Introduction to Mindfulness Skills
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment, to be aware of what we are doing or where we are, and to be able to reduce overwhelm or reactive behaviours.
It’s a skill we already possess, it’s not something you need to create, and it’s like any other skill in life, the more you practice it, the easier it becomes.
When we say mindfulness, you may immediately think of meditation, complete with crossed legs and ‘ohm’. Meditation can be part of mindfulness, but it’s not the only way to use it. For people with BPD, it’s mainly used in the moment, a pause button during a difficult or distressing situation.
Mindfulness can help reduce distress, upset, anxiety and stress. It can help us gain an insight into why we behave the way we do, and awareness of how our actions may affect others well-being.
Truths about mindfulness:
- it’s not something new, or difficult to learn – we already have this skill, we just need to learn how to use it
- anyone can do it
- you don’t need to change who are as a person – mindfulness is there to help us change our actions for the better, to help us recognise the good things we are as human beings
- it will become a way of life – we already have this ability, and once we begin to practice these skills regularly, they will become more natural to your everyday life
- it’s evidence based – mindfulness has been part of therapy for decades, you don’t need to take it on faith, it’s proven to work
Mindfulness isn’t just about your thoughts, it’s also about your body. During the pause, you will assess how your body feels as well as your mind – is your heart racing, are you shaking, do you feel sick. Taking time to recognise how we feel, and how our body feels, is key to changing the action or behaviour that may result from that.