With just 4 weeks remaining in this course of 52 weeks of DBT self-help, it is time to put all of that we have learned into practice. No more learning, no more homework, just putting all of what I have taught you into practice. Can’t remember it all? Well, don’t worry because I will be going over it all this week and it really is a case of now or never. You either make the changes we have learned or it was all for nothing…
The last thing I want people to feel is pressured and that is why the last few weeks I have been talking about alternative therapies and other things that you might want to try. But if you have started to find these DBT self-help pages are working for you it is time to throw them all into the mix and really practice what we have learned. This week I want you to try and practise all the Core mindfulness we have learned.
Core mindfulness is all about being aware of what we are really experiencing. It’s about not letting the mind beat you down and take control, it’s about noticing those spikes in BPD emotions and not letting them control your actions. Sure, mindfulness takes time to develop and is not something you will do in a single week, but your mindfulness skill will develop with practice. If you want to be kind and compassionate to yourself follow these instructions…
- Take just 10 minutes out of your life to sit in a quiet room or quiet personal space. It doesn’t matter where, but outside would be best as you could soak up the fresh air.
- Then, I want you to just close your eyes and relax. You don’t have to deep breath and you don’t have to do any form of meditation. Just sit there and relax for just a few short moments.
- While your eyes are closed just allow your thoughts, feelings and emotions of recent days to flow through your mind (yes, even the bad ones). Then, I would like you to imagine yourself reaching out and grabbing a bad moment in recent times. Don’t react to it, just hold it in your mind.
- While holding that negative moment in time inside your mind just imagine you could go back and replay that time again. What might you have done differently? What are the facts of this situation? Did you really need to react badly to it? What really made you so sad or angry in that exact that moment? Once you have broken it all down into the facts of the situation I want you to imagine just letting all those little pieces of it disintegrating away into the darkness. You have now learned from the situation and won’t let it happen again. And if it does? You will do this same mindfulness exercise again and once again learn from it.
With time you will learn to do this on the spot and turn a potentially negative situation into a neutral one. You will see the situation as it happens in your minds eye and only react to the facts of the moment rather than what your mind or emotions are telling you. This core element of DBT is the one that will help those of you with BPD the most. It’s not just about getting you through the hard times, it will also help you in moments of pressure, choice and stress to make better decisions. Yes, even with BPD you can learn to control those huge emotional spikes, but it takes time as practice.
As I have already said, there is no more homework now. Just practice your core mindfulness as much as you can. If you can find time to be alone with your thoughts and emotions for just 10 minutes a day I promise you it will turn your life around fast. What you will notice is the more you see your life-changing for the better the more you will want to practise this exercise without me spurring you on. Only then can you consider yourself fully mindful.