Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the present moment in judgmental way. It is all about letting your emotions and feelings come to you without pushing them away or labeling them, but still having a perspective about them.
Reason Mind Wise Mind Emotion Mind
◊Facts/common sense ♦Both minds working together ◊All the emotions
◊Logical/rational thinking ♦Using "What" skills and "How" skills ◊Suicidal urges
◊Problem solving skills ◊Self-Injurious Behavior
The "What" Skills
- Observe what is going on in the environment within yourself or around you. This can help you identify what may be triggering an unpleasant emotion and helps you be more aware of your surroundings.
- Describe what you have observed. What does it look like, feel like, taste like, smell like? This allows you to communicate what you observed to other people. Make sure to describe things in a nonjudgmental fashion.
- Participate in the activities around you. Do not isolate yourself or push everything away, let it all come to you. This will be effective when you pair it with other skills to regulate your emotions.
The "How" Skills
- This is thinking and describing things in a factual manner, without using descriptions such as "good" or "bad" for example. By keeping an internal "judgment bell" you can catch yourself whenever you make a judgment. If you or someone around you says something like "I am so stupid" you can mentally ding the bell and think of a way to say it non judgmentally. A factual statement would be describing how you feel, but not stating that you are. "I feel stupid" is much different than "I am stupid". Another step that is helpful with doing things non judgmentally is describing what is happening. For example, instead of saying "I am a stupid person because I failed my math test" you can say "I just failed my math test, I feel stupid, but I can always study and do better next time".
- This is focusing on one thing and one thing only. This will help you from straying into emotion mind and becoming overwhelmed by focusing on more than one thing at a time. Make sure to let go of distractions and keep your mind on the present moment.
- This is doing what works. If you know that studying for your tests works, then effectively carry out that idea and study. Use skills to meet the needs of the situation you are in at the time. Keep your mind on your objectives and goals and stick with the path that will get you there.