Breaking the myths behind Mindfulness practice for the benefit of Trauma Survivors

1. Don’t need to close your eyes during mindfulness meditation.

2. Don’t need to sit still to do mindfulness meditation.

3. Staying present in the moment non-judgmentally, even while walking, eating or working, is what is truly being mindful.

4. Don’t need to shut off your mind as your brain is always going to be active, especially with a trauma history.

5. Don’t need to focus on your breath. Trauma victims find this especially triggering with unpredictable outcomes.

6. Mindfulness meditation is not for quick turnaround of results.

7. Mindfulness meditation is not for everyone!

DBT part 2

Today was all about understanding the dialectics or doing both the acceptance and change of the client’s target (problem) behavior. Unlike CBT, which is focused on change purely, DBT focuses on finding a solution acceptable to both client and therapist that includes both approaches of solving the target behavior called the synthesis.

Then we dived into behavior therapy, specifically operant and classic conditioning. We did understand the positive & negative reinforcement and punishment concepts.

Following this, we did a case specific behavior chain analysis that is essentially a functional analysis of identifying the target behavior, recognizing the precipitating event or the antecedent in general behavior therapy language, in light of that day’s specific vulnerability factors for that client like lack of sleep or hunger etc. It is to be noted that, when identifying the precipitating event, we also want to know what thought & emotion led the client to do the target behavior- the culminating F it moment! These are the key controlling variables we want to track across chain analyses of various events of such critical nature over time. These will show a pattern, that we can then use to reinforce relevant skills that were used during such crises events , as identified as controlling variables. This is a good way to problem solve, is what I understand.

Well that’s it from me on DBT learnings so far ! Enjoy!

Cheers,

Shrivi

Seven Crochet Steps to Mindfulness

Credits: Kathryn Vercillo(Source)

Seven Crochet Steps to Mindfulness

Crocheters can practice mindfulness using this easy seven-step exercise

  1. Select your favorite crochet hook and a really cozy easy-to-work-with yarn.
  2. Sit comfortably in a quiet space with your work.
  3. Begin to crochet a foundation chain, one slow loop at a time, counting each chain as you go. Do not allow yourself to think about anything except creating the chain.
  4. Focus on the details of creating the chain. Notice how the yarn feels against your skin. Pay attention to the detailed hues of the yarn and hook. See if you can mentally be aware of each micro-movement that makes the loop.
  5. Your mind will naturally begin to drift to thoughts of other things, like the bills that are due or a conversation you had earlier in the day. Each time that happens, frog the chain.
  6. Take a deep breath after frogging the chain and start over with chain one.
  7. Repeat the process until you are able to complete a full foundation chain of ten loops without having to frog it because of extraneous thoughts.

KeepCalmCrochet

That’s it! You may only be able to get to four or five loops at first because your mind is running rampant. Be gentle with yourself and just keep practicing. As time goes on, you may be able to make longer chains of mindfulness. Do this regularly to infuse your life with the rest and relaxation that we each need and deserve.

To Find Stillness in a Crazy World

Credits: Susie Moore

Life is described as many things, but rarely is it referred to as peaceful, calm, or still. Our lives are a busy juggle of work, chores, responsibilities to ourselves and others and many unexpected things that creep up day to day. Sometimes meditation, quiet reflection and even time alone seem like a distant dream within our hectic lives.

 

So what can we do? Apart from feel helpless and put it in the “I’ll worry about that quiet-time-for-myself-stuff later” basket? The good news is that stillness is within us. We do not need a quiet garden, secluded beach or a zen room with candles flickering before us in order to find it. The amazing thing about our personal power is that we can be still, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It is a conscious and very empowering choice.

 

Street Meditator

Here are five tips for creating stillness with ease within your everyday life:

1. Breathe. Whether you are on the subway, on a conference call, in the line at Starbucks, be aware of your breath. Take a few deep, slow breaths and notice how your body and mind feel as you tune into them and slow down for even 60 seconds.

2. Give yourself a minimum of 30 minutes of electronic downtime. It is surprising how many people go through all of their waking hours with a tablet, phone, TV or laptop constantly present, including as we fall asleep at night. I like what is referred to as the “electronic sundown” with no electronics active in the hour leading up to bed. Better sleep is much more likely this way, too!

3. Wake up 15 minutes earlier. This is a trick many successful people take advantage of. They wake sooner, before the world is awake and before the wheels start turning on all of life’s demands. Take those minutes just for you and just be present in your body. It can center you and change your mindset for the whole day.

4. Be aware that you create your own energy. External conditions do not. Marianne Williamson said in her book A Return to Love, “Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we’re frantic, life will be frantic. If we are peaceful, life will be peaceful.”

5. Learn from some of the greatest spiritual teachers. Apply their wisdom often by making stillness and calmness your daily mantra. Deepak Chopra recently said to Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday (when she commented how extremely busy he is and how tricky it was to get him on the show), “My body is busy, my mind is still.”

 

Remember, your internal conditions create your external conditions. Peace begins with you.