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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