and deeply as you reflect on the past year. What thoughts and feelings do you notice? Are you holding tension physically, and if so, where? Try to have awareness of these things without judging them or changing them.

 

This is intended to increase your awareness and acceptance of your own thoughts and feelings as you reflect on the end of 2016.

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.

November’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.

November’s Mindfulness Exercise:

The holidays are coming. For this month’s exercise, we will do a free- write activity. Take a pen and paper and five minutes to write down your thoughts about the holidays. What do you feel emotionally about the holidays? What thoughts are popping into your head? How do you feel physically as you think about them? Try to write for five minutes without stopping (unless, of course, your hand hurts – then take a break!). After you have written your thoughts down, take a few deep breaths. How are you feeling right now? Try to notice without judgment.

This activity is intended to increase your awareness and acceptance of your own thoughts and feelings about the holidays coming up.

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.

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’s exercise focuses on the end of the work day. At the end of each workday for the next week, practice taking five deep breaths and checking in with yourself using the following questions:

What level of distress am I feeling (1 – 10, with 10 being the most intense)?

What emotions am I holding?

What am I feeling physically?

What thoughts are lingering from today?

Try to notice each of these things without judgment. Take a moment to sit with these observations without changing them before walking out the door. At the end of the week, notice if (and how) this has impacted your daily experience at work and at home.

This is intended to increase your awareness and acceptance of your own thoughts and feelings. You may also notice that this helps with the transition time between work and home.

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.

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.   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:

As we head towards another changing season, take a moment to be aware of what the transition from summer to fall means for you.  Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment, so try to do this without judging the thoughts or feelings that come up for you.  What has this time of year been like for you in the past? What do you hope it will be like this year? As you notice changes in the outside world, what do you notice about yourself? Take a moment to reflect and write down your thoughts, without judging them as good or bad.

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

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.   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:

As last month’s exercise showed us, mindfulness is not always a quiet, passive observation.  Mindfulness can occur in conversation, and it can also occur in movement.  Today, turn on some music (the radio, a CD, Pandora, or however you get your tunes) and allow yourself to move to the music.  You may start by keeping the beat with your foot, and then if you like, allow the rest of your body to join in the dancing. (If anything causes pain, return to just tapping the beat). Notice what you’re doing physically, what thoughts you have, and how you feel emotionally. Try to observe without judging as good or bad. Try to dance for at least one song!

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