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Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness Practice

Being in the present can help with discomfort.

Be. Here. Now.
A better view of things through mindfulness.

I once met a wilderness guide, whom had been guiding groups through the mountains and lakes of north east Canada for thirteen years, say the best way to survive is to BE HERE NOW. She concluded people longing for their past life in civilization or focused on their future comfort after the trip struggled the most with the discomfort of the wilderness. The key she said was accepting their current moment in time.

But pain can often turn into suffering when acceptance is absent. “My emotions change so drastically, it actually scares me sometime”. It’s not an uncommon phrase heard throughout the friendly, safe therapy offices of New Directions. It’s scary, nerve wracking, and even disappointing when our emotions seem to be controlling us. The roller coaster is hard to get off and confusion starts to set in. Relationships deteriorate and our impulse action increase.

There is a way to start taking back control through the cognitive behavioral intervention type called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Today we would like to talk to you or maybe even introduce you to one element of DBT called Mindfulness. It is a way to calm yourself, live more skillfully, accept your emotions, and stay in the present moment.

Try a few of these mindfulness practice skills at home and see how you do:

  • Listen to Your Breath: Slowly, steadily begin to track the cadence of your breathing. Notice any sounds it makes, how it expands your chest, how it feels exhaling across your lips. Don’t adjust it in anyway, but observe its presence. Note how it changes over time.
  • Observe and Describe: Take a common day item like a chair or a notebook and describe it without using their labels (e.g. “chair” or “notebook”), without using your interpretation of its function, and without judgment. Focus on details like color, shape, texture.
  • Body Sense: Wherever you are sitting, note each place your body is touching what you are sitting on. Feel the pressure on these body parts. Sense the coolness or heat along the line where your body stops touching and is exposed to the air. Notice how your skin feels against your shirt or pants.

These quick exercises are introductory practice skills to help you pull out of the past, wait for the future and live in the present.

For more help and a supportive guide through your emotions, give us a call at New Directions Counseling Services, LLC. We can connect you to a friendly, caring therapist for individual or group support.

To read more in depth about dialectical behavior therapy click <here>