I am not exagerating when I say that learning and applying DBT concepts and skills has changed my life. DBT has opened the doors to the concepts of dialectical thinking, change and validation, and looking at situations with a "what is more effective" perspective rather than judgment. In general, learning to approach and look at situations and at ourselves from different perspectives.
Do you ever function on "autopilot," such as not realizing how you got to your destination?
Do you multi-task?
Do you ever push away or cling to experiences?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, then in that moment you were not practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is experiencing reality "As It Is" in the present moment. With mindfulness we develop an in-the-moment awareness of how we are doing mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Living in the present can have a profound impact in our lives. Mindful living can help us more effectively manage emotions. Becoming aware of "what works" and "what does not work" allows us to start making changes in our ourselves and how we respond to and interact with others.
Learn more about Mindfulness and see what speaks to you.
When applying breathing techniques, in-the-moment, we consciously control our inhalations and exhalations using different breathing patterns. Mindful breathing helps us connect to the present moment; helps us move toward a relaxation response; and helps us send a message to the brain that everything is OK. Some breathing techniques are: Square Breathing (helpful during Panic Attacks), the 4-7-8 Breath, and Coherent Breathing.
When mindful breathing practices are incorporated in our day-to-day life, we learn to stay in a relaxed response state, we become less reactive, and, over time, our brain's perception of stress changes.
We can use breathing APPS such as Calm App Breathing, the Heartmath APP, or Breathe APP to practice and learn new, more effective ways of breathing. The Ted talk about Breathing, Mindfulness, Heart Rate Variability clearly explains how the breath and mindful breathing practices are important to our physical and mental well-being.
It seems that many people think that therapy is all about learing to always be happy. Well, all emotions, including happiness, are like waves, they come and go. In addition, all emotions can be helpful, as they can give us information about our experience of the world and ourselves. AND at the same time, emotions can sometimes become Tsunamis and hijack us. This is when having some strategies to surf the emotional wave comes in handy.