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Soles of Feet

Using mindfulness or meditation to regulate emotional responses can be a challenging task. Especially when emotions are strong, being able to observe the emotion while resisting the impulse to act upon that emotion is often more easily said than done. In some cases, using mindfulness and meditation with individuals with lower mental abilities becomes difficult. This tool was designed for individuals with lower mental abilities to enhance their ability to cope with aggressive responses.

It must be noted that most studies on the effects of this meditation on aggression have used small numbers of participants (1-18 participants). However, the results of 13 studies have been reviewed and suggest that mindfulness practices, like this exercise, can help reduce anger and aggressive responding (see Fix & Fix, 2013).


  • Note that anger can be justifiable and necessary, depending on the context. Therefore, we do not want to eliminate anger entirely. Anger can be a strength because it provides us with information about the situation in which we find ourselves and alerts us to do something positive to change the situation.

  • You are not being asked to stop angry thoughts actively. The thoughts stop by themselves when the focus of attention shifts fully to the soles of the feet. Breathe naturally. It is not necessary to take deep breaths.

  • This type of meditation can be done while standing, sitting, or walking slowly. Of course, with some modifications, it can be done while lying down, but this may not be convenient in the rush of daily activities.

  • Fix, R. L., & Fix, S. (2013). The effects of mindfulness-based treatments for aggression: A critical review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18, 219-227.

  • Singh, N., Wahler, R., Adkins, A., & Myers, R. (2003). Soles of the feet: A mindfulness-based self-control intervention for aggression by an individual with mild mental retardation and mental illness. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 24, 158-169.

  • Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Singh, J., Subhashni, D., Winton, A. S. W., & Sabaawi, M., et al. (2007). Adolescents with conduct disorder can be mindful of their aggressive behavior. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 15, 56-63.

  • Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Singh, A. D. A., Winton, A. S. W., Singh, A. N. A., & Singh, J. (2011). Adolescents with Asperger syndrome can use a mindfulness-based strategy to control their aggressive behavior. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 1103-1109.

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