Mindful Mondays–Mindful Tracking


F! feeling bad, let’s practice mindful tracking!

Mindful tracking has great benefits for reducing anxiety by increasing awareness of your space. As you observe your space your feelings, thoughts, urges, and body sensations become evident in relation to the items and patterns you notice. It roots you in your present space and expands your self-awareness, which both contribute to building agency.

How

You are going to look around the space you are in and focus on what you see around you. Just notice what you notice and become intimately familiar with the space and the stuff in it. People often tell me that they already know where they are or there aren’t too many things to look at where they are—still, focus on that space that you are in right now and I promise you will be surprised what you find that you forgot about or never really noticed before.

  1. Sit comfortably in the room.
  2. Take a couple cleansing breaths and melt into your seated position.
  3. Set a timer for the length of time you plan to practice. If you are just beginning, three to five minutes should be enough.
  4. Start observing/tracking. During your practice take notice of:
    • Allow your thoughts of the past or the future to flow through using whatever imagery works for you.
    • Take not of:
      • Different colors, shapes, sizes;
      • Any patterns that might be present;
      • Items or patterns you find more or less interesting than others; and,
      • Your reactions to what you are observing.

Why

Mindful tracking is an open monitoring meditation (OMM), which means that instead of focusing on something specific you are taking in what is happening around you. OMM is linked to lowered judgement by building the skill of separating your emotions from what you are observing. So, mindful tracking increases your ability to regulate your emotions and reduces your tendency to react with bias. You know what I’m talking about, right? Those times you saw something that stirred up some strong emotion that seemed to come from nowhere and you reacted in the moment by having a VERY strong opinion (maybe even yelling) before realizing that you embarrassed yourself because you didn’t have all the information…and you’re standing there with egg on your face, or chocolate shoes, or whatever you idiom you use to describe it. THIS helps THAT stop happening.

Ultimately, mindful tracking increases your opportunities for happiness and overall well-being (Fjino et. al, 2018; Lindsay & Creswell, 2016.) Specifically, mindful tracking and other open monitoring meditation techniques are beneficial by:

  • Improving cognitive functioning skills such as,
    • Attention,
    • Working memory, and
    • Emotion regulation;
  • Increases physical health;
  • Lowers risk for drug abuse;
  • Alleviates symptoms of PTSD and depression and anxiety disorders;
  • Reduces stress; and,
  • Lowers the risk of stress-related health problems.

 

If you are interested in increasing your ability to regulate your emotions, move through the world more purposefully, and manage overwhelming anger and anxiety, consider registering for the F! Feeling Bad program by signing up for your free consultation.

For more information about mindful tracking and OMMs, follow the links below:

How Open Monitoring Meditation Enhances Creativity – Alexander

Mechanisms of Mindfulness Training: Monitor and Acceptance Theory (MAT) – Lindsay & Creswell

Mindfulness Observation – ANA

Mindfulness Tracking: Cultivating Inner Peace and Awareness

Open Monitoring Meditation Reduces the Involvement of Brain Regions Related to Memory Function – Fujino, et. al.

 

Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for mental health or medical treatment. It is important for those with clinical and medical diagnoses to receive the appropriate treatment from trusted and trained practitioners.