Week 2 Practice Assignment (Hindbrain Breathing)

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54 thoughts on “Week 2 Practice Assignment (Hindbrain Breathing)”

  1. A deep breathing relaxation exercise that is calming to the mind and body as I remain still and just ‘follow and feel’ my breath. A pleasant experience and it was not too difficult for me as I do this daily at the beginning and end of the day. Slight difference and difficulty for me in doing this practice is: I usually do this with my eyes closed so that my thoughts do not wander off. I do guide clients to do deep breathing relaxation exercise in counselling sessions, very useful to calm down clients who experiences anxiety.

  2. Matthew Skinner

    Personally I feel like I’m an relaxed person and this exercise made me relax even more which was awesome. I ended up falling asleep right near the end because I had become just so relaxed. It was difficult for me at all and I would totally practice this more often and then eventually do it with the youth I’m working with because I feel like it would benefit them greatly. Afterwords I felt very relaxed and was not ready to leave my chair, I wanted to just stay there and continue to be relaxed and not have to go back into the real world. This is an very cool exercise and I’m glad I was introduced to it and gave it an try.

  3. I have used this in my practice for years, and, indeed it was an excellent reminder for me to relax. I have a tendency to be busy, and forget that these skills are good for me as well as the people who participate with me in counseling. Thank you.

  4. This was a greatly needed self care break for me =)
    We teach mindfulness using singing bowls and bells with our young students here at the elementary level. We do deep breaths and connect to our bodies. The students love it. I love grounding exercises and they are easy for the teachers to incorporate in the classroom.

  5. I really enjoyed hindbrain breathing and found it to be very relaxing. I have done mindfulness breathing before and one thing I like to do is close my eyes. I find that when I close my eyes, then I am more grounded and focusing on my breath, although I can also see myself trying it with my eyes open to scan my environment. I work with a lot of kids struggling with anxiety, and I can see this as being very useful and helpful to them, as it will help them to focus on the present moment, and take their future worries away.

  6. Right on – open eyes practice! Normalizing scanning the room for safety and allowing eyes to scan and settle on things.
    So many sessions I’ve said how OK it is to not close your eyes (fixing a low gaze)- knowing that those that don’t might be feeling some pressure if most others are. Nice one Sammy, thank you.

  7. This is my first time attempting to practice structured breathing with my eyes open and it was VERY difficult for me. The tendency is to close my eyes to prevent distraction; I found myself reading things, my thoughts wandering, etc. After a few minutes, I got better, but it was still super hard for me. I became tired and just wanted to close my eyes and sleep! Additionally, I chose to do this on my lunch break, which isn’t very long to begin with and found myself worried about other things I should be doing. I appreciate the practice, as it is new to me and I like to add new “tools”. I think some of my students could benefit from this, but I think my faculty would really love it.

  8. I have never practiced deep breathing with my eyes open before. I liked being able to scan the room and let my eyes rest on what felt right at the time. I think it helped me relax more completely and focus on my breathing. Like some of the other comments, I did have trouble towards the end fighting the urge to drift off to sleep. This is problem I have quite often whenever I try to meditate or practice breathing. I can picture using this with clients once I can establish it as a regular practice.

  9. Love it!
    Eyes open, relieves expectation/power imbalance that can trigger SNS great for those who may be experiencing hypervig or haven’t quite established trust or just feel more comfortable.
    Focus on breath gently coaches out of the forebrain and tones down the SNS while stimulating the ANS and allows the individual to be in control of their own sensations of relaxation so that they can recreate this exercise and learn a great tool for self soothing, no expense, no outside tools/interventions etc.
    Also loved the auditory processing assimilation, given so many people who live in hyper states also have to be on guard when most vulnerable aka asleep and this in the last man standing (in a sensory perception) and the first sense back on duty as we rouse from sleep.
    Very gentle, mindful and practical tool ????

  10. This was fairly easy to do in my home setting; work I am not sure about. I would love to keep using this as a “brain break” at work to avoid fatigue with the difficult situations that we are sometimes faced with. This may help me fall asleep easier at night as well. I hope to share this with my co-workers.

  11. Darryl Neufeld

    Ok, I did this exercise after I got to the job site, already frustrated and imagining the arguments I was going to get into with my co-worker, and anticipating getting angry at the tile I need to lay. So u took 5 minutes to sit on the back deck and stare at the lake and listen to this exercise. Wow, do I feel a lot better. I think there’s a chance I’ll be able to just calmly go through my morning :-). I’ll probably have to repeat this exercise at lunch though: lots on my mind I’m worried about, but at least I feel connected with my sense of relaxation. Thanks!

  12. Carissa Stevens

    I found it easy to practice- I have meditated on my own many times, though this is definitely a good reminder to me to be using meditation as a tool for self care more consistently. Following the meditation, I feel more connected between my mind and my body, and I also feel very calm. I love this specific meditation for the youth I work with because there is a level of safety needed to close the eyes that they often do not feel. Also, being orientated in a space and aware of surroundings often allows the body to calm down, so that being built into this meditation is great.

  13. After a long stressful day, this felt great. However, I definitely had to fight the urge to fall asleep. This is a fabulous technique to teach kiddos.

  14. sarahrizkallah

    I had quite a busy day today and I found it challenging to complete the exercise. I think this is an interesting observation though and showed me that its important to chat with the young person afterwards about what their experience was it, what they found challenging, what they found helpful etc.

  15. At first it was challenging because I just wanted to close my eyes as I do for my meditation. By scanning my environment I started to focus on all the things that I could be doing to beautify my space–the doer wanted to take over. Then my eyes landed on the colored markers on my desk and it was easier to focus on the breath. Towards the end of the exercise I was feeling more settle and calm. It will probably be good for me to practice this exercise since I have the tendency to be on the go, always doing something.

  16. People have told me that it takes a lot of practice to really be able to focus in on your breathing. I appreciated this exercise because it was ok for my mind to wander (which it did a lot). This allowed me to focus on the breathing part of the exercise rather than concentrating on my thinking.

  17. I found this activity enjoyable. I found the “eyes open” was initially difficult- but reflecting afterwards I believe this could be beneficial to helping a student feel safe seeing their surrounding and as you stated- focus on what seems natural. I do believe this could be a beneficial that I could incorporate after practicing and becoming more comfortable with it personally.

  18. The exercise wasn’t difficult though I was very tired and felt a bit sleepy at times. I will practice this more often as it helps me to remain calm. It will prove useful when working with the young people since its a very relaxing exercise.

  19. Henrietta Sandoval

    I really enjoyed it. I felt a little distracted thinking about all the things I need to do. And I didn’t think I was stressed but doing the technique made me realize that I needed to relax. It is a good technique to use with students.

  20. I use similar breathing techniques with my students. It helps them tremendously to calm and settle their minds for a few minutes. It was nice be the participant sitting and listening as opposed to the facilitator. It’s a good reminder that I also need to breathe and be calm for a few minutes. I liked the multiple chimes of the bell. I haven’t done that before with mine (just beginning and ending). I think I will use this in my next group.

  21. This exercise was not too difficult for me to complete. As a kindergarten teacher, I am always busy and on the go so, to sit and relax for a few minutes made me realize that this is a “self-care” that is greatly needed. I, too, almost fell asleep towards the end. I was listening for the mediation bell to end and then the bathroom door slammed and the kiddos started fighting. It was good while it lasted. 🙂

  22. It was difficult at first because in the past I have had problems with these meditation exercises but this one was different.I felt quite relaxed and at the end of it all I experienced a sense of peace.I liked the practice of keeping my eyes opened throughout the session.I will definitely continue this exercise and will definitely introduce it to the youths I work with.Grateful thanks for introducing me to this practice.

  23. I really liked the feel of this exercise compared to normal meditation techniques. I feel that asking a young person who is trigged to close their eyes and do a practice could cause their triggered state to escalate or otherwise make their anxiety worse. I really liked the focus on something your eyes naturally go to. I feel like this is very beneficial and possibly eye-opening for youth. I saw this as a very grounding technique that could be used with youth to help calm and relax them once rapport is built.

  24. I enjoy breathing and mindfulness meditation practices in which you’re asked to keep your eyes open as we live our lives with our eyes open and not shut. For my clients who have experienced trauma, it can be difficult to close their eyes and go inward as it can heighten anxiety. During this practice in particular, I noticed that being asked to scan my environment allowed me to see the walls that were surrounding me and I felt more contained. I can see how this would be helpful for a traumatized youth as well. Thank you.

  25. devanathan.manickum

    The deep breathing relaxation exercise was calming and soothing to the mind and body. It made me feel totally relaxed. I have used this breathing exercise with my students in the past. Most students loved it. Some of them even fell asleep by the end of the exercise.

  26. What a wonderful 5 minutes for me during a very hectic week as I draw toward the end of my masters degree; this was a welcome break. What I found interesting for me personally was the tendency to return to closing my eyes. I think keeping the eyes open to scan the environment is a welcome tool to give adolescents. I use a number of mindfulness and “self” tools when working with the girls and look forward to adding this to my practice. This unit on the brain is utterly fascinating to me and I look forward to the rest of the content.

  27. Practicing the Hindbrain breathing was relaxing and pleasant. During and afterwards I felt relaxed and at ease. I actually already do this a bit when I feel overwhelmed at work. This is something I would like to practice on a more consistent basis and I would like to effectively teach it to the youth I work with.

  28. In general, I find this type of relaxation technique difficult for me. It feels unnatural to focus in on such a simple thing as breathing when I am busy or at work. I have been hoping to find something that I find easy enough for personal use and teachable to my students and staff too. This felt good, easy, and useful. I struggle with the length of time. but do believe it feels like something I can improve. We have started giving our students brain breaks and we find improved behavior management and increased self awareness. I remain hopeful that my staff and I find opportunity to utilize it for ourselves too.

  29. Melvin Willingham

    I’m definitely going to use this exercise with our young men individually, but also in the group setting. For example, sometimes we view pictures, and documentaries that detail how social engineering thru commercial programming has historically effected world views related to certain demographics. Then we have conversations about what we can do to combat, or navigate scenarios where implicit bias may be contributing to mistreatment, or unfair circumstances. Their emotional state is critical as it pertains to brainstorming for appropriate reactions to scenarios, and proactive advancements toward changing world views. Utilizing this exercise immediately following the videos, or photo sessions would likely help to calm their minds (spirits), subsequently allowing for more productive feedback discussions.

  30. Christine Rachuy

    I’m pretty familiar with this technique as the teacher I work with in the Behavior Intervention Room and myself do this with students that get assigned to us. I also encountered it at a workshop back in February.

  31. I have personally done meditations in the past but love that it was an open eye activity. I agree with other comments that having a triggered youth close their eyes might make them more anxious. Meditation I think is good for relaxation because it allows your mind to wander as it needs to but gives you something else to focus on, your breath and the bell. This particular activity was relaxing because it made me feel safe and secure with my body and feelings, and allowed for me to sit comfortably, let my mind and gaze wander, and just sit with myself quietly.

  32. Yes, I enjoyed this practice. breath has always been an integral part of my personal healing (through singing, martial arts, and athletics since I was a child and have also been integrating less active meditative practices as an adult). We do a good bit of practices similar to this in our group work with teens/yoga and some workshops). It’s always cool and useful to hear different approaches, too, though.

  33. Thank you, I felt very peaceful, relaxed and centred but I did need to close my eyes at one point. I attended a mindful workshop many years ago and have used that with some of the kiddos I work with as I find it is very helpful for getting them to relax. Overall a very useful exercise and just what I needed today, thank you so much.

  34. This mediation exercise is one I will incorporate into my daily self care and with young people I work with. It allowed for quiet, calm, and time to relax. It also allowed me to recognize how this technique can allow for those who are quickly angered time to regroup their emotions and to respond to perceived angry or threatening situations differently. This technique could result in a different outcome with how they view and respond future situations that begin with the same perceived anger or threatening start.

  35. Jennifer Huxford

    I have practiced TM for many years and I need meditation every day. I find that if I get too busy or forget my body feels tense and I am much quicker to react. This breathing exercise is what I do with all my students at the beginning of each class. It really sets the tone for the class. They are more focused and relaxed.

  36. Terrimortensen

    This was a helpful reminder for skills that I have already developed, but don’t use as often as I could. I use mindful meditation often with clients and they generally find it very helpful..

  37. Very relaxing exercise. I should do this more often. I also like being able to keep my eyes open. I’m going to try and incorporate this in to my current high school classroom. I have done meditation with a previous class of grade ones and twos.

  38. This was a good basic calming exercise. I teach yoga, meditation and breath work daily so for me it was a natural and normal practice. Breathing and connecting deeply with a safe surrounding is something that should be used in every classroom and every therapy session daily. The western culture needs to learn to add breath work and mindfulness to its natural existence.

  39. stacymcondon

    I liked this a lot. I have a hard time meditating because I get frustrated that I am having such a difficult time “clearing my mind” and keeping my eyes closed. This was much gentler, forgiving, and relaxing.

  40. Faith Raymond

    It’s not often that I get a minute of peace and quiet in my workplace, but I found this very helpful for when I need to wind down at the end of the day. I also think it is a useful tool for calming youth down when there is a conflict

  41. I also liked the addition of keeping eyes open to orientate. I am using with a group of parents in a group today.

  42. LiesbetBickett

    The exercises was relaxing and calming. I do meditate and lead others on meditations in my coaching. What I liked about this was it was simply a breathing exercise. I can see it working for anyone. I can also see it helping with the integration of mindfulness into daily life, not as an exercise separate from every other task or experience, but as a technique which could be used for even 30 seconds to calm, focus, and gain perspective in a difficult situation.

  43. I had a hard time keeping my eyes open as I was quite tired already. I did feel a nice calmness coming over me and I was definitely more relaxed than when I started!

  44. I love using breathing techniques to self-regulate. It has drastically improved my ability to de-stress and manage ongoing high conflict issues at work. About a month ago, I implemented a breathing/mindfulness activity at our weekly staff meetings, works wonders for team attitudes!

  45. Absolutely, loved the combination method of somatic, mindfulness, breathing and sound. I think I am going to use this one every day and see how this feels. I have used another technique for many years now.

  46. sara_laughlin

    Our school incorporates mindfullness practices into our day which has drastically reduced student behavior issues…and it helps keep me calm as well. This was a great practice.

  47. My eyes closed naturally as I became more relaxed. I loved the focus on deep breaths instead of trying to focus the mind. Allowing the eyes and thoughts to “just do what feels normal and safe” allowed my mind to let go and really fully relax. No expectations, just breath. Loved it.

  48. Savanna Flakes

    A great breathing technique for my morning routine. At night, I feel like I could fall asleep after my busy day.

  49. Louise Campbell

    I really enjoy meditation and any type of mindfulness with which I can engage. I find it to be incredibly relaxing and a great way to lower my heart rate and reduce any anxiety I may feel. I enjoyed this exercise and I believe it would be beneficial for student. With larger class sizes, however, I believe that this exercise would be most beneficial for students to do in a very small group (five or less) or individually since it would only take one student to not take the exercise seriously to negatively affect everyone else in the room.

  50. Some of our classes use meditation and mindfulness techniques with students. Students respond to the calming nature of the exercise and are focused on their breathing.

  51. I recently attended a full day workshop on mindfulness and meditation; there were many helpful techniques shared for self care and centering self. In the fast paced work world we are in it is oftentimes hard to slow down, be mindful of the present, and use these breathing techniques. I find it hard not to let my mind wander and start making a list of “to do” things. This is something I continue to practice and think it is important to share with others.

  52. This experience was relaxing until I was interrupted! However, I could feel a sense of comfort because I was aware and felt safe within the environment in which I was in. A great technique in which to adopt for helping with the treatment of these teenagers whom are faced with many situations in which make them continuously anxious.

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