DBT Mindfulness – The how and the what
Thanks to truerecovery.org for an excellent summary of the skill of core mindfulness from DBT:
States of Mind
Reasonable Mind — This is when we’re viewing things logically and rationally. We consider thing analytically, and with calm, but without necessarily factoring in how we feel about things.
Emotion Mind — In this state, we view things emotionally. Our preference and desires. We tend to be more easily swayed in this state, and are more likely to reach for dysfunctional behaviors and coping mechanisms.
Wise Mind — This is our goal in Mindfulness. In this state, we consider things logically and rationally, while factoring in our likes, dislikes and desires; our feelings.
Mindfulness “What” skills
Observe — Look at things as the bare experience. Focus on what’s there. Allow yourself to see everything that’s there using all five senses. Allow your thoughts, judgments and feelings about the experience to go.
Describe — Put the experience to words. Describe everything about the experience, even those things you may consider unimportant.
Participate — Consciously and actively participate in the experience. Don’t just be an idle observer. This is your life, your experience… step inside and be part of it.
Mindfulness “How” skills
Non-Judgmentally — Separate the bare facts from your thoughts, judgments, opinions and feelings. “A driver is honking his horn behind you” are bare facts, “The driver behind you is mad at you” includes judgments, we are just assuming he’s angry, and we’re just assuming his honk is a message to you.
One-Mindfully — Focus all your attention to every task you do. When you’re driving, drive. When you shower, shower. When you talk with someone, talk with them. Put everything you have into everything you do, one thing at a time.
Effectively — Do things to get things done effectively, don’t worry about doing them the “right” way. What are you trying to accomplish? What does the situation call for? What will work in this situation? Keep past experiences and resentments out of the picture. Reach your goal as effectively as you can.