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Mindfulness, Emotional Regulation, Occupational Therapy and Healing

What is Mindfulness?


Mindfulness is a mental practice that involves focusing your awareness on the present moment without judgment. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they arise, promoting a greater sense of self-awareness and emotional balance.


What is Emotional Regulation?


Emotional regulation refers to the ability to manage and control your emotions effectively. It involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to your emotions in a healthy and balanced way, rather than letting them overwhelm you or dictate your actions. This skill helps you navigate various situations with greater calmness and adaptability.


How is an Occupational Therapist Suited to Use Mindfulness Techniques


Occupational therapy can incorporate mindfulness techniques to help individuals improve their overall well-being and daily functioning. With a strong background in the science of the nervous system and body as a whole, occupational  therapists might use mindfulness as a tool to address various physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges. For example, they can guide clients through mindfulness exercises to enhance focus, reduce stress, manage pain, and develop better self-awareness.

By integrating mindfulness into therapy sessions, occupational therapists (OT’s) can assist individuals in developing coping strategies, managing anxiety, and improving their ability to engage in meaningful activities. The practice of mindfulness can enhance an individual's self-regulation skills, ultimately leading to improved quality of life and overall functioning.


The Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life


Our occupations include not only work activities. They include activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and toileting. Leisure activities are included. Sleep. Self-care. Taking care of the finances. They include all of the occupations of one’s life.

We have so much to do- and the practice of mindfulness can help us learn emotional self regulation, to focus, and to be in the moment so that we can accomplish all of the tasks that we want and need to in daily life.


The Body Scan Exercise


Engage in a practical mindfulness exercise called the "body scan." Follow step-by-step instructions to enhance self-awareness and relaxation. Journal your experience to deepen your connection with your body and thoughts.


You’ll need a safe quiet space, couple of pillows for your comfort, a notebook and pen, and about 15 mins free time.

Here are the steps:


  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Don’t cross your arms or legs. If lying down and your back is uncomfortable, bend your knees and/or place a pillow under them. Make sure you are comfortable.

  2. Place your hands over the middle of your body so you can feel your breathe.

  3. Start at your feet, starting at your toes. Notice how they feel. If you sense tension in them, and relax them now. Breathe down into where your hands are and breathe out as you relax them.

  4. Turn your attention to your calves and so the same thing.

  5. If thoughts of other things come into your mind gently say “body scan time” and chase away the outside thoughts.

  6. Do not judge yourself if your mind wanders. Just gently remind it that your attention is now on your body scan.

  7. Continue to do this for your thighs, buttocks, back and so on until you have scanned from your toes to your forehead and had them all relax.

  8. When your forehead has relaxed, now picture loving, pink energy cleansing your whole body from the top of your head to your toes. Take 3 deep breathes so that the rib cage expands under your hands with each breathe. When completed, open your eyes.

  9. Journal your thoughts about your body scan. Write everything down that comes to mind.

  10. Congratulate yourself for taking some time to check in with your body and relax any tension you find.


Embrace the Present with Mindfulness


Mindfulness is about learning to listen to your body, mind and spirit. It’s about being in the moment you’re in and living in the present. Learning this skill will improve one's quality of life and broaden ones ability to find happiness in each moment.


Conclusion:

Elevate your well-being by embracing mindfulness as a tool for emotional regulation, self-awareness, and effective daily functioning. Discover how this practice can positively impact various aspects of your life. To delve deeper into the benefits of mindfulness and start to practice it in your own life, consider booking a spiritual coaching session with Wendy Edge OTR/L

Start your journey towards a more mindful and fulfilling life today!


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