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.