Over the past few decades, more clinical attention has been given to mindfulness in helping people improve their emotional health. Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and actions in the present moment without judgment or criticism of yourself or your experience. Mindfulness skills help people focus more fully on the present moment, separate thoughts from emotions and physical experiences and promote the fusion of reason and feelings to act effectively. It is important to note that practicing mindfulness skills is not about staying 100% focused on the present all of the time, but more redirecting your focus back to the present when it wanders without judgment. If your mind wanders 1000 times, you just need to redirect it back to the present 1000 times.
Getting started with practicing mindfulness can be broken down into four easy steps:
Choose an activity. Although you can practice mindfulness in an infinite number of ways, it’s important to personalize it. You can start to practice mindfulness based upon hobbies, activities and chores that you already do.
Focus on the activity. The second step to practicing mindfulness is to start to focus on
being in the present moment with whatever activity you have chosen. You can use your five senses to assist in connecting to the present moment.
Notice when your attention wanders. It’s natural for attention to wander. Our brains generate thousands of thoughts daily, so it’s inevitable that this will happen. The important thing is to notice it when it happens. So the third step is just being aware that attention has wandered from the present moment.
Gently bring your attention back. The final step is accepting that attention has wandered—being gentle rather than judgmental—and bringing attention back to the present moment.
Mindfulness skills are taught in detail in the DBT Skills group provided at Specialized Therapy Associates. Should you have any interest in enrolling in the DBT Skills group, please call 201-488-6678 for details or schedule an appointment here:
Written By: Christopher HiresLeave a reply