Core Mindfulness Skills

Core Mindfulness Skills
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy/Core Mindfulness Skills
From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection
Observe: is simply experiencing with awareness your feelings, your thoughts, and sensations directly without the use of words.
The ability to observe yourself requires an ability to step back from yourself. This process of stepping back, also called Teflon Mind, is a way to re-orient to the present moment. Teflon mind is based on the idea of the non-stick cooking surface to which food does not stick. Teflon Mind allows you to not get stuck.
Preoccupation, rumination, and distraction are some of the ways people get stuck. Observe is important because it helps you become like a blank slate upon which you can write.
Retrieved from “http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Dialectical_Behavioral_Therapy/Core_Mindfulness_Skills/Observe”
Describe is putting words on experience and experience into words.
Describe: the ability to put verbal labels to (internal and external) events is essential for self-control.
Putting words on one’s experience is the first step toward taking control of your mind. Describing is thinking with words and includes your internal dialogue as well as verbal and written expression. This sort of talking to yourself helps you become focused. It is a way to overcome distractions because you learn to redirect your thinking to your here-and-now experience. As you practice describe, you will become clearer about what you are doing and what you want to do.
Time spent describing is an investment. Make consistent use of a journal, to-do list, calendar and organizer.
Participate is the skill of throwing yourself into your objectives whole-heartedly without self-consciousness. Participate is the “go for it” feeling you have when you enthusiastically pursue an activity meaningful to you. Participate is the satisfying experience of becoming absorbed completely in what you are doing.
Nonjudgmentally and Cognitive Therapy
• See, but don’t evaluate. Take a nonjudgmental stance. Just the facts. Focus on the “what,” not the “good” or “bad,” the “terrible” or “wonderful,” the “should” or “should not.”
• Unglue your opinions from the facts, from the “who, what, when, and where.”
• Accept each moment, each event as a blanket spread out on the lawn accepts both the rain and the sun, each leaf that falls upon it.
• Acknowledge the helpful, the wholesome, but don’t judge it. Acknowledge the harmful, the unwholesome, but don’t judge it.
• When you find yourself judging, don’t judge your judging. Linehan, pg.113
“Men are disturbed not by things that happen but by their opinions of the things that happen.” Epictetus, A.D. 55-135
The ancient wisdom of Epictetus anticipated cognitive therapy by about 2000 years. Epictetus suggests you are disturbed by your judgments about things, not the things themselves. He suggests that the way we think about things affects how we feel about them. Likewise, cognitive therapy and the skill non-judgmentally suggest alternative ways to think about things to change your mood. There are three fundamentals of cognitive therapy.
• First, the viewpoint you “choose” is vital to your mood. If you can “choose” the way you view things you can change your mind.
• Second, mood and thought are linked. If you change one you change the other.
• Third, the methods of cognitive therapy work on your thoughts and beliefs to change your mood. The challenge of cognitive therapy: “Is there another way to see things?”
Feelings and thoughts are so well blended that we rarely think that the association matters. It does. Feelings influence how you think, and thoughts affect how you feel.
To illustrate how thoughts generate feelings consider:
• If you opine that someone is disrespecting you, angry feelings arise.
• If you judge yourself a failure, sadness or disappointment follow.
• Comparing yourself to people which are richer, prettier, or smarter prompt feelings of envy.
• Gratitude follows thoughts about those who are less fortunate, hungry, or homeless.
All-or-Nothing Thinking.
All-or-nothing thinking distorts your worldview into polarized extremes. Some polarities are quite familiar: good & bad, right & wrong, black & white, beautiful & ugly, should & should not, in & out, either-or, win & lose, life or death, off & on, and on and on. This sort of splitting the world encourages idealization on one side and devaluation on the other. The problem with split thinking is that reality is not polarized. Reality is a unified whole with all the parts inter-related. You cannot appreciate the unity of reality if you have a fixed (polarized) perspective because it prejudices your point of view.
A big red nose… You might believe that a small fault makes it impossible for a person to be “good” inside. Such a rigid style of thinking limits your ability to engage ideas of future change and growth. Polarized thinking tends to magnify errors and decrease your ability to adjust to circumstances. All-or-nothing thinking is exacerbated when you are in emotion mind.
When you are under the influence of emotion mind, you may feel there is only one way to think about a situation. If depressed, you feel as if there are no options – it’s hopeless. If angry, you are RIGHT and he is WRONG. If anxious, it is safe in here and dangerous out there. There is always more than one way of thinking about things. In reasonable mind, you can explore some of these options. Wise Mind integrates the emotional problems with reasonable solutions.
Labeling.
Good & bad, terrible & wonderful, and right & wrong are just opinions. You may feel there is no other way to think about things, but your belief may be a trap. Once you label something, your mind is trapped by that identification. Consider Bad Mountain, how is it “bad”? When you judge, you label (or evaluate) something as one way or another. Judging is an opinion or belief. Practicing taking a non-judgmental stance helps you escape the trap of your judgments. Labeling is not a problem with a rotten tomato, it will always be bad. But things once defined, tend to remain fixed in the mind (the importance of first impressions). For example, labeling someone sloppy may quickly lead to dismissing this person entirely.
How would you label losing your job? Emotion Mind would come up with words like “unfair”, “bad”, and “disastrous.” Reasonable Mind might be able to describe the lost job as a crisis and an opportunity.
In Wise Mind, a job loss is stressful, a challenge to start something new, and a chance to re-evaluate your career. Thus, the loss is more bearable. You will gain a better perspective of your situation when you step back, observe & describe the experience, gather more facts, and let go of your opinions. Seeing a job loss as an opportunity is an example of flexibility of thinking. Your mood will change as you notice the alternatives and shift your perspective. When difficulties arise, you will have more options if you can spend more time with the questions words (who, what, when, where) and less time with an emotion-based point of view.
Mental Filtering.
Mental filtering screens out facts or opinions that don’t fit with your current belief. Do you see a part or the whole? Strive to be like the blanket spread on the lawn – there is no filter, it accepts the rain and the sun. Look at the big picture.
Over-generalization.
The basis of this cognitive distortion is that you take an isolated case and apply it to all others. Rather than looking at each case individually, you make decisions based upon your feelings. “I never say the right thing.” “We always do things your way.” As you become more self-aware you will notice the words “always” and “never” as a signal to step back and look for the facts.
Discounting the Positive.
This cognitive distortion rejects affirmations, positives, and compliments as if they didn’t count. Too often people fall into the habit of disqualifying the positive comments directed toward them. Accept compliments graciously. When somebody says something nice to you say “thank you.”
Jumping to Conclusions or Mind Reading.
You may believe you know what a person is thinking. You don’t. Jumping to conclusions comes from faulty, incomplete, or distorted assumptions about others. If a friend is late or forgets to call you, she could be tied up in traffic or she may be stuck in an urgent situation, why jump to the conclusion she is commenting on your worth as a person? If you see the world through your insecurities, then your insecurities distort incoming information. Remember the adage about what happens when you assume! U could make an ass out of u and me.
Magnification.
Take a difficult event. Now, exaggerate the importance of this event and make the meaning of it momentous. “This is terrible, it means I’m ruined, I’ll never be able to recover.” This magnification makes a bad situation worse. Oppose emotional magnification with reasonable assessment. From a detached point of view you can ask, “How important is this really?” Will I remember it in 3 years, 3 months, 3 days, or even 3 hours?
The problem with magnification is that intense thoughts generate equally intense emotions. Focusing on the facts without evaluation or judging will have a calming effect, improve your mood and help you choose the wisest course of action. Emotional Reasoning.
• I don’t like this; therefore it is bad.
• I like him; therefore he is a good guy.
• I’m scared about this test; therefore I will flunk.
When emotions rule, feelings are mistaken for facts. “Emotion mind” takes over. Emotional reasoning makes stress worse, depression deeper, anxiety higher, and anger hotter. The antidote is an activated Wise Mind which clarifies what the situation is and considers from where the emotions are coming. When you say you can’t stand it, do you really mean you don’t like it? Ask yourself, “Am I over-reacting and making this situation worse?” “Could I stand it a little bit longer?” “Should” and “Shouldn’t” Statements.
Albert Ellis dubbed the unrealistic use of “shoulds” musterbation. Such as:
• People should not be rude.
• Drivers should not cut you off in traffic.
• Life should be fair.
Other words that put unnecessary pressure on you are “must”, “ought”, and “have to.”
Reality is as it is and as it should be. Reality follows the laws of the universe as it should. An opinion that reality should be different than it IS is not reality-based. Try to be a blanket and accept reality as it is.
Some “shoulds” are really a demand in disguise. If you rigidly hold to unrealistic expectations, you will often be angered because people will not behave the way you feel they must. Your ability to be flexible and accept is healthy. Change unrealistic demands to healthy preferences.
A thought, “he should help me” is really a demand, “I want you to help me”. The belief he should help me prompts feelings of anger. The demand I want you to help me is more respectful.
Conclusion
The goal of non-judgmentally is to see things from non-polarized perspectives. Flexibility of thinking is characterized by the ability to entertain other points of view. Consider too how you would think about something if you were feeling better. Strive to be factual and unglue your opinions from the facts, you could try to see things from some else’s point of view. Instead of polarized extremes, activate your Wise Mind to find balance, unity, and acceptance.
Reality does not come labeled, magnified, polarized, filtered, or discounted. You distort reality in those ways. Embrace reality by stepping back a bit and non-judgmentally looking at the bigger picture.
Who, what, when, and where questions reveal facts which are not as disturbing as opinions. Assumptions, like opinions, close the mind to facts. An open mind allows for possibilities, options and surprises. Too often, people tend to judge themselves and others in either excessively positive terms (idealization or “what I like”) or excessively negative terms (devaluation or “what I don’t like”). The goal is not to be more balanced in your judgments, but rather to drop judging in most situations.
Retrieved from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Dialectical_Behavioral_Therapy/Core_Mindfulness_Skills/Non-Judgmentally
ONE-MINDFULLY.
• Do one thing at a time. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are bathing, bathe. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person. When you are thinking, think. When you are worrying, worry. When you are planning, plan. When you are remembering, remember. Do each thing with all of your attention.
• If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, let go of distractions and go back to what you are doing – again, and again, and again.
• Concentrate your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.
One-mindfully is sustained attention on the present moment which develops concentration. This skill is easier when you are interested in something and much harder when you are not. When you are doing something that you totally love, focusing on it whole-heartedly is easy. Intense total involvement follows from passionate interest. But how do you focus your mind when the activity is not as compelling as your favorite thing to do?
This paper seeks to explain the mindfulness skill one-mindfully in conjunction with the other DBT skills of emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and the core mindfulness skills. One-mindfully is one of the “How” to take hold of your mind skills, along with non-judgmentally and effectively. The other mindfulness skills describe “What” to do to take hold of you your mind and include observe, describe, and participate. I have adopted the format of expanding Linehan’s instructions regarding one-mindfully with my explanations one-by-one.
Do one thing at a time.
The essence of mindfulness is acting with undivided attention. One-mindfully is the discipline of doing one thing at a time with awareness. One-mindfully is the opposite of how most people operate. Most of us think that if we do several things at once, we will accomplish more, but in the behavior laboratory those instructed to do one thing at a time actually accomplished more than those instructed to multi-task.
There are several advantages to doing one thing at a time besides increased productivity. When thoughts are racing, concentrating on one thing slows the mind. Doing one thing at a time decreases anxiety by focusing the mind on one thing, pushing from one’s mind preoccupations and worries. Like a guard at the palace gate who is alert to everything that happens you must be aware of every thought, emotion, and distraction. Such mindful watching brings your attention back to the present moment. Doing one thing at a time is like driving a car and takes constant adjustments regarding the road and traffic. But instead of a steering wheel and gas pedal, to stay in the present moment use the skills observe (just noticing the experience) and describe (putting words on the experience and the experience in words). Using words this way makes you aware of what you are doing.
When you are eating, eat.
It is not unusual to mindlessly eat while watching TV, reading the paper, or walking around. Eating mindfully is very different experience than the way you normally eat. Mindfully eating concentrates on the eating experience. Only in the present moment do you experience the sensations of eating. When you are present you can taste, feel, and smell the fleeting sensations of your food. Mindful eating entails the effort to taste flavors, smell scents, and feel textures. Slow down to observe and describe the experience of eating. You are more likely to notice when you are feeling full when eating this way. If you pay attention to the sensation of satiety, you will probably stop eating sooner. Eating with sustained attention on the present moment helps you learn self-control and self-discipline.
When you are walking, walk.
Walking, too, can be a way to take hold of your mind. This is mentioned in the describe section, “…say in your mind… walking, step, step, step…” Describing walking this way increases awareness of your self and environment. Your mind will slow as you focus on your movement.
When you are bathing, bathe.
Some people have a routine they go through every time they shower that allows them to concentrate on their actions mindfully. Bathing offers many opportunities of self-soothing. Bathing with sustained attention is peaceful and calming. Those moments of the day when you are bathing may help you cope with stress, relieve anxiety, and cultivate mindfulness. Notice how water appears, feels, and sounds. Notice the smell of soap and shampoo. Notice the difference between wet and dry, hot and cold. Notice the transitions between turning on the water, getting in the water, wetting hair, shampooing, soaping, turning off the water, and drying. You will have the opportunity to repeat your observations daily.
When you are working, work.
Work offers many opportunities for doing one thing at a time and overcome distractions. You may be surprised at how much you can be done if you set your mind to it. Such a commitment to work helps you learn mastery, the feeling of being competent and in control. Many people have told me that they do not have the same sorts of problems at work that they do at home. They admit that they are not willing to work for themselves as they are for others. Are you willing to work for what you want?
What is your life’s work? How does your work express you and your place in the world? What attitude do you bring to the work you do? What part of your work is play and what part of play is work?
When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person.
Skills class is an opportunity to practice one-mindfully by devoting your full attention to learning skills.
In conversation, your ability to be interpersonally effective increases by practicing one-mindfully. No matter how nervous you are with another person, focusing your attention on the very moment you are in liberates you from troubling emotions such as doubt, worry, stress, and fear. Letting go of troubling emotions sounds easy but is so hard. But focusing with complete involvement leaves no room in consciousness for distractions like troubling emotions.
When you are thinking, think.
Thinking this way is hard work! To think one-mindfully, try practicing the “How” skills observe, describe and participate with your thoughts in your mind. Observe is useful because you must be aware of where your attention is at all times. Observe is your mind’s eye, the witness to the fragile products of your thinking, your ideas. Describe is putting words on thoughts and your thoughts into words. When you enter into the experience of thinking completely, forgetting yourself, you are participating. Think without the distraction of judging. Effective thinking is flexible, intuitive and includes multiple perspectives. An inquisitive and open-minded attitude helps you see yourself and others from fresh perspectives.
When you are worrying, worry.
An effective therapy for worry: set aside 30 minutes a day to worry. Go to the same place each day and try to spend the whole 30 minutes worrying. During the rest of the day, banish worries from your mind, reminding yourself that you will attend to that particular worry during your worry time. If you practice worrying one-mindfully, during the rest of the day, you will let go of your worries and free your mind to do something else.
When you are planning, plan.
The essence of planning is setting goals. A workable goal is specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-conscious. Your intention to make the future a certain way is an appropriate here-and-now activity. Make plans for a life worth living. Use a calendar and a list of things to do to schedule small steps to a future you want.
When you are remembering, remember.
A note about memory: there are voluntary and involuntary memories. Voluntary memories are the memories you choose to have and involuntary memories come unbidden. When you are remembering, you are not playing back a tape of the event – you are attending to the present moment mentally retrieving the past. Voluntary memory is a mental event grounded in your historical experience. There is an act of will in each memory. One could say that memory is conjuring the past, i.e., evoking or calling forth as if by magic. Note that memory takes effort, and if you want to remember something, you need to spend time remembering as many of the connected events as possible.
Involuntary memories are intrusive, come unbidden, and can be quite distracting. One way to reduce the effect of intrusive memories of the past is to use the mindfulness techniques outlined here. It may seem backwards, but the Wise Mind way to deal with intrusive memories is to observe and describe them non-judgmentally (without an opinion about it). Avoid avoiding memories. Attend to your memory by attending to the present memory – non-judgmentally observe and describe it, and participate with it, if you can. Accepting your memory is not approving of its’ content. Notice it and then effectively go back to what you are doing. When you are not remembering, focus on the present moment.
Do each thing with all of your attention.
Sustained mental attention or concentration is a powerful tool to bring to your daily activities. Doing each thing with all your attention will assist you doing what is needed in each situation. Connecting yourself to your activities with attention is a simple idea, but the benefit of doing one thing with all your attention is enormous.
If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, let go of distractions and go back to what you are doing – again, and again, and again. The effort of doing each thing with sustained mental attention requires a commitment. At first, you may only be able to focus your attention for a second. But try, try again. For many the problem is letting go of distractions. Letting go of distractions (especially memories) may feel like abandonment. Abandonment is a scary word for many, because they have been hurt so many times. Letting go of certain memories may feel like abandonment. You are leaving your old self (painful memories) and creating a new self.
Awareness of your attention gives you the opportunity to direct it to one thing or another. Distractions will come from all directions. Let distractions go and turn your mind toward what you are doing. Returning to what you are doing is powerful. A deceptively simple strategy when you find your thoughts wandering astray is to say to yourself, “Be here now” and turn your mind toward what you are doing.
Concentrate your mind.
Concentration is the gathering of the mind, bringing all the parts together, uniting the mental faculties. Attention is focusing on a selected object. Intuition, desire, and curiosity naturally concentrate your mind. Concentration is one of the qualities of Wise Mind.
If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.
Focusing on one thing in the moment does not mean that one cannot do complex tasks requiring many simultaneous activities. Like the dancer on the dance floor, at one with the music and her partner, attend completely to what you are doing. Dancing integrates many processes – listening, moving, looking, and balance, but you are still doing only one thing.
Retrieved from “http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Dialectical_Behavioral_Therapy/Core_Mindfulness_Skills/One-Mindfully
EFFECTIVELY USE SKILLS
A skill is an ability acquired by training. As you learn and refine skills, you become more effective, i.e., you are able to maximize positive outcomes and minimize negative outcomes. In familiar situations, you know how to maximize benefits because you know from experience what works. But in unfamiliar or difficult situations, when you don’t have the benefit of previous experience, you need skills to guide you to the best possible outcome. This paper focuses on the core mindfulness skill “Effectively,” described by Marsha Linehan which will help you learn and develop the necessary skills to deal with stressful situations:
Effectively
o Focus on what works. Do what needs to be done in each situation. Become a skillful dancer on the dance floor, one with the music and your partner, neither willful nor sitting on your hands.
o Stay away from “fair” and “unfair,” “right” and “wrong,” “should” and “should not.”
o Play by the rules. Don’t “cut off your nose to spite your face.”
o Act as skillfully as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in. Not the situation you wish you were in; not the one that is just; not the one that is more comfortable; not the one that…
o Keep an eye on your objectives in the situation and do what is necessary to achieve them. Let go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness. They hurt you and don’t work.
Focus on what works. Skills work! The major skills – core mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance skills – will help you maximize your positive outcomes. Instead of reacting automatically without thinking and without skills to a difficult situation, you can learn to practice the smaller, focused skills (like effectively) that make up the major skills (like core mindfulness). The first step to acting skillfully is to focus on making choices, seeing opportunities, and examining options to practice skills. You can choose to work with reality as it is in the here-and-now. This approach is more effective than reacting without thinking. Today’s focus is on being effective. Rather than emphasizing the end result, concentrate on conducting yourself effectively, which focuses on the most productive process, your choice to use skillful means. “What works,” in this sense, is a focus on continually developing skills and connecting to reality.
Most people do not effectively engage problems, they avoid them. You will be more effective engaging problems if you employ skills. Whether you use change skills (interpersonal effectiveness or emotion regulation) or acceptance skills (core mindfulness or distress tolerance) you will feel more competent and in control by approaching your problems skillfully. You can learn to be effective by engaging problems with your Wise Mind (drawing upon your inner wisdom). In Wise Mind, you are able to serenely accept what you cannot change and courageously change the things you can.
Do what needs to be done in each situation. Willingness is doing just what is needed in each situation whether you feel like it or not. Willingness accepts that loss, pain, and distress are part of life and cannot be entirely avoided or removed. Willingness reduces the intensity of loss, pain, and distress because you redirect your attention to the present moment and the task at hand.
Become a skillful dancer on the dance floor, one with the music and your partner, neither willful nor sitting on your hands. Imagine you are a skillful dancer. The dance floor is your life with all its opportunities and options. Your partner is the here-and-now world in which you live. The music is the feeling of flow when you participate willingly in the dance of life. Imagine, too, sitting at the edge of the dance floor like a wallflower avoiding the music and your partner. Such “sitting on your hands” is called willfulness. Willfulness is the opposite of willingness; it is being in-effective. Willfulness is NOT doing what is required of reality. Willfulness is characterized by avoidance and giving up. Willfulness is refusing to tolerate the moment and refusing to make changes that are needed
Stay away from “fair” and “unfair,” “right” and “wrong,” “should” and “should not.” Reality just is – neither fair or unfair, right or wrong, good nor bad. Reality doesn’t care what you think it should or should not be. Reality is what it is. Judgmental evaluation of reality locks you into rigid black-and-white thinking. A more effective thinking style is flexible, intuitive, and adjustable. If you believe there is only one-way to do things, you are locked into the rut of polarized thinking (all-or-nothing thinking) and you will eventually get stuck. By seeing yourself and others realistically, you develop a balanced, inclusive, and open-minded approach. A nonjudgmental approach accepts reality as complex, complicated, and requiring multiple perspectives. Such an open attitude allows you to see more solutions. Accepting mistakes is like accepting problems, most people avoid them. What works when it comes to mistakes? Learning from mistakes works. Most people get angry or disappointed with themselves for making a mistake. Instead, you will learn and grow as a person when you accept mistakes and choose to view mistakes as life’s lessons.
Play by the rules. Consider these “rules” or basic assumptions of Dialectical Behavior Therapy: First, you are doing the best you can (if you knew a better way, you would do it). Second, you want to improve. Third, you need to do better, try harder and be more motivated to change. Fourth, you may not have caused all your problems, but you have to solve them anyway. Fifth, if you are suicidal, you must change your life, not end it. Sixth, you must learn new behaviors in all relevant contexts. Finally, you cannot fail in therapy.
Don’t “cut off your nose to spite your face.” In other words, don’t make the situation worse than it already is! Acts of anger or revenge will hurt you more than it hurts anyone else because acting out of anger and vengeance is not skillful.
Act as skillfully as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in. Not the situation you wish you were in; not the one that is just; not the one that is more comfortable; not the one that… Meeting the situation you are in may require you to dismiss your wishes, abandon your ideas of justice, and leave your comfort zone. o Wishing is a way to avoid. Wishes indicate that you are trying to solve your problems by magic not by using skills. o Thoughts of injustice provoke anger and increase stress. If the situation is not just, remember, life is not fair. o Comfort is temporary. Tolerating discomfort is much easier if you learn distress tolerance skills.
Keep an eye on your objectives in the situation and do what is necessary to achieve them. What sort of “eye” is this? This eye mindfully “observes” your objective. When you mindfully observe your objective other thoughts and feelings not related to your objective are ignored. Ignore “I don’t feel like it” and other self-defeating thoughts. One way to “feel one way and act another” is to notice your feelings, but stay focused on your objective. Doing what is necessary to achieve your objectives requires mental flexibility. If your objective is rigidly defined, you are locked into a fixed outcome. Here is an example from interpersonal effectiveness skills: Consider the important difference between the objective to have someone do a certain thing and the objective to communicate to another person, as best you can, what you would like them to do. Your focus on skillfully communicating to another person what you want orients you to using your skills to control your behavior. You cannot control the other person. Effectiveness changes the focus from outside (other’s actions or the outcome) to inside (awareness of the choices you are making). Let go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness. They hurt you and don’t work. The opposite of effectively would be to make it worse than it already is. But when people are stressed the part of the brain that allows them to be mindful is turned off. Likewise, feelings of anger and vengeance cause people to react automatically not choose mindfully.
Conclusion Wisdom and skills help you effectively manage life’s difficult problems. Engage problems and look at your options and choices. Willingness is doing just what is needed in each situation connecting your Wise Mind to the task-at-hand. Instead of being judgmental, use your curiosity to develop mental flexibility. Think of the rules as the assumptions of DBT. Do not make the situation worse than it already is. Meet the situation you are in by focusing on what you can control. Practice Radical Acceptance with your mistakes, this will help you learn and grow.
References
Linehan, M.M. (1993). Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. New York : Guilford Press
Linehan, M.M. (1993). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press
Wise Mind is the integration of emotion mind and reasonable mind. Emotion mind is characterized by mood dependent behavior, i.e. behavior that is determined by the current emotional state. Emotion mind is problematic because people often act impulsively under the effect of strong emotions. Reasonable mind, in contrast to emotion mind, is cool and deliberate. Reasonable mind is the product of learning, experience, and knowledge. Wise mind is the integration of emotion mind and reasonable mind but goes beyond both of them.
Wise Mind is a state of mind in which you experience yourself as being calm, centered, and in control of your emotions.
In Wise Mind, you act in accordance with your beliefs, principles, and values which deepens feelings of coherence and integrity.
Wise Mind is strengthened by practicing all skills, especially Core Mindfulness Skills.
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Dialectical_Behavioral_Therapy/Core_Mindfulness_Skills
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