Mindfulness for Happiness and Relapse Prevention
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host: Counselor Toolbox

Continuing Education (CE) credits for addiction and mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists can be earned for this presentation at
https://www.allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/379/c/

Objectives
–    Define Mindlessness
–    Define Mindfulness
–    Differentiate between Mindfulness and Purposeful Action
–    Identify how mindfulness can be useful in practice
–    Explore several different mindfulness techniques and activities
What is MindLESSness
–    Mindlessness
–    Auto-pilot
–    Go-with-the-flow
–    What has always been done
–    Examples
–    Getting home and not remembering the drive
–    Eating without realizing it or when you are not hungry
–    Having intense feelings (or relapses) come from “out of the blue”
What is Mindfulness
–    Mindfulness
–    Awareness in the present moment
–    Stop-Look-Listen-Feel-Interpret
–    What is going on
–    Inside you
–    Around you
What is Purposeful Action
–    Purposeful Action
–    Becoming mindful in the present moment
–    Acting intentionally instead of reacting emotionally
–    Intentionally choosing behaviors and actions that will
–    Make effective use of your energy
–    Help you achieve your goals
How Did We Learn Mindlessness
–    Messages
–    Because I said so  = Don’t ask why
–    Suck it up = Don’t feel, just do
–    Nobody cares/ignore it = Don’t trust
–    That’s what everyone does = Don’t think
How Can Mindfulness Help
–    Transition from reacting to acting (Be proactive)
–    Makes more efficient and effective use of energy by making the right decisions the first time. (Begin with the end in mind)
–    Encourages self-awareness and compassion (Seek first to understand yourself, then understand others)

How Can Mindfulness Help
–    Reduce inefficiency through planning and prioritizing
–    Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle.
–    What do I need right now
–    What options do I have to meet those needs in the present, while still moving toward future goals?
Mindfulness Activities
–    Head-Heart-Gut  Honesty
–    How do you feel
–    What do you want
–    What do you need
–    Attitude of Gratitude (a.k.a. Don’t Crap on the Present)
–    Self
–    Family
–    Job
–    Life

Activities cont…
–    5 Minute Focus
–    Go into a room for 5 minutes (At first it will seem like an eternity)
–    Write down …
–    Everything you see
–    What you smell
–    What you hear
–    How you feel (Emotionally and physically)
Activities cont…
–    Vulnerability Checklist
–    Vulnerabilities are things that—when unchecked– can cause low grade stress, making you more vulnerable to stronger reactions.
–    Emotional
–    Physical
–    Social
–    Environmental

Activities cont…
–    Three Minute Thoughts
–    Take three minutes and write down (or record) all of the thoughts you have
–    Review what you wrote down
–    How many thoughts were negative?
–    How many were about the past?
–    How many were about the future?
–    How many were about the present?
–    How many were irrelevant?
Activities cont…
–    Colors of Emotion
–    Most colors evoke emotion in people.
–    Many of these emotions are learned because a color reminds you of a memory.
–    Get a big box of crayons identify how different colors make you feel
Activities cont…
–    Smells are one of the strongest memory triggers
–    Know Your Nose
–    Calming
–    Nostalgic
–    Angry
–    Stressed
–    Energetic
Activities cont…
–    The ABCs
–    Activating Event
–    Beliefs (automatic ones)
–    Consequences
–    Disputing (Purposeful Action/Considering the Evidence)
–    Evaluating (Purposeful Action/Considering the evidence)
Activities cont…
–    Relapse Warning Signs Checklist (Black SWAN)
–    Relapses do not come from out of the blue.
–    Part of mindfulness is learning about yourself from past experiences
–    Relapse prevention means being aware of your Status Wants and Needs (SWaN)
–    Developing a checklist of your relapse warning signs and reviewing it daily can assist with preventing relapse
Activities cont…
–    Functional Analysis (What, Why & How)
–    Anger/Resentment/Guilt
–    Fear
–    Stress/Overwhelmed
–    Happiness
–    Denial
–    Depression
–    Isolation

Activities cont…
–    Daily Planner
–    Each morning spend 10 minutes being mindful of how you are feeling
–    Identify all the things that need to happen or get done that day
–    Go through the list and highlight the ones that MUST get done
–    Identify anybody that can assist with the must-dos
–    Get going. (Purposeful action)

Summary
–    Our culture promotes automation and mindlessness
–    Mindfulness means taking time to think before you act.
–    Stopping to think takes time, but usually it takes less time than making needless errors
–    Mindfulness means understanding your SWaN and the whats, whys and hows of your vulnerabilities so you can make the best choice of action
Mindfulness Related Resources