As a Dialectical Behavioral Therapist and Sensorimotor Psychotherapist, I use mindfulness every day all day. In therapy, out of therapy, while I’m grocery shopping to when I wash my hands. Mindfulness is simply being aware of where your mind is at. Are you thinking about what you said 10 minutes ago, running it in your mind over and over? Are you thinking about what will happen when you get home tonight, can’t wait to watch your favorite show, or thinking about what hanging out with your friends?
All of these are normal parts of the thinking process for us all. The difference is the practice of simply being aware that you are fluttering in thoughts to places other than right now.
What to do?
DBT says many wise things about Mindfulness:
Observe – You can’t do anything if you don’t even know it’s there or that it’s happening. So slow down and observe your surroundings through your 5 senses. Observe what you notice changing in your body, thoughts, and emotions.
Describe – Use factually based words to label your observation. If you cannot observe it, you can not describe it. This prevents us from making assumptions. For example, I can’t describe you having a feeling. I can observe behavioral changes in you; “I see you brighten up and smile when I mention going on vacation!”. I’m observing the behavioral change of what might be happiness or excitement.
Participate – You can not do something mindfully (your mind being present in THIS moment) if you are not 100% doing exactly what you are doing right now in this moment. You can not successfully read this blog post while also successfully engaging in a good conversation.
Mindfulness is the exact opposite of Multi-Tasking.
You might be thinking, “That’s not practical for today’s day and age”. I’d be happy to work with you to gain a deeper understanding of how using mindfulness can actually increase your ability to complete a task, stay focused, and lower anxiety. Mindfulness is basically the best tool ever. So buckle up, it’s gonna get awesome! Additionally, if you want to supercharge your knowledge, join in on the DBT skills group in Cary, NC.
First thing is first:
If you are going to be brave with me, working to discover new insights about path to a life you love, I think it’s only fair I share with you my journey to insight.
Boundaries are My Friend
- I have a long history of running myself into the ground (*cough* perfectionism). Then I had a wise teacher explain to me that I am the vehicle through which my passions will come to life. In other words, I needed to slow down and fill my own love bucket. Learning to say ‘no’ to things you don’t want, is actually learning to say ‘yes’ to the life you DO want. It’s so liberating! I love to help others develop empowering boundaries too! When I love and respect myself, life is a lot easier, and so are relationships.
Perfection is an Infection
- Ding, Ding! Did I just light something up in you? Yeah, you know perfectionism. She’s a vicious and critical little thing. I used to sit on the edge of making changes, wavering until things were ‘just right’. I was scared to claim what I really wanted because, what if I was wrong?! Well, guess what? It’s all subjective. That’s why I love and live by the principals I’ve learned through Dialectical Behavior Therapy. You can learn too! 3. I’m Not a Fortune Teller • Wait, what? I’m not?! Does sitting around just
I’m Not a Fortune Teller
- Wait, what? I’m not?! Does sitting around just knowing what is going to happen if you do this or you do that, sound familiar? Yeah. Fortune Telling was my 1st career. Now I utilize mindfulness to open myself to what is actually happening in THIS MOMENT to help me make wise choices about the moments to come. Not really sure what mindfulness is? Check out this blog post. It’s not as scary or difficult as you think. Once I shook this habit, I opened up to being able to really notice what was blocking me from what I really wanted
Respect and Love for Myself = Healthy Life and Healthy Relationships
- So, I used to walk around thinking I needed everyone else to believe I was ‘special’ in order to own my unique being. I thought other people’s confirmation would suddenly cause me to blossom into this person who would finally claim my space in the world; You know, I’d become Beyonce. Um…..No. It doesn’t work that way. I had to start to really KNOW myself. How can I teach another person what I like and what makes me tick if I don’t know myself!? So now, I take myself on daily dates with a fabulous self care routine so I can continue to know what I need and love myself. Aren’t you ready to get to know your beautiful self, too?