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DBT SKILLS: WISE MIND - MINDFULNESS

 

Intro and Disclaimer found here:

https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/150755-dbt-skills-for-recovery-posts/?tab=comments#comment-1457564

 

Mindfulness is also known as Meditation. It has been taught in many religions. In the 1980s, Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced it to help hospital patients cope with chronic pain problems. It has more recently been used in psychotherapy. Studies showed that these skills were effective at reducing the odds of having another major depressive episode; reducing symptoms of anxiety, reducing chronic pain, decreasing binge eating, increasing tolerance of distressing situations, increasing relaxation, and increasing skills to cope with difficult situations. Marsha Linehan considers mindfulness to be one of the most important core skills of DBT because of these findings. (DBTSW)

 

Mindfulness is basically being aware: noticing things, your physical position, the sensations you feel, the things you hear, the things you smell, the things you see. How you are feeling. Mindfulness is *staying in the moment.* It is noticing things without judgement and accepting them as they truly are. (Almost exact quote from DBTSW as well as Nat notes)

 

Mindful Breathing

The primary focus in Mindfulness Meditation is the breathing. However, the primary goal is a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them. This creates calmness and acceptance.

 

1.    Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight.

 

2.    Direct your attention to your breathing.

 

3.    When thoughts, emotions, physical feelings or external sounds occur, simply accept them, giving them the space to come and go without judging or getting involved with them.

 

4.    When you notice that your attention has drifted off and is becoming caught up in thoughts or feelings, simply note that the attention has drifted, then gently bring the attention back to your breathing.

 

It’s ok and natural for thoughts to arise, and for your attention to follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing. (Man. exact quote)

 

My experiences:

 

~ Experience A ~

My husband once taught me a meditation similar to the above. I have no idea what his source was, as this was 25 years ago at the time of this posting.

 

1.    When paying attention to your breathing, count each breath until you get to 10.

 

2.    Every time you reach 10, begin at 1 again.

 

3.    If you get past 10 as you may have mindlessly kept going (this always happens to me at one point), as listed above, gently bring your attention back and once again begin at 1.

 

Most times I fell asleep, lol. I was always relaxed when I didn’t fall asleep. I’m pretty sure that I fell asleep because I was so relaxed.

~Experience B ~

In my class, we ended every class with Mindful Meditation. We were usually running out of time and sometimes it was as short as two minutes! Sometimes it was a visual meditation, and either way it was always vocally directed by one of our facilitators. I still felt more relaxed afterwards. There was a feeling of…the words I want to use is fresh and new.

 

Wise Mind

This section is not made up by me of course. My manual has a picture of two circles that are close enough together that there is an overlap in the middle. I’m assuming this came from the Marsha Linehan originally.

 

Each circle had a label: Reasonable Mind and Emotional Mind. The overlap section was labelled as Wise Mind. Wise mind is what we want to aim for being in. The following information I am sharing is purely my notes. Some of this info may have come from the sources I’ve cited, I don’t know, it is word for word what I have written down as a list during class discussions.

 

Reasonable Mind

Wise Mind

Emotional Mind

Water

Air/Earth

Fire

Calm

Grounded

Emotions in control

Problem solving

Warm

Out of control

Logical

Curious

Sensitive

Cold

Calm

Chaos

Facts

Have time

Stormy

In control

Better decisions

Unpredictable

Analytical

Intuition

Vulnerable

Little emotion

I am in control

Hot/passion

Practical

Balance

Impulsivity

 

Free from conflict

Anxiety

 

Peace

Intense

 

 

Unhibited

 

 

Overwhelming

 

 

Explosive

 

 

Danger

 

 

Poor decisions

 

Can you tell that a bunch of people with BPD, Depression and Anxiety came up with the above items? The Emotional column looks pretty busy! (Nat)

 

Edit: i should add here that Mindfulness increases your chances of achieving a wise mind. The more skillful you become, the more your wise mind will be present. *End edit*

 

At this point, I’m not sure what to add without getting into a whole bunch of stuff. There’s just too many worms to explode everywhere. So I’m going to cut it off here and see where it leads. I do hope this all helps some people, if it is even one person, it will make my day or more.

 

Comment below if you wish. Discuss. Talk it out. Ask questions.

 

Next Thread:

https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/150791-dbt-skills-2-~-the-what-skills/

 

Edited by Natasha1
Added link to the next thread
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I stated that it came from a discussion in my course and my manual. I have no idea about the original materials, as i do not have them. I wish i did. I can only base what i post here on things i have and things i have experienced. 

Yes, i agree about the robot comment you mentioned. I was only copying out what people came up with in class. It is certainly not meant to be textbook...i totally was not meaning it to be...so sorry if i put it out that way :( 

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By the way, @Asta thank you for responding and bringing that up. I dont want things to be so incorrect that it is less helpful than intended. So in bringing up the original word if my health authorities changed it, it might make more sense to people.

Also, it is bad enough that i am scraping the surface.

So thank you muchly!!

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@JD4010 im glad. We will see if it gets a lot of input or not. I will be creating a new thread for all of the elements on my diary cards. So stay tuned. Hoping people will get even a smidgen of good from them! I am definitely scraping the surface though.

@ladysmurf i found it helpful...moreso than cbt...but then i also didnt give my all to cbt. Maybe i was just more ready when dbt came across my path. Im Not sure.

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Hi @Asta - always welcome! Post away. It's part of why I want to post these threads. The more information we can get on here the better. I hope I'm not too inaccurate with stuff. Your lists are great. If you want to make charts - my threads are being created in Word and I format everything in there and then copy and paste here. Seems to work out ok.

Again, the more feedback people post, I think, the better!

Thank you so much for sharing!!

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  • 6 months later...

Good stuff. Glad to see this and you did a real good job of organizing the info. I've been in DBT for about a year, it's very intensive and a big time commitment but I've found it very helpful. It's like having a toolbox of skills I can open and use in any situation where I struggle. 

I'd like to add an example of reasonable and emotional minds in a made up interaction to further illustrate:

 

EM: "I can't believe you betrayed me! You're a horrible person!"

RM: "You need to calm down. People can hear us, we can talk about it later."

EM: "Talk about WHAT?! You cheated on me 5 times!"

RM: "Actually it was 3 times."

__________

Wise mind is informed by both emotional and reasonable minds. My understanding is that we know we're using our wise mind when our responses are aligned with the primary emotion we're feeling and we've checked the facts and are using a skillful approach to communicating what we want. 

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