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Objectives
~ Review the function of mindfulness and a variety of mindfulness techniques
~ Explore the concept of relaxation
~ Identify different methods of relaxation
Mindfulness
~ Being aware of your current state
~ Emotionally
~ Mentally
~ Physically
~ Spiritually
~ MindLESSness allows people to ignore “minor” stress until it adds up to a meltdown
~ What discriminative stimuli can you put in the environment to remind you to do a mindfulness scan?
Mindfulness Activities
~ Body scan
~ Mindful Breathing
~ Mindful Observation
~ Specific object
~ Environmental awareness
~ Mindful awareness – Think before you act
~ Mindful appreciation: Notice 5 things in your day that usually go unappreciated.
More Mindfulness Activities
~ 4+4
~ 4 Senses plus 4 stimuli: Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell
~ What are 4 things that I see
~ What are 4 things I am hearing
~ What are 4 things I am feeling
~ What are 4 things I can smell
~ Tactile Mindfulness
~ Pinch or ice cube
~ Helps tune in to how you deal with pain and what emotions rise
More Mindfulness Activities
~ “I” and “You” Exercise
~ Pay attention to how often you use the word I in a sentence
~ I feel
~ I am
~ I will etc…
~ Pay attention to how often you use the word “you”
~ In a blaming, directing or accusatory fashion
~ In an inquiring, compassionate fashion
More Mindfulness Activities
~ Cause and effect
~ Play out the story for everything that you do for a given period of time
~ I got out of bed because…. The effect of this is…
~ Devil’s Advocate
~ Act as if you believe the opposite of what you believe about something. Make a note of how you feel and new perspectives you gain.

Relaxation
~ Relieving the mind and body of stress, tension, anxiety and restoring equilibrium
~ Emotional
~ Increase pleasant cues in your environment
~ Sound: Music, birds, silence, waterfall,
~ Sights: Pictures, colors, organization, safety
~ Feel: Temperature, texture
~ Smell: Crisp air, aromatherapy
Relaxation
~ Cognitive
~ Don’t think…just be (meditation)
~ Guided Imagery
~ Reading something enjoyable/nonstressful
~ Learning a new hobby is often not relaxation in it’s truest sense because it takes a fair amount of energy, however, it does distract from other stressors
Relaxation
~ Physical—Relieve pain and muscular imbalances and regulate bloodflow
~ Stretching
~ Massage
~ Hottub
~ Progressive muscular relaxation
~ Breath work

Relaxation
~ Social
~ Social environments that promote calm, tranquility and happiness
~ Laughter is an excellent relaxation technique.
~ Extroverts may be more comfortable around a group of people, interruptions are welcomed
~ Introverts may find a gathering of one or two others without interruptions is optimal
~ “Judgers” do not like surprises and need to plan for the event (the unknown or unpredictable is stressful)
~ “Perceivers” love surprises and prefer not to exert the mental energy of planning everything out
Relaxation
~ Environmental
~ What makes an environment relaxing for you?
~ Colors
~ Sights
~ Light level
~ Temperature
~ Location
~ Sounds
~ Organization

Recreation
~ Current literature supports the comprehensive health benefits of exposure to nature and green environments on human systems.
~ Nature therapy is recommended for reducing the modern-day “stress-state” and “technostress.
~ Green space exposure reduce mortality, heart rate, and violence, and improve attention, mood, and physical activity.
~ Green space exposure and children's emotional and behavioral difficulties, particularly with hyperactivity and inattention problems

Recreation
~ Recreation is different from art therapy in that it is not designed to delve into past issues.
~ Recreation can be beneficial to the individual by:
~ Decreasing cortisol and stress chemicals
~ Increasing relaxation chemicals
~ Distracting from a problem to enhance clarity
~ Increasing wonder and awe
~ Increasing self esteem and efficacy

Individual Recreation Activities
~ Nature Walk
~ Gardening
~ Meditation
~ Yoga
~ Martial Arts
~ Sports/exercise
~ Dancing
~ Art (painting, drawing, crocheting, woodworking…)
~ Music – Listening, performing or singing
~ Playing with animals (Yours or at the pound)
~ Going to a museum, gallery, arboretum
~ Movies
~ Reading / Library
~ Boating /kayaking
~ Cooking
~ Any hobby
~ Volunteering

Recreation
~ Activities that increase interpersonal interaction are rarely effective at remediating loneliness because many people have trouble making meaningful social connections without support (depression, addiction, grief, dementia…)
~ Activities that promote “social productivity” which is based on the notion of reciprocity (planning and contributing as well as benefitting from the relationship) has a positive effect on resilience, health and well-being
~ Less emphasis on “making you like me” more on shared goals and interests
~ Social productivity and peer support are pillars for recovery and wellbeing (addiction, anxiety, depression, dementia, weight loss, grief resolution, wellbeing enhancement…)
~ Peers can be conceptualized as others with similar issues or goals
Recreation—Planning, Contributing, Peers
~ Art Therapy
~ Enhance family communication (Family flag, Gratitude tree)
~ Normalize and provide peer support for shared experiences (Trauma quilt)
~ Family photo blanket or book
Recreation—Planning, Contributing, Peers

~ Nature
~ Nature walks (mindfulness, stress reduction, conservation)
~ Community Garden (self sufficiency, enhanced nutrition)
~ Meditation Garden (plants, décor)
Recreation—Planning, Contributing, Peers
~ Music
~ Themed playlists
~ Meaningful lyrics
~ Performing (even karaoke)
~ Community Classes and Meetups (hiking, cooking, new parents, sober living, veganism…)
~ Drama Clubs
~ Team-based board games (Pictionary, taboo, charades…)
~ Fundraising / Cause Support

Summary
~ Mindfulness involves increasing awareness of our emotional, mental and physical selves
~ Mindfulness helps us develop an understanding of external stimuli that influence ourselves
~ Relaxation is a technique used to restore equilibrium after a period of stress
~ As clients increase self-awareness, they will be able to
~ Identify signs of distress earlier
~ Implement relaxation strategies to prevent upheaval
~ Learn their own stress triggers and effective interventions
~ Recreation is used to increase self efficacy and positive feelings in individuals as well as enhance communication and reduce loneliness between individuals