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:

The holidays are here. This can mean more family gatherings, parties, and other get-togethers outside the norm of our usual day-to-day. It also can mean more stress.

With stress and social interactions in mind, this month’s mindfulness exercise is focused on interpersonal interactions.

Over the course of the next week, pick several different social situations (such as at a party, at home, or at work) to try the following exercise:

In conversation, notice how your emotions fluctuate. Throughout the course of a conversation, check in with yourself. Beginning with the very first “hello,” notice what you are feeling emotionally and your overall level of distress. Before you respond to the other person (or people) in the conversation, wait for one breath – or even a half a breath – to notice what you are experiencing emotionally. When the conversation is ending, take a few deep breaths to notice what you are feeling and your overall level of distress.

How do your emotions fluctuate in conversation? Does this change based on the context, the time of day, or the person with whom you are talking?

Notice what you experience and your overall observances. If you are an active client, please feel free to share your experience of this exercise in your next session.

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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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 and with them, many different stressors. Holiday stress can include worries about finances, so for this month’s mindfulness exercise we will be noticing financial stress.

Begin with your breathing, keeping in mind that as long as you are breathing, there is more that’s right with you than wrong with you. Check in with how you are feeling physically and emotionally, and what thoughts are on your mind.

Draw your thoughts to the topic of finances. Without diving into any specific thoughts, notice your responses. What thoughts come to mind? What is your level of distress, 1 through 10 (if 10 is panic)? What emotions come up for you? How do you feel physically at this moment?

Without judging your responses or trying to change them, continue to observe the various aspects of your conscious awareness. If you notice your stress level rise, return to your breathing.

Continue to engage in this exercise for a few minutes, and then take a moment to write down the responses you noticed mentally, physically, and emotionally. Reflect on these responses. Is there a way you would like to respond differently, or a strategy you’d like to employ to better manage stress?

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.

Warm Holiday Wishes

To all my clients, colleagues, and friends:

I’m sending you warm holiday wishes as we head towards celebrations, towards the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. I’m sending warm wishes to those who are looking forward to the celebrations, the food and gifts and time with loved ones; those who are overwhelmed with the stress of holiday cooking, shopping and job requirements; those who are missing a loved one or are alone at this time of year; those who are struggling to be kind to themselves; and all of us as we step towards a new year.

As always, should you find that you are having difficulties this time of year, please don’t hesitate to call or email to set up an appointment. I look forward to seeing you soon; you are welcome in my office, however you are and whatever you carry with you!

With all my best,

Johanna

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.

Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – November

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

November’s monthly journal exercise:

The holidays are coming.  What do the holidays mean for you?  Take five minutes to free-write without stopping (unless your hand hurts, or you find yourself in emotionally distress, in which case you should engage in another form of self-care).  If the holidays are a difficult time of year for you, use this time to write down the things that will help you to get through them.  This is not meant to be a polished piece of writing but rather an exploration of your thoughts on the holidays and your own coping skills.

Wellness Through the Holidays Workshop

Please note: Tomorrow’s Wellness Through the Holidays workshop has been cancelled.  If you are interested in attending a workshop, please sign up for December’s Wellness Through the Holidays workshop on December 10th (Thursday) from 5:30-7:00pm.  Cost is $20.  Sign up by emailing Johanna at jbondperspectives@gmail.com, or by calling (585)406-3012.

The holidays can be a stressful time.  Make sure you are taking care of yourself!