Mindfulness Definitions

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

  • Intentionally living with awareness in the present moment. ( Waking up from automatic or note behaviors to participate and be present to our own lives.)
  • Without judging or rejecting the moment. (Noticing consequences, discerning helpfulness and harmful Ness – but letting go of evaluating, avoiding, suppressing, or blocking the present moment.)


WHAT ARE MINDFULNESS SKILLS?

  • Mindfulness skills are the specific behaviors to practice that, when put together, make up mindfulness.

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS PRACTICE?

  • Mindfulness and mindfulness skills can be practiced at any time, anywhere, while doing anything. Intentionally paying attention to the moment, without judging it or holding on to it, is all that is needed.
  • Meditation is practicing mindfulness and mindfulness skills while sitting, or lying quietly for predetermined period of time. When meditating, we focus the mind ( for example, we focus on body send st ions,  emotions, thoughts, or our breath), or we open the mind (paying attention to whatever comes into our awareness). There are many forms of meditation that differ mostly by whether we are opening the mind or focusing the mind – and, if focusing, depending on what is the focus of our attention.
  • Contemplative prayer (such as Christian centering prayer, the rosary, Jewish Shem a,  Islamic Sufi practice, or Hindu raja yoga) is a spiritual mindfulness practice. 
  • Mindfulness moment also has many forms. Examples in cue yoga, martial arts ( such as Qigong, tai chi, akido, and karate), and spiritual dancing. Hiking, horseback riding, and walking can also be ways to practice mindfulness.
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When to Use Crisis Survival Skills

YOU ARE IN A CRISIS when the situation is:

  • Highly stressful.
  • Short-term ( that is, it won’t last a long time).
  • Creates intense pressure ti resolve the crisis now.

USE CRISIS SURVIVAL SKILLS when:

  1. You have intense pain that cannot be helped quickly.
  2. You want to act on your emotions, but it will only make things worse.
  3. Emotion mind threatens to overwhelm you, and you need to stay skillful.
  4. You are overwhelmed, yet demands must be met.
  5. Arousal is extreme, but problems can’t be solved immediately. 

DON’T USU CRISIS SURVIVAL SKILLS for:

  • Everyday problems.
  • Solving all your life problems.
  • Making your life worth living.

STOP Skill

This morning my anxiety was rising up. I couldn’t manage it and my fear was to end up in an anxiety attack. I remembered to use my STOP Skill. I am very proud. I also called my therapist to let him know and he was also proud of me. 

I ended up going to MY safe place who is by the water. I had the urge of isolation. I knew inside of me that if I was going down in my bedroom I won’t be able to control my negatives thoughts so I choose to go by the water where I feel safe and positive.

STOP Skill

Stop – Do not just react. Stop! Freeze! Do not move a muscle! Your emotions may try to make you act without thinking. Stay in control!

Take a step back – Take a step back from the situation. Take a break. Let go. Take aa deep breath. Do not let your feelings make yyou act impulsively.

Oberve – Notice what is going on inside and outside you. What is the situation? What are your thoughts and feelings? What are the others saying or doing?

Proceed mindfully – Act with awareness. In deciding what to do, consider your thoughts and feelings, thesituation, and other people’s thoughts and feelings. Think about your goals. Ask Wise Mind: Wich actions will make it better or worse?

The day after…

November 9th 2017

I woke up this morning and I was feeling sad. I went to my hockey practice but I couldn’t finish it. I was feeling sad and depressed. My mind wasn’t aware or there. I couldn’t focus on what I needed to do. I couldn’t skate properly and the ice was also horrible. I went home and I called my psy for some coaching.

I cooked lunch, I watched a tv show that I love and I got a call back from my psy. I was happy to hear that my reaction was normal. It gave me hope to finish day. So I can be happy again.

I self soothed myself. A hot bath with mineral salt and also applied some body lotion all over my body. I took a nap with relaxing music. When I woke up at 15:30 I had the energy and the motivation to cook my supper and take care of my children. I also went groceries shopping. 

I am feeling more relaxed and I practiced one of the wise mind activity. The snowflake on the lake. Now I am ready to enjoy some cuddles with my husband. 

Trapped in a spiral stairs

November 8th 2017

DBT Group today was very Har for me. The beginning was fine until that session of visualization where I got trapped walking down a spiral stairs. My anxiety went up and I couldn’t breathe.

Trapped in that darkness, this bedroom, my hands against the metal bed rail an I couldn’t move. I couldn’t escape, I was weak, I was scared and alone with the monster. I can see myself being raped again and again. Useless, I couldn’t speak. I was frozen. I was hurting so much inside. I wanted to scream my pain and run away but I was stuck. Trapped. 

I didn’t like it. I am still feeling low and hopeless. Am I going to be fine one day? There is the big question. Am I going to survive this? Without sinking again in my darkness, in my awful mind. Because right now I just don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be me. I don’t want to be in pain anymore. I can’t take it. I just can’t. 

My next appointment with my psychologist is next Friday November 17th 2017. It’s seem so far away. Am I going to be able to hold on until then? I don’t know. I hate myself right now. Because of that I am upset, angry and irritable. I just want to go to sleep and never wake up.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Yesterday, when I met with my psychologist about my therapy coming up. I am going to share some information about what DBT is.

How is DBT Structured?
1- DBT offers 1 year of intensive psychotherapy for people with Borderline Personality Disorder.
2- Individual therapy is once weekly for 1 hour.
3- Sills Group is once weekly for 2 hours (modules include: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness)
4- Phone contact is provided for skills coaching in between sessions.

What Kind of Therapy is DBT?
There are many aspects to DBT. Here are some of the approaches you can expect in your individual sessions:

  • behavioural: Individual sessions focus on the specific problems that clients are experiencing. Using behavioural analyses, therapist and clients identify what is getting in the way of clients’ long-term goals.
  • skill-oriented: Therapist help clients learn new skills for coping with emotions, situations and other people. The skills group is a classroom format for learning new skills and strengthening ones they already have; in your individual therapy clients will learn how to apply them in their lives.
  • cognitive: Therapy also focuses on changing thoughts and beliefs that are not helpful, as well as to reduce black-and-white and overly judgemental thinking.
  • requires a collaborative relationship: Clients and therapists need to work as a team on goals you both agree on. Also, both of you need to be clear with each other if there is anything in your relationship that might get in the way of progress.
  • supportive: Therapist support clients in their efforts to improve their lives.
  • balances acceptance and change: Clients and therapists work on balancing opposites. This means learning to accept oneself, ones’ life and pain, at the same time as working on ways to change and make one’s life less painful.

What Is Between-Session Phone Contact?

  • The purpose of between-session phone contact is to have the opportunity to get skills coaching while you are right in the middle of a crisis. It involves a brief phone conversation to give you suggestions on which skills might help you in that moment.

When I took the time to read all this and more I was very happy. It was clear and it also looks safe. I will be surrounded by great people who will help me get through my difficulties but specially my mental illnesses. BPD is so hard to understand and I am grateful to have such a great team to be able to help me. My psychologist is awesome. I feel safe when I am with him. I can trust him and I can talk easily with him. We can be true to each other and I appreciate that. I am ready to start the DBT next week!

Happy. Happy. Happy.

Today was a good day for me. I went to see my best friend this morning we talked and enjoyed a nice coffee. 

I went to my hockey practice. I scored a goal and my muscles are tensed. I had a nap when I came back home and I felt so much better. Anxiety was almost gone. I was relaxed and happy.

I also confirmed my seat for September 2018 at Nova Scotia Community College. I am going back to school. I think I will be a great fit by taking Social Services program. I really want to help others. I want to feel accomplished at the end of the day.

I mean professionally. Because I feel accomplished at home when I look at my family.

Today was a good day and I am happy.