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Mindfulness Exercises that Worked

Discuss about the Reflective Learning Journal, Practice Logs & Posts .

Which mindfulness technique did you practice and how did you practice it?

Mindfulness Exercises that Worked

I often wondered how leaders managed to tackle numerous challenges and still remain composed. Like most people, I get stressed because of workload. When I started learning about mindfulness, I came across a scholarly analysis of a number of mental problems (Baer, 2014, p. 5). That is when I learnt some tactics on how to manage my mental state. Acceptance and Commitment in mindfulnes makes sense when dealing with personal challenges. I attempted mindfulness through this approach to social media and realized that it worked. Looking at the 2016 US elections and reactions on social media about political candidates, I decided not to be judgemental about anything that I read. In the words of Ruth Baer, mindfulness is the nonreactive approach to events or emotions (Baer, 2014, p.10). In my opinion. Hillary Clinton played a good role as a leader by remaining calm in the midst of abusive language and images displayed by Donald Trump on social media. I was not sure I would do the same in her situation. Mindfulness on social media is a major concern raised by many people. In this case,  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy makes more sense to me because I realize that tough people often try to find solutions to emotionally conflicting situations. I went to sleep thinking about other scholars ideas especialy Sarah Raymonds mindful movement, self exploration and how to alighn my intentions with designated values (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). This proved relaxing and effective in creating a balance.

Helpful Strategies

In the next morning, I woke up listening to a video on guiding the mind towards relaxation through resistance (The Mindful movement, 2012). To start off, I took a deep breath and decided on being intentional about remaining calm. I made a mental resolve to love, be compassionate and patient (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). This behavior had to have consequences such as avoidance of what was bad out of willingness. It meant that I had to also avoid “liking” or following content online. This was to be done every time I logged onto social media whether Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I controlled my mind so that every time I thought of social media, I switched to positivity while blocking out negativity. I put a reminder in my mind through a one minute mindfulness activity in which I allowed myself to breath, think and connect with my thoughts. I would close my eyes and hold my breath then go through a process of eliminating negative thoughts and embracing positive ones (Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004). In this school of thought mindfulness involves stress reduction through meditation and is effective for alleviating psychiatric disorders.

Helpful Strategies

Losing my laptop and phone made me feel empty but I decided to administer compassion by listening to other people’s problems. Through self-awareness I tried self-awareness by focusing on my values and remaining committed to what was good (Kashdan, Ciarrochi, & Harris, 2013). This experimental avoidance moment through administering ACT therapy brought happiness in my mind and suppressed my own anxiety and stress (Harris, 2009: Germer & Neff, 2013). I recalled the practice log featured on 17th April 2018 in which loving kindness and meditation emerged as important techniques for blocking negativity. I focused on a central idea and allowed my internal elements to prevail. I could feel the air and I breathed in an out paying attention to the sensations.

I gained more mindfulness muscles through the cognitive therapy exercises for values such as patience and emotional stability (Baer, 2014, p. 14). The light exercise reminded me of the Buddhist approach of the light related experiences for neurobiological benefits. I tapped into multiple senses and was able to exercise my mental senses (Lindahl, Kaplan, Winget, & Britton, 2014, p. 8).  This process made me feel less judgmental about issues and I accepted the mental conditions. Paying attention to breathing meant having the intention to think positively and not rushing anything. I learnt the value of flexibility in the thinking process paving the way for a better attitude.
Improvement for next Practice

My next experience was on 8th March at 3.45. To improve on this practice, I tried enhancing concentration by switching off the lights, changing my breathing space and taking breaks from lectures. I was practicing tried Ruth Harris approach to midfulness which dictates an openess, warm, curiosity and flexibility based approach (2009). Instead of avoidance, I tried acceptance through adoption of a receptive approacch to experiences. My idea was to notice changes through distructed thoughts and return to focus (O'Donoghue, 2016). Instead of the breathing exercises, in this case, I used defusion process of intervention by separating the listener and the mind so I went out for relaxation after lectures.

Lessons Learnt

Reflecting on the foundations of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Applied Behavioral Analysis of consequences, I made conclusions about the human response to issues through Relational Frame Theory (RFT) which captures empirical research on the effectiveness of mindfulness therapies (Boudreraux, 2017). On 17th March, I recalled the factors contributing to acceptance and avoidance, the effect of movement in shaping emotional sensations and the use of facial expressions for awareness. I realized that the thinking process produced mental distress conditions such as relapse. This is the basis for transpersonal concepts which give way to wider research in Psychology (Shauna & Linda, 2009).

Observations: Current feelings, thoughts and sensations

Improvement for next Practice

As I recall lessons from Week 7 which focused on mechanisms for mindfulness movement such as strategies for creating balance when walking, I adopted a new routine (Alsubaie, et al., 2017).  On 7th April, I tried involving my body in the relaxation process. That is why on 21st May, I improved my spatial environment to support self-awareness. I also realized that different times determine whether meditation is successful or not. I understood why most people choose mornings and evenings for physical exercise. No wonder I experienced difficulties trying to relax during lectures. It was clear that following all strategies was not going to be a walk in the park.

Self-care was the best practice because it proved relaxing and it enhanced confidence. I learnt how to notice aromas, control my feelings, avoid distresses, and notice visual elements as well as natural tendencies. The replies I got from posts opened my eyes to people’s experiences. It was interesting to note that emotional wellbeing was evident through a smile. People go through distressful moments, loneliness and grief because they do not have mindfulness skills. This is not a subject taught in schools so many people suffer in silence (Germer & Neff, 2013).

The least interesting because it involved delving into the mind of other people. On 1st August I carried out self-assessment and realized how irrational I get when I am thinking. I tried to apply concepts from Rush & Sharma (2017) on mindfulness and stress and meditation. In my blog post 2a) I noticed that some people were creative about their approach to mindfulness. Tapping into positive energy during daily activities is part of self-care. A body scan, meditation and question and answer process worked for me but may not be easy to administer on other people. In my opinion, mindfulness through images would work for other people but not on my case.

Working with client based interventions

On 30th May at21:22 I received a response to my third post. It supported my interest in self-compassion. It gave me ideas on how to reason with the client by supporting mindfulness practice and management of daily stressors. I decided to apply a non-judgmental attitude when dealing with clients (Rosenbaum, 2013). I encouraged a shift from the distressful and slowing down during meditation. The method and process are important elements when making informed decisions (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). I focused on attention and was more in tune with emotions. Present moment awareness also made me more attentive to issues.

Lessons Learnt

8 separate HOME practice logs are completed accurately and in detail (about 1 per week) along with the 5 separate practice logs from CLASS (you completed the first one in week 1)

3 posts on the discussion board:

  • Entry 1 14th April 8:52

Today’s mindfulness activity was on attention and intention in the present. I was able to connect with my senses. I decided to apply self-care techniques to boost my moods because if I was alert, I could easily support my clients (Shapiro, Brown, & Biegel, 2007). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helped me to overcome the influence of the social contruct. I decided to take note of all my activities in order to connect with the right energy flow (Shapiro, Brown, & Biegel, 2007)

  • Entry 26th April 23:49

I remained focused to paying attention to the inner and outer moments. Applied Behavioral Analysis I offered psychotherapeutic treatment to myself.  Though emotional engagement I suppressed emotions to come up with a solution for the root causes (Goldin, Kateri, Ramel, & Gross, 2008).

  • Entry 3 May 27 23:12

 I borrowed ideas from Gotink, Meijboom, Vernooij, Smits, & Hunik (2016) on using a systematic approach to intervention. Though I was overcome by health challenges and  life events,  I delved deeper by offering concrete solutions through the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction ( MBSR) for resistance (Rush & Sharma, 2017). I experienced less fatigue, less confusion and more concerntration in group bonding by applying unconditional  acceptance.

Week 1 Cognitive Control strategy

My colleagues post was concerned about the emotional regulation using voluntary suppression. I liked this approach because everyone needs the ability to manage stressful situations. This post considered time management as a root cause of stress in contemporary society. This is a scientific approach that supports the use of methods when addressing mindfulness (Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004).

Week 4 Physical and Psychological conditioning in Mindfulness Stress Based Conditioning

In this post, it was evident that stress from the surrounding environment is as manipulative as inner built stress (Alsubaie, et al., 2017). The post looked at peoples surrounding for factors such as sound, air, and activities. It was evident that the interpersonal functioning of an individual depends on both the physical and the psychological factors. It was clear that people react to facial expression, words and body movement. The sound of good music moves people to movement. However, this post did not highlight scientific techniques with concept analysis of why the solutions were effective.

Week 6 Mindfulness for students

Observations: Current feelings, thoughts and sensations

This post was practical because it was able to identify a client’s condition through listening. The post discussed meditation as a strategy used in different ways. Among this is meditation through walking which is holistic because an individual unwinds by tapping into nature. In this post I would add self-awareness to overcome limitations of attention regulation (Hölzel, Lazar, Gard, Schuman-Oliver, Vago, & Ot, 2011)

Alsubaie, M., Abbott, R., Dunn, B., Dickens, C., Keil, T. F., Henley, W., et al. (2017). Mechanisms of actions in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy ( MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction ( MBSR) in people with physical and/or Psychological conditions: A systematic review. Clinical Psychological Review, 74-91.

Baer, R. A. (2014). Introduction to the core practices and exercises. In B. Ruth, Mindfulness Based Treatment Approaches. Department.

Boudreraux, H. (2017). Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy. In S. L. Shapiro, & E. C. Linda, The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions . American Psychological Association.

Germer, C. K., & Neff, K. D. (2013). Self compassion in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(8), 856-867.

Goldin, P. R., Kateri, M., Ramel, W., & Gross, J. J. (2008). The neural bases of emotion regulation: Reappraissal and suppression of negative emotion. Biol Psychiatry, 63(6), 577-586.

Gotink, R. A., Meijboom, R., Vernooij, M. W., Smits, M., & Hunik, M. M. (2016). 8-week mindfulness based stress reduction induces brain changes similar to traditional longterm meditation practice-a systematic review. Brain and Cognition, 108, 32-41.

Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits. A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosom Res, 57(1), 35-43.

Harris, R. (2009). ACT made simple: Ann east-to read primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.

Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (2012). Acceptance and commitmenmt therapy: The process and practice of mindful change (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Hölzel, B. K., Lazar, S. W., Gard, T., Schuman-Oliver, Z., Vago, D. R., & Ot, U. (2011). How does mindfulness meditation work? Proposiing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Perspectives on psychological science, 537-559.

Kashdan, T. B., Ciarrochi, J., & Harris, R. (2013). The foundations of flourishing. In Kashdan, & Ciarrochi, Mindfulness, acceptance and positive psychology: the seven foundations of well being (pp. 1-29). Oakland: Context Press.

Lindahl, J. R., Kaplan, T. C., Winget, E. M., & Britton, B. W. (2014). A phenomenology of mediation induced light experiences: traditional Buddhist and neurobiological perpsectives. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(973).

O'Donoghue, M. (2016, November 10). Meditation. UniThrive.

Rosenbaum, T. Y. (2013). An integrated mindlfulness-based approach to the treatment of women with sexual pain and anxiety: promoting autonomy and mind/body connection. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 20-28.

Rush, S. E., & Sharma, M. (2017). Mindfulness based stress reduction as a stress  management intervention for cancer care: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence Based Complemetary & Alternative Medicine, 22(2), 348-360.

Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K. W., & Biegel, G. M. (2007). Teaching self care to caregivers: Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 1(2), 105-115.

Shauna, S. L., & Linda, C. E. (2009). The art and science of mindfulness: Integrating mindfulness into Psychology and the helping professions. APA.

The Mindful movement. (2012). Guided meditation and relaxation for deep sleep and confidence. Retrieved from YouTube: https://youtu.be/pdIxHiUjg40

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