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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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.