What is the theory behind the worksheet?
The following worksheet is based on a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT) approach. This approach combines methods from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and meditative techniques, in order to prevent relapse in recurrent depression (Manjaly & Iglesias, 2020).
How will this worksheet help
This worksheet will help clients become more aware of the present moment by explaining how mindfulness mediation works in order to achieve emotional regulation and provide treatment for several clinical disorders (Tang et al., 2015).
How to use the worksheet
Mindfulness meditation is a technique whose goal is to make you be more aware of the present moment without any judgment, having multiple benefits for your mental well-being (Bowen et al., 2006).
Mindfulness meditation worksheet
Use the following instructions to help you practice mindfulness meditation.
Time and Place
You should practice mindfulness meditation daily, for somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes per day. Keep in mind that more frequent and longer-term practice leads to better results.
Find a time and place where the possibility to be interrupted is low. Silence your phone and other devices and set a timer to let you know when to stop.
Sit in a chair or on the floor with a cushion for support.
Straighten your back, but keep it relaxed. You don’t want to stiffen it.
Let your chin drop slightly and gaze downward at a point in front of you.
If in a chair, place the soles of your feet on the ground. If on a floor, cross your legs.
Let your arms fall naturally to your sides, with your palms resting on your thighs.
If your pose gets too uncomfortable, you may take a break or adjust your pose.
Awareness of Breathing
When you become distracted during meditation, turn your focus back to breathing. Notice the sensation of air as it passes through your nose or mouth, the rise and fall of your belly, and the feeling of air being exhaled, back into the world. Pay attention to the sounds that accompany each inhalation and exhalation.
During mindfulness, your thoughts might start to wander, to the point you are battling to maintain attention to your breathing. This is normal. Instead of struggling against your thoughts, simply notice them, without judgment. Acknowledge that your mind has wandered, and return your attention to breathing. Expect to repeat this process again and again.
Bowen, S., Witkiewitz, K., Dillworth, T. M., Chawla, N., Simpson, T. L., Ostafin, B. D., Larimer, M. E., Blume, A. W., Parks, G. A., & Marlatt, G. A. (2006). Mindfulness meditation and substance use in an incarcerated population. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 20(3), 343–347. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-164X.20.3.343
Manjaly, Z.-M., & Iglesias, S. (2020). A Computational Theory of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy from the “Bayesian Brain” Perspective. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00404
Tang, Y.-Y., Hölzel, B. K., & Posner, M. I. (2015). The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(4), 213–225. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3916
You can download this worksheet here.