Mindfulness refers to having an awareness of your present thoughts and feelings. When you are mindful, you are entirely in the moment. Integrating mindfulness into your life can reduce anxiety, depression, and urges to engage in destructive behavior.
Mindfulness is a skill taught in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Read on to learn more about what it means to be mindful and how you can start practicing this valuable skill right now.
Notice what’s happening within and around you right now. What thoughts or feelings are you experiencing? Do you feel any tension within your body? Do you have any intrusive thoughts or concerns?
Try to label the sensations and feelings within you. Use as much detail as possible to illustrate the current situation.
Aim to be fully present within the experience. Commit to giving the current situation your undivided attention. As much as possible, embrace complete immersion. If you find yourself becoming distracted, take note of it and move back to the current moment.
Accept that distracting thoughts or feelings may emerge. Rather than becoming critical toward yourself, aim to be curious and objective. Avoid labeling any emotion or thought as “good” or “bad.” Instead, accept that all emotions have a valid and intentional purpose.
Commit to performing single tasks at a time. For example, when eating breakfast, eat your breakfast without distractions. When brushing your teeth, focus on actually brushing your teeth without doing anything else. If you embrace this strategy, you may find that mundane activities become much more pleasurable!
Engage in mindfulness in ways that feel most effective to you. Be open and tolerant to learning and trying new things. Remember that perfection isn’t the goal; instead, it’s about finding a place of balance and self-compassion.