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
– 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
– What has always been done
– 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
– Awareness in the present moment
– 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
– 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?
– 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)
– 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)
– Vulnerability Checklist
– Vulnerabilities are things that—when unchecked– can cause low grade stress, making you more vulnerable to stronger reactions.
– 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?
– 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
– Smells are one of the strongest memory triggers
– Know Your Nose
– The ABCs
– Activating Event
– Beliefs (automatic ones)
– Disputing (Purposeful Action/Considering the Evidence)
– Evaluating (Purposeful Action/Considering the evidence)
– 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
– Functional Analysis (What, Why & How)
– 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)
– 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