Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 911764

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Re: Distress tolerance

Posted by Tabitha on August 13, 2009, at 12:14:53

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance Daisym, posted by Dinah on August 13, 2009, at 11:44:30

Great topic. I can only think of a few things I do

- for general anxiety, I usually distract myself by watching movies, reading, or web-surfing. This isn't really the best thing, since I end up procrastinating things I need to do. But otherwise it's relatively harmless

- for anger, I'll take a walk to work it off physically.

- for everything else, I guess what I do comes under mindfulness. I just go inward and notice the components of it-- the physical sensations, the thoughts. I find this really comforting since it immediately breaks it down into harmless components. Sometimes this will stop it, or sometimes it just keeps coming back together, and I repeat. I do this a lot during the work day when things are winding me up.

 

Re: Distress tolerance

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 13, 2009, at 17:28:54

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance emmanuel98, posted by Dinah on August 13, 2009, at 11:36:32

It helps to remember the concept of wise mind - not being ruled by your emotions, but keeping some rational part of your brain free to reflect on what's happening. Meditation and deep breathing help me the most when I'm distressed.

 

Re: Distress tolerance

Posted by TherapyGirl on August 13, 2009, at 19:21:39

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance, posted by Daisym on August 13, 2009, at 0:32:54

One thing I found helpful when it got so bad last winter was to sing. I think it forces me to breathe better than I do when I'm that upset without having to think about it, which just makes it worse.

The other regular thing I have done in the past, which is not working so well right this moment, is imagine that my T is holding me. This is particularly effective in the middle of the night when the anxiety is through the roof.

I also do the projecting forward thing that Daisy mentioned. That's also what I do with physical pain. I never have anesthesia with dental work, for instance.

Now if I could just figure out how to use ALL of this when my T leaves. I did tell her tonight that I wanted to be able to use her as a distraction again without it being so painful as to make things worse. I didn't tell her exactly what I do because it sounds pathetic, but she probably has a guess.

And Dinah -- she LOVED the handout that I printed from your link. She wishes she had thought of that. I looked at her and said, "I wish you had, too." Off topic -- all in all, the best session we've had in months. Let's see if our Ts can pull off a double header this week!

 

Re: Distress tolerance

Posted by Phillipa on August 13, 2009, at 19:50:02

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance, posted by TherapyGirl on August 13, 2009, at 19:21:39

Ride my bike anything physical, and be creative and post a listing for sale on ebay. Phillipa

 

Re: Distress tolerance

Posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 21:37:50

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance, posted by Phillipa on August 13, 2009, at 19:50:02

I dug out the notebook of stuff I have from the dbt distress tolerance group I was in a long time ago. Not too much of it really 'stuck' at the time, but maybe it will help someone here.

I will make a series of posts b/c it's different topics. These say at the bottom that they are from "Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder" by Marsha Linehan.

I don't have BPD, but I think these skills can be helpful for anyone.

sunnydays

 

Mindfulness

Posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 21:52:14

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance, posted by Phillipa on August 13, 2009, at 19:50:02

Mindfulness Skills:

Observe
-Just notice the experience. Notice without getting caught in the experience. Experience without reacting to your experience.

- Have a "teflon mind", letting experiences, feelings, and thoughts come into your mind and slip right out.

- Control your attention, but not what you see. Push away nothing. Cling to nothing.

- Be like a guard at the palace gate, alert to every thought, feeling, and action that comes through the gate of your mind.

- Step inside yourself and observe. Watch your thoughts coming and going, like clouds in the sky. Notice each feeling, rising and falling, like waves in the ocean. Notice exactly what you are doing.

- Notice what comes through your senses - your eyes, ears, nose, skin, and tongue. See others' actions and expressions. "Smell the roses".

Describe
- Put words on the experience. When a feeling or thought arises, or you do something, acknowledge it. For example, say in your mind, "Sadness has just enveloped me.".... or... "Stomach muscles tightening"...or..."A thought 'I can't do this' has come into my mind"...or..."walking, step, step, step."

- Put experiences into words. Describe to yourself what is happening. Put a name on your feelings. Call a thought just a thought, a feeling just a feeling. Don't get caught in content.

Participate
- Enter into your experiences. Let yourself get involved in the moment, letting go of ruminating. Become one with your experience, completely forgetting yourself.

-Act intuitively from wise mind. Do just what is needed in each situation - a skillful dancer on the dance floor, one with the music and your partner, neither willful nor sitting on your hands.

- Actively practice your skills as you learn them until they become part of you, where you use them without self-consciousness. Practice:
1) Changing harmful situations.
2) Changing your harmful reactions to situations.
3) Accepting yourself and the situation as they are.

Non-judgmentally
- See but don't evaluate. Take a nonjudgmental stance. Just the facts. Focus on the 'what', not the 'good' or 'bad', the 'terrible' or 'wonderful', the 'should' or 'should not'.

- Unglue your opinions from the facts, from the 'who, what, when, and where."

- Accept each moment, each event as a blanket spread out on the lawn accepts both the rain and the sun, each leaf that falls upon it.

- Acknowledge the helpful, the wholesome, but don't judge it. Acknowledge the harmful, the unwholesome, but don't judge it.

- When you find yourself judging, don't judge your judging.

One-mindfully
- Do one thing at a time. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are bathing, bathe. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person. When you are thinking, think. When you are worrying, worry. When you are planning, plan. When you are remembering, remember. Do each thing with all of your attention.

- If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, let go of distractions and go back to what you are doing - again and again, and again.

- Concentrate on your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.

Effectively
-Focus on what works. Do what needs to be done in each situation. Stay away from 'fair' and 'unfair', 'right' and 'wrong', 'should' and 'should not'.

- Play by the rules. Don't 'cut off your nose to spite your face.'

- Act as skillfully as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in. Not the situation you wish you were in; not the one that is just; not the one that is more comfortable; not the one that...

- Keep an eye on your objectives in the situation and do what is necessary to achieve them.

- Let go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness that hurts you and doesn't work.

 

Distress Tolerance - Distraction Crisis Survival

Posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 21:59:13

In reply to Mindfulness, posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 21:52:14

ACCEPTS

Activities
Engage in exercise or hobbies, do cleaning, go to events, call or visit a friend, play computer games, go walking, work, play sports, go out to a meal, have decaf coffee or tea, go fishing, chop wood, do gardening, play pinball.

Contributing
Contribute to someone, do volunteer work, give something to someone else, make something nice for someone else, do a surprising, thoughtful thing.

Comparisons
Compare yourself to people coping the same as you or less well than you. Compare yourself to those less fortunate than you. Watch soap operas, read about disasters, others' suffering.

Opposite Emotions
Read emotional books or stories, old letters, go to emotional movies, listen to emotional music. Be sure the event creates different emotions. Ideas: scary movies, joke books, comedies, funny records, religious music, marching songs, "I Am Woman" (Helen Reddy), going to a store and reading funny greeting cards.

Pushing Away
Push the situation away by leaving it for a while. Leave the situation mentally. Build an imaginary wall between yourself and the situation.

Or push the situation away by blocking it in your mind. Censor ruminating. Refuse to think about painful aspects of the situation. Put the pain on a shelf. Box it up and put it away for a while.

Other Thoughts
Count to 10, count colors in a painting or tree, windows, anything, work puzzles, watch tv, read.

Intense other sensations
Hold ice in hand (not for too long or it could hurt you), squeeze a rubber ball very hard, stand under a very hard and hot shower, listen to very loud music, sex, put rubber band on wrist, pull out, and let go.

 

Re: Mindfulness sunnydays

Posted by Phillipa on August 13, 2009, at 22:04:56

In reply to Mindfulness, posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 21:52:14

Sunnydays that was very helpful. What book is this? Love Phillipa

 

Distress Tolerance - Self-Soothing the five senses

Posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 22:12:00

In reply to Distress Tolerance - Distraction Crisis Survival, posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 21:59:13

Soothe each of your five senses:

with Vision
Buy one beautiful flower, make one space in a room pretty, light a candle and watch the flame. Set a pretty place at the table, using your best things, for a meal. Go to a museum with beautiful art. Go sit in the lobby of a beautiful old hotel. Walk in a pretty part of town. Fix your nails so they look pretty. Look at beautiful pictures in a book. Go to a ballet or other dance performance, or watch one on tv. Be mindful of each sight that passes in front of you, not lingering on any.

with Hearing
Listen to beautiful or soothing music, or to invigorating and exciting music. Pay attention to sounds of nature (waves, birds, rainfall, leaves rustling). Sing to your favorite songs. Hum a soothing tune. Learn to play an instrument. Call 800 or other information numbers to hear a human voice. Be mindful of any sounds that come your way, letting them go in one ear and out the other.

with Smell
Use your favorite perfume and lotions, or try them on in the store, spray fragrance in the air, light a scented candle. Put lemon oil on your furniture. Put potpourri in a bowl in your room. Boil cinnamon, bake cookies, cake, or bread. Smell the roses. Walk in a wooded area and mindfully breathe in the fresh smells of nature.

with Taste
Have a good meal, have a favorite soothing drink such as herbal tea or hot chocolate (no alcohol), treat yourself to a dessert. Put whipped cream on your coffee. Sample flavors in an ice cream store. Suck on a piece of peppermint candy. Chew your favorite gum. Get a little bit of a special food you don't usually spend the money on, such as fresh-squeezed orange juice. Really taste the food you eat; eat one thing mindfully.

with Touch
Take a bubble bath, put clean sheets on the bed. Pet your dog or cat. Have a massage, soak your feet. Put creamy lotion on your whole body. Put a cold compress on your forehead. Sink into a really comfortable chair in your home, or find one in a luxurious hotel lobby. Put on a silky blouse, dress, or scarf. Try on fur-lined gloves or fur coats in a department store. Brush your hair for a long time. Hug someone. Experience whatever you are touching; notice touch that is soothing.

 

Re: Mindfulness Phillipa

Posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 22:12:43

In reply to Re: Mindfulness sunnydays, posted by Phillipa on August 13, 2009, at 22:04:56

"Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder" by Marsha Linehan

 

Distress Tolerance - Improve the Moment

Posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 22:22:47

In reply to Re: Mindfulness Phillipa, posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 22:12:43

with Imagery
Imagine very relaxing scenes. Imagine a secret room within yourself, seeing how it is decorated. Go into the room whenever you feel threatened. Close the door on anything that can hurt you. Imagine everything going well. Imagine coping well. Make up a fantasy world that is calming and beautiful and let your mind go with it. Imagine hurtful emotions draining out of you like water out of a pipe.

with Meaning
Find or create some purpose, meaning, or value in the pain. Remember, listen to, or read about spiritual values. Focus on whatever positive aspects of a painful situation you can find. Repeat them over and over in your mind. Make lemonade out of lemons.

with Prayer
Open your heart to a supreme being, greater wisdom, God, your own wise mind. Ask for strength to bear the pain in this moment. Turn things over to God or a higher being.

with Relaxation
Try muscle relaxing by tensing and relaxing each large muscle group, starting with your hands and arms, going to the top of your head, and then working down. Listen to a relaxation tape, exercise hard, take a hot bath or sit in a hot tub, drink hot milk, massage your neck and scalp, your calves and feet. Get in a tub filled with very cold or hot water and stay in it until the water is tepid. Breathe deeply, half smile, change facial expressions.

with One thing in the moment
Focus your entire attention on just what you are doing right now. Keep yourself in the very moment you are in, put your mind in the present. Focus your entire attention on physical sensations that accompany nonmental tasks (eg, walking, washing, doing dishes, cleaning, fixing). Be aware of how your body moves during each task. Do awareness exercises.

with a Brief Vacation
Give yourself a brief vacation. Get in bed and pull the covers up over your head for 20 minutes. Rent a motel room at the beach or in the woods for a day or two, drop your towels on the floor after you use them. Ask your roommate to bring you coffee in bed or make you dinner (offer to reciprocate). Get a schlocky magazine or newspaper at the grocery store, get in bed with chocolates, and read it. Make yourself milk toast, bundle up in a chair, and eat it slowly. Take a blanket to the park and sit on it for the whole afternoon. Unplug your phone for a day, or let your answering machine screen your calls. Take a 1-hour breather from hard work that must be done.

with Encouragement
Cheerlead yourself. Repeat over and over "I can stand it," "It won't last forever" "I will make it out of this", "I'm doing the best I can do".

 

Re: Distress Tolerance - Improve the Moment

Posted by Sigismund on August 14, 2009, at 15:27:19

In reply to Distress Tolerance - Improve the Moment, posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 22:22:47

I read about our history, and my problems start to seem very small.

Moreover, the possibility of dying and getting away from it all becomes more attractive.

 

Thanks, Sunny

Posted by Dinah on August 14, 2009, at 20:25:46

In reply to Distress Tolerance - Improve the Moment, posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 22:22:47

> with Imagery
> Imagine very relaxing scenes. Imagine a secret room within yourself, seeing how it is decorated. Go into the room whenever you feel threatened. Close the door on anything that can hurt you. Imagine everything going well. Imagine coping well. Make up a fantasy world that is calming and beautiful and let your mind go with it. Imagine hurtful emotions draining out of you like water out of a pipe.

I used to be great at imagining, but I think I lost that ability. I'd like to get it back. I do like to imagine myself working through a project before I do it, or imagine myself finishing a project midway through. But that isn't distress tolerance, it's performance related.

My therapist had me do an imagery tape of walking through the forest once. I was supposed to imagine everything as it really was, but I was a bit too realistic and it wasn't as relaxing as it could have been. Maybe I could try it again when I'm doing it for myself, and the imp of rebellion inside won't subvert the experience.

>
> with Meaning
> Find or create some purpose, meaning, or value in the pain. Remember, listen to, or read about spiritual values. Focus on whatever positive aspects of a painful situation you can find. Repeat them over and over in your mind. Make lemonade out of lemons.

I am lousy at this. I know it's helpful for so many, but when a situation stinks, I like to be able to feel rotten about it. Trying to find something good in it would annoy me senseless. But that's just me.

> with Prayer
> Open your heart to a supreme being, greater wisdom, God, your own wise mind. Ask for strength to bear the pain in this moment. Turn things over to God or a higher being.

I think I do this, but not verbally. I'm not good with spoken prayer, but prayer of the spirit is very important to me.

> with Relaxation
> Try muscle relaxing by tensing and relaxing each large muscle group, starting with your hands and arms, going to the top of your head, and then working down. Listen to a relaxation tape, exercise hard, take a hot bath or sit in a hot tub, drink hot milk, massage your neck and scalp, your calves and feet. Get in a tub filled with very cold or hot water and stay in it until the water is tepid. Breathe deeply, half smile, change facial expressions.

I do a lot of these, I think. My husband gives a fabulous massage. Hot milk, no. But I do plenty of things in the spirit of relaxation.

> with One thing in the moment
> Focus your entire attention on just what you are doing right now. Keep yourself in the very moment you are in, put your mind in the present. Focus your entire attention on physical sensations that accompany nonmental tasks (eg, walking, washing, doing dishes, cleaning, fixing). Be aware of how your body moves during each task. Do awareness exercises.

My therapist tells the story of a man who climbed a mountain to sit at the feet of the wise man to gain wisdom. When the man goes inside the wise man's hut to ask if he could be his student, the wise man asks whether he left his walking stick to the left of the door or the right of the door. The would be student didn't remember, and the wise man sent him away because he was not yet ready to learn. I hear this story often, because I am terrible at mindfulness. I'm not even good at multitasking. I'm the absent minded professor sort who can carry on conversations that I can't even remember during the conversation, never mind five minutes later. Awareness is not my strong suit. Working on it has not yet led to much improvement.


>
> with a Brief Vacation
> Give yourself a brief vacation. Get in bed and pull the covers up over your head for 20 minutes. Rent a motel room at the beach or in the woods for a day or two, drop your towels on the floor after you use them. Ask your roommate to bring you coffee in bed or make you dinner (offer to reciprocate). Get a schlocky magazine or newspaper at the grocery store, get in bed with chocolates, and read it. Make yourself milk toast, bundle up in a chair, and eat it slowly. Take a blanket to the park and sit on it for the whole afternoon. Unplug your phone for a day, or let your answering machine screen your calls. Take a 1-hour breather from hard work that must be done.

I probably do this too much.


> with Encouragement
> Cheerlead yourself. Repeat over and over "I can stand it," "It won't last forever" "I will make it out of this", "I'm doing the best I can do".

Hmmm... I think I can talk sensibly to myself, but I think I'd only annoy myself if I tried to be too cheerleading. It's my inexorable pull to the middle. If I try to say too many positive things to myself, I'll feel compelled to balance them with negative things. I think I'd be better off thinking moderate thoughts.

These seem more designed to keep from getting to the tipping point of meltdown. I wonder what you are supposed to do once you reach that point?

 

Mindfulness - A small warning

Posted by Daisym on August 14, 2009, at 20:37:38

In reply to Distress Tolerance - Distraction Crisis Survival, posted by sunnydays on August 13, 2009, at 21:59:13

I believe in many of the mindfulness concepts, particularly about just noticing your thoughts and not judging yourself too harshly when you can't stay with your breathing.

However, for many people, sinking into a quiet place in their brain can allow memories held at bay to emerge - and flashbacks or flooding can happen. This is especially true for people (like me) who keep themselves ultra busy to avoid any random thoughts at all. Think of it as going 80 miles an hour and then suddenly shifting into park. Your transmission could be left on the pavement.

So keep yourself safe as you begin all of this.

I just read a report that suggests that exercise is THE most potent stress buster - better even than meds and longer lasting. Too bad I hate to sweat. :(

 

Re: Distress tolerance TherapyGirl

Posted by Dinah on August 14, 2009, at 21:05:24

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance, posted by TherapyGirl on August 13, 2009, at 19:21:39

> Let's see if our Ts can pull off a double header this week!

Mine was on vacation this week. So I saw him last Friday and I'll see him Monday.

I'm going to have to knock wood here, but I think I did very well with his being gone. I've surprised myself even. It wasn't a very long time, but still...

I don't expect all that much from Monday. I'll come in, he'll look sunburned and happy enough. He'll likely say something like that he hated to come back, he had so much fun. That he hadn't realized how much he needed to get away from it all. Then I'll remind him that I'm part of the all, and he'll say that he didn't go on vacation to get away from me.

With any luck I'll leave with a smile, but I'm not expecting a lot.

 

Re: Thanks, Sunny Dinah

Posted by sunnydays on August 14, 2009, at 23:25:47

In reply to Thanks, Sunny, posted by Dinah on August 14, 2009, at 20:25:46

Yeah, that was always my problem with using these ideas too... what to do when they didn't feel like enough. It was never suggested to me to use all of them, just to try them all out and find the ones that worked for me. Not all of them will work for everyone, I guess. I never found that once I was absorbed in horrible feelings I could talk myself out of them rationally, because the feelings were inherently irrational but still felt 'true' and important to me...

I don't know.

sunnydays

 

Re: Mindfulness - A small warning Daisym

Posted by sunnydays on August 14, 2009, at 23:29:00

In reply to Mindfulness - A small warning, posted by Daisym on August 14, 2009, at 20:37:38

Yes, that's true. I probably should have written that in my post, I just didn't remember to. Thanks for posting it. I tend to be one of those people who just keeps myself super busy. And I also tend to ruminate at the same time. The idea, I guess, is to try to practice letting the thoughts come and just being detached enough to observe them and let them go without engaging them. But I've certainly never mastered that. It's a very Buddhist concept.

Thanks for posting that Daisy. Everyone should definitely listen to themselves and only do what feels ok for them. You know best. As I said in my post to Dinah, it was always suggested in our group to try to practice every single one of the categories, but that if we really didn't like something or something didn't work for us, not to force it.

sunnydays

 

Re: Distress tolerance Dinah

Posted by TherapyGirl on August 15, 2009, at 20:45:57

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance TherapyGirl, posted by Dinah on August 14, 2009, at 21:05:24

I knew that, Dinah. Sorry I forgot momentarily. I did have this thought during my session that oh, no that means Dinah's going to have a bad one. It's funny how much I believe the pattern. But I keep hoping at some point they will both be "on" at the same time. AND be more consistent.

I'm glad you've done well with his being away. I agree with you that it helps to know where they are. I think Daisy suggested months ago that I have T give me pictures of the house she will be moving to so that I can picture her there. I haven't asked for that yet.

I'm really going to explore this whole DBT thing. I'm not sure it would have worked for me with my larger childhood trauma, but I think it might work for this.

 

Re: Distress tolerance

Posted by Angela2 on August 15, 2009, at 21:14:45

In reply to Distress tolerance, posted by Dinah on August 12, 2009, at 12:35:02

So I just wanted to say that I really like this thread and glad you posted it Dinah. I have had 2 instances where I have used distraction and it made the moments where I was distressed more enjoyable.

 

Re: Distress tolerance - Pros and Cons

Posted by sunnydays on August 15, 2009, at 22:23:37

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance, posted by Angela2 on August 15, 2009, at 21:14:45

This is all still from the same book, "Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder" by Marsha Linehan. Again, try it out, see if it works for you - if it doesn't or if you know it won't work for you, then don't do it. It's just something I'm posting because it seems to be helping at least a few people.

Thinking of Pros and Cons

Make a list of the pros and cons of tolerating the distress. Make another list of the pros and cons of not tolerating the distress - that is, of coping by hurting yourself, abusing alcohol or drugs, or doing something else impulsive.

Focus on long-term goals, the light at the end of the tunnel. Remember times when pain has ended.

Think of the positive consequences of tolerating the distress. Imagine in your mind how good you will feel if you achieve your goals, if you don't act impulsively.

Think of all of the negative consequences of not tolerating your current distress. Remember what has happened in the past when you have acted impulsively to escape the moment.

 

Distress tolerance - Observing Breath Exercises

Posted by sunnydays on August 15, 2009, at 22:44:06

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance - Pros and Cons, posted by sunnydays on August 15, 2009, at 22:23:37

This is all still from the same book, "Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder" by Marsha Linehan. Again, try it out, see if it works for you - if it doesn't or if you know it won't work for you, then don't do it. It's just something I'm posting because it seems to be helping at least a few people.

Observing your Breath:

Focus your attention on your breath, coming in and out. Observe your breathing as a way to center yourself in your wise mind. Observe your breathing as a way to take hold of your mind, dropping off nonacceptance and fighting reality.

1. Deep Breathing

Lie on your back. Breathe evenly and gently, focusing your attention on the movement of your stomach. As you begin to breathe in, allow your stomach to rise in order to bring air into the lower half of your lungs. As the upper halves of your lungs begin to fill with air, your chest begins to rise and your stomach begins to lower. Don't tire yourself. Continue for ten breaths. The exhalation will be longer than the inhalation.

2. Measuring your breath by your footsteps

Walk slowly in a yard, along a sidewalk, or on a path. Breathe normally. Determine the length of of your breath, the exhalation and inhalation, by the number of your footsteps. Continue for a few minutes. Begin to lengthen your exhalation by one step. Do not force a longer inhalation. Let it be natural. Watch your inhalation carefully to see whether there is a desire to lengthen it. Continue for 10 breaths.

Now lengthen the exhalation by one more footstep. Watch to see whether the inhalation also lengthens by one step or not. Only lengthen the inhalation when you feel that it will give you delight. After 20 breaths, return your breath to normal. About 5 minutes later, you can begin the practice of lengthened breaths again. When you feel the least bit tired, return to normal. After several sessions of the practice of lengthened breath, your exhalation and inhalation will grow equal in length. Do not practice long, equal breaths for more than 10 to 20 breaths before returning to normal.

3. Counting your Breath

Sit cross-legged on the floor (sit in the half or full lotus position if you know how); or sit in a chair with your feet on the floor; or kneel; or lie flat on the floor; or take a walk. As you inhale, be aware that "I am inhaling, 1". When you exhale, be aware that "I am exhaling, 1." Remember to breathe from the stomach. When beginning the second inhalation, be aware that "I am inhaling, 2." And slowly exhaling, be aware that "I am exhaling, 2." Continue on up through 10. After you have reached 10, return to 1. Whenever you lose count, return to 1.

4. Following your breath while listening to music

Listen to a piece of music. Breathe long, light, and even breaths. Follow your breath; be master of it while remaining aware of the movement and sentiments of the music. Do not get lost in the music, but continue to be master of your breath and yourself.

5. Following your breath while carrying on a conversation.

Breathe long, light, and even breaths. Follow your breath while listening to a friend's words and to your own replies. Continue as with the music.

6. Following the Breath

Sit cross-legged on the floor (sit in the half or full lotus position if you know how); or sit in a chair with your feet on the floor; or kneel; or lie flat on the floor; or take a walk. Begin to inhale gently and normally (from the stomach), aware that "I am inhaling normally." Exhale in awareness, "I am exhaling normally." Continue for three breaths. On the fourth breath, extend the inhalation, aware that, "I am breathing in a long inhalation." Exhale in awareness, "I am breathing out a long exhalation." Continue for three breaths.

Now follow your breath carefully, aware of every movement of your stomach and lungs. Follow the entrance and exit of air. Be aware that "I am inhaling and following the inhalation from its beginning to its end. I am exhaling and following the exhalation from its beginning to its end."

Continue for 20 breaths. Return to normal. After 5 minutes, repeat the exercise. Maintain a half-smile while breathing. Once you have mastered this exercise, move on to the next.

7. Breathing to quiet the mind and body

Sit cross-legged on the floor (sit in the half or full lotus position if you know how); or sit in a chair with your feet on the floor; or kneel; or lie flat on the floor. Half-smile. Follow your breath. When your mind and body are quiet, continue to inhale and exhale very lightly; be aware that "I am breathing in and making the breath and body light and peaceful. I am exhaling and making the breath and body light and peaceful." Continue for three breaths, giving rise to the thought, "I am breathing in while my body and mind are at peace. I am breathing out while my body and mind are at peace."

Maintain this thought in awareness from 5 to 30 minutes, according to your ability and to the time available to you. The beginning and end of the practice should be relaxed and gentle. When you want to stop, gently massage the muscles in your legs before returning to a normal sitting position. Wait a moment before standing up.

Note in book: Adapted from "The Miracle of Mindfulnes: A Manual of Meditation" (pp. 81-84) by Thich Nhat Hanh, 1976, Boston: Beacon Press.

 

Pros and Cons - Pragmatism!!!

Posted by Dinah on August 17, 2009, at 0:00:45

In reply to Re: Distress tolerance - Pros and Cons, posted by sunnydays on August 15, 2009, at 22:23:37

Pragmatism!!

My philosophy in life!

Not that it makes distress any easier to tolerate. But it cuts down on the amount of future distress that needs to be tolerated.

 

Re: Pros and Cons - Pragmatism!!!

Posted by Nadezda on August 17, 2009, at 10:24:24

In reply to Pros and Cons - Pragmatism!!!, posted by Dinah on August 17, 2009, at 0:00:45

I'm not sure if sunny mentioned this, but one thing they stress in my dbt group is that one cons of avoiding distress is that it often occurs around something you really want to do, or need to do.

So the avoidance is actually destructive because it prolongs the time when you haven't accomplished whatever it was-- when you're suffering from anxiety or concern, rather than moving forward-- You waste all that time taken up in avoidance, rather than making progress toward whatever you can achieve by the experience.

Another con is that avoidance intensifies the anxiety or other avoidant emotion. If you're afraid of something, for example, each time you put it off, or try to protect yourself, you reinforce the idea that the danger is real, and make makes it harder to overcome the next time.

Looking at the pros and cons doesn't necessarily help you to overcome the fear or discomfort, but do put it into a perspective that motivates you to work harder on approaches to overcoming them over.

Especially if there's an important goal that's also being delayed, and you can learn to keep your focus on the long-term goal, and to see the temporary discomfort as worth tolerating, it can come to be more present, and therefore more worth pushing toward.

At least for me. Although there's a lot more to it, of course.

Nadezda

 

Re: Mindfulness - A small warning Daisym

Posted by Maxime on August 17, 2009, at 19:33:28

In reply to Mindfulness - A small warning, posted by Daisym on August 14, 2009, at 20:37:38

Here's a great book on mindfulness and depression.
"The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness"

 

Re: Pros and Cons - Pragmatism!!! Nadezda

Posted by Dinah on August 18, 2009, at 10:07:07

In reply to Re: Pros and Cons - Pragmatism!!!, posted by Nadezda on August 17, 2009, at 10:24:24

As a very very very avoidant person, I really have to try to remember those things.

Avoidance only works when I have no power to influence an outcome.


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