Archive for the ‘Mindfulness’ Category

Letting go of emotional suffering.

Feeling extreme emotions is typical for a person with BPD. A way of letting go of the emotional suffering is by using mindfulness.

Using the What Skill ‘Observe’ Observe the emotion and notice its presence, taking a step back and allow yourself to become unstuck from the emotion.

Using the What Skill ‘Describe’ Experience the emotion as a wave so coming and going, in and out. Try not to block or suppress the emotion, nor try to get rid or push it away. Don’t try to keep the emotion around or hold on to it and don’t amplify it. Label the emotion as it is.

Using the What Skill ‘Participate’ Remember you are not your emotion, you do not necessarily have to act on the emotion. Remember times with you have felt different.

Practice loving your emotion by not judging the emotion, practising willingness and radically accept the emotion is there.

Source: Linehan, M. Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. 1st. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1994. Print.

Being aware of ones self and being in the present, focusing on one moment at a time is basically Mindfulness. There are many ways to practice mindfulness and what one might find helpful another may not.

Mindfulness is about taking hold of your mind and getting into the Wise Mind state.

Taking hold of your mind: “how” skills

Non-Judgmentally

“to take non-judgemental stance when observing, describing and and participating”

Judging = labelling or evaluating something as GOOD or BAD.
Mindfulness = not judging in this manner

Example –

What a person does – “good/bad person” = judging
– Consequences

Sometimes we use judging as a short-hand for describing consequences

Note –

a) Judging is sometimes a short-hand way of comparing to a standard – but – people forget it is a judgement and treat it as a fact.
b) Terms “good” and “bad” can be harmful – have people applied judgements to you when you felt neither “good” or “bad”?
c) Some people are paid to judge but most people overdo it – especially about themselves.
d) Sometimes judgements masquerade as facts – e.g. I am fat (depends on how you say it).

See but dont evaluate. Take a non judgemental stance. Just the facts. Focus on the “what” not the good or bad, the terrible, the should or should not. Unglue your opinions from the facts, from the who what when where. Accept each moment, each event as a blanket spread out on the lawn accepts bother the rain and the sun, each leaf that falls upon it. Acknowledge the helpful, the whoseome but dont judge it, acknowledge the harmdful, the unwholesome but dont judge it.

When you find yourself judging, dont judge your judging.

One Mindfully

“focus on one thing at a time with awareness, with the whole person on the task”

1) This is opposite to how most of us operate – think of examples of doing two things at once.
2) Worry when you are worrying – set a time aside to worry
3) Undivided attention – opposites to mindfulness
– mindless/automatic behaviours
– distracted behaviour

Do one thing at a time. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are having a bath, bathe. Etc Do each thing with all of your attention. If other actions or other thoughts or strong feelings distract you, let go of the distractions and go back to what you are doing, again and again. Concentrate your mind, if you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.

Effectively

“focus on what works rather than ‘right or wrong’.”

1) Know what your goal is. Keep an eye on your objectives in the situation and do what is necessary to achieve them
2) Knowing thing actual situation rather than what is should be. Act skillfully as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in not the situation you wish you where in; not the one that is just; not the one that is more comfortable; not the one that…
3) Play by the rules – opposite is ‘cut your nose to spite your face’
4) Being ‘political’ or savey about people – taking people where they are and go from there e.g. visiting another country.
5) Sometimes requires sacrificing principles to achieve a goal. Do what needs to be done in each situation, stay away from ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘should’ and ‘should not’
6) Letting go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness that hurts you and doesnt work.

Source: Linehan, M. Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. 1st. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1994. Print.

Being aware of ones self and being in the present, focusing on one moment at a time is basically Mindfulness. There are many ways to practice mindfulness and what one might find helpful another may not.

Mindfulness is about taking hold of your mind and getting into the Wise Mind state.

You can do this by using “What” Skills.

Observe

This is about just noticing the EXPERIENCE but without getting caught in the experience. Being aware of the experience and knowing where you are. Having a TEFLON MIND, letting thoughts, feelings and experiences come into your mind and slip right back out again. CONTROLLING your attention but not what you see, push away nothing and cling to nothing. Being like a guard, ALERT to every thought, feeling and action that comes through your mind. Stepping inside yourself and WATCHING your thoughts and feelings coming and going, noticing everything. Noticing what comes through your SENSES.

Describe

“Thoughts on their own are just thoughts until you judge them. Once you have a thought, notice it as a thought, once you judge it you then have a choice what to do”

Put words onto the experience – label what your experiencing. When a feeling or thought arises or you do something, acknowledge it, describe what you are doing so if you are walking say my foot is hitting the floor, step step step. A thought that this is silly has just come into my mind so describe the thought but don’t judge it.

Put experiences into words. Describe what is happening to yourself, put a name on your feelings, so if your feeling sad say i have noticed i am feeling sad. Call a thought a thought, a feeling a feeling. Don’t get caught in the content.

Participate

Becoming one with your experience, completely forgetting yourself. Entering into your experiences, becoming involved in the moment and letting go of ruminating. Acting intuitively from wise mind, doing what is just needed in each situation. Actively practising your skills as you learn them until they become a part of you, where you use them without self consciousness.

Source: Linehan, M. Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. 1st. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1994. Print.

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