308 Mindfulness | Journey to Recovery 2nd Edition
Counselor Toolbox

 
 
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Journey to Recovery Series
Mindfulness Overview
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Executive Director: AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Objectives
~ Differentiate between mindLESSness and mindFULness
~ Understand where mindLESSness came from
~ Define mindFULness
~ Explore ways mindFULness can help
~ Reduce emotional and physical distress and pain
~ Improve sleep
~ Improve Relationships
~ Explore activities that will help you
~ Become truly aware of your feelings, wants and needs
~ Develop skills that will help you observe, describe and participate

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”
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
~ Hurry. Hurry. Hurry. No time to feel.

~ Activity: Alice in Wonderland
~ Themes: Mindlessness, impulsivity, identity crisis, frantically trying anything, things are not as they appear to be, time punishes by standing still, hopelessness and helplessness, always looking for something better can lead to trouble
What is Mindfulness
~ Mindfulness
~ Awareness in the present moment
~ Stop-Look-Listen-Feel-Interpret
~ What is going on
~ Inside you
~ Around you

~ Side Note:
~ Introverts often find it easier to be aware of what is going on inside you and more difficult to understand others.
~ Extroverts often find it easy to “read” the crowd, but much more difficult to tune in to what is going on inside.
How Can Mindfulness Help
~ Transition from reacting to acting (Be proactive)
~ Retrospective mindfulness activity: Look back over the day yesterday. Had you been mindful…
~ What vulnerabilities could you have prevented?
~ What stressful events could you have prevented?
~ If you had been aware of your vulnerabilities, how might you have conducted your day differently?
~ 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
~ Reduces inefficiency through planning and prioritizing
~ Helps you maintain awareness to prevent or mitigate discomfort
~ Helps you balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. (Sharpen the saw)
~ What do you need right now?
~ What options do you have to meet those needs in the present, while still moving toward future goals?
Activity
~ Anchored Mindfulness
~ Before each meal, consider without judgment….
~ What is your mood and why?
~ How do you feel physically and why?
~ Is your attitude positive/ambivalent/negative, and why?
~ How is your concentration (Do you have monkey mind?)
~ What vulnerabilities are or will be present today and how can you mitigate them?
~ What do you need to do now to…
~ Improve the moment
~ Adjust to your current state of being
Core Mindfulness
Core Mindfulness
~ Wise Mind How (do you do it) Skills
~ Nonjudgmental: Observable, measurable
~ One mind: Focus on the task at hand. Clear your mind of everything else
~ Do what works

~ Note: Be compassionate with yourself.
Core Mindfulness
~ Wise Mind What (do you do) Skills
~ Observe: Be a detective. Take in the whole situation.
~ What is going on (Big picture)?
~ What might I be missing?
~ How might someone else perceive this situation?
~ Describe: Name your experiences (Explore the emotional mind)
~ This situation is…
~ I feel…
~ Participate: Be actively involved in the moment
~ What can I do to improve the next moment?
~ What is the best choice of action based upon my goals?

Activity: Wise Mind How Skills
~ Practice observing, describing and participating
~ Find a scene in a tv show where someone gets upset
~ Observe: Be a detective. Take in the whole situation.
~ What is going on (Big picture)?
~ What might the main character be missing?
~ How might someone else perceive this situation?
~ Describe: Name the person’s experiences (Explore the emotional mind)
~ This situation is…
~ He/she feels…
~ Participate: Be actively involved in the moment
~ What can he/she do to improve the next moment?
~ What is the best choice of action based upon his/her goals?

Core Mindfulness
~ Things that get in the way of:
~ Observing
~ Adrenaline/Anger/Fear: Distress tolerance and Focused Breathing
~ Negativity bias: Hardiness, gratitude, dialectics
~ Schemas: CPT
~ Trauma: How is the situation in the present similar to and different from the past?
Core Mindfulness
~ Things that get in the way of:
~ Describing
~ Autopilot
~ Lack of words. Rhythm around the circle
~ Cognitive distortions.
~ What is it? (Personalization, all or none, jumping to conclusions, availability heuristic, catastrophizing, high and low probability)
~ Why does it add distress
~ What are the alternatives?
Core Mindfulness
~ Things that get in the way of:
~ Participating
~ Not knowing your destination– Define a RML
~ Fear of rejection/inadequate social support – Identify SOs
~ Fear of being wrong or that your needs are wrong – CPT
~ Lack of self-efficacy/Learned helplessness – Identify prior successes and set small, SMART goals
~ Unawareness of tools – What has worked in the past for you or someone else? What might work in the future.
~ Activity: Tool selection
~ Depression – Address fatigue, circadian rhythms and apathy

Activity: Wise Mind How Skills
~ Practice observing, describing and participating
~ Look back over your week. Identify one time you felt irritable and practice the What skills.
~ Observe: Be a detective. Take in the whole situation.
~ What was going on (Big picture)?
~ What might I be missing?
~ How might someone else have perceived this situation?
~ Describe: Name your experiences (Explore the emotional mind)
~ This situation was…
~ I felt…
~ Participate: Be actively involved in the moment
~ What could I have done to improve the next moment?
~ What was the best choice of action based upon my goals?

Activity
~ Define your long term goals
~ What kind of person do you want to be?
~ What values do you cherish?
~ What people, experiences and things are important to you?

~ If you are visual, make a collage
What is Purposeful Action
~ Purposeful Action
~ Becoming mindful in the present moment
~ Acting intentionally instead of reacting emotionally
~ Choosing behaviors and actions that will
~ Make effective use of your energy
~ Help you achieve your long term goals

~ Example: Peanut Butter
Short Cut Question
~ Is this behavior/reaction going to get me closer to my long-term goals, or is it an autopilot response?
Mindfulness Activities
~ Head-Heart-Gut Honesty

Activities cont…
~ 5 Minute Focus— Practice Observing
~ 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…
~ Three Minute Thoughts: Practice Observing 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…
~ Vulnerability Checklist- Practice Observing and Describing
~ These are things that—when unchecked– can cause low grade stress, making you more vulnerable to stronger reactions. (Draw a card. Tell why this can be a vulnerability)
~ Emotional
~ Physical
~ Social
~ Environmental

Activities cont…
~ The ABCs. Practice Observing and describing events and thoughts
~ Activating Event
~ Beliefs (automatic ones)
~ Consequences
~ Participate in the moment
~ Dispute any beliefs not based in fact. (Purposeful Action/Considering the Evidence)
~ Evaluate your options and choose the best one to improve the next moment (Purposeful Action/Considering the evidence)
Activities cont…
~ Colors of Emotion. Participate by Affecting the Environment
~ Most colors evoke emotion in people, because a color reminds you of a memory.
~ What Color Do You Feel?
~ Get a big box of crayons or different color poster boards and identify how different colors make you feel
~ General Color Families
~ Passionate, excited colors are red
~ Cheerful colors are yellow
~ Calming colors are blues
~ Depressed colors are variations on black
Activities cont…
~ Smells are one of the strongest memory triggers. Participate by affecting the environment
~ Know Your Nose (Scent stations*)
~ Calming
~ Nostalgic
~ Angry
~ Stressed
~ Energetic

~ Rosemary, vanilla, lavender, clove, basil, oregano, wax tarts, pine trees, pine sol, cinnamon, white ginger… (Sometimes Yankee Candle,
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)
Activities cont…
~ Activity: (Daisy Chain Health or Relapse)
~ Observe past relapses and describe triggers and events leading up to it
~ Observe past remissions and describe triggers and events maintaining it
~ Participate by
~ Developing a checklist of your relapse warning signs and reviewing it daily to prevent relapse
~ Enhancing your situation to be more like it is during remission periods
~ Planning how to deal with relapse triggers when they arise
Activities cont…
~ Daily Planner (Participate)
~ Each morning spend 5 minutes being mindful of how you are feeling
~ Review your relapse warning signs/vulnerabilities and plan accordingly
~ 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 or short-cuts you can take if needed
~ Get going. (Purposeful action)

Summary
~ Operating on autopilot causes us to “push through” until you have exhausted your resources or neglected to maintain balance (all work and no play…)
~ Mindfulness encourages you to constantly check your energy gauge to see what is requiring more attention and decide how to balance those demands
~ MindFULness can help
~ Reduce emotional and physical distress and pain
~ Improve sleep
~ Improve relationships

Summary
~ Core mindfulness is being able to
~ Observe, describe and participate in the present moment.
~ Integrate information from the Reasonable Mind (Head) and the Emotional Mind (Heart) to come up with a solution in the Wise Mind (Gut)
~ Core mindfulness helps you
~ Adjust your day to prevent upset if you are already vulnerable
~ Observe, describe and participate in order to choose actions and thoughts that will help you purposefully move toward your long-term goals
Summary
~ 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 helps you observe, describe and participate in order to prevent and mitigate problems
~ Mindfulness means understanding your SWaN and the whats, whys and hows of your vulnerabilities so you can make the best choice of action
~ Mindfulness is the first step in emotion regulation and getting happy
Mindfulness Related Resources