Mindfulness Overview
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes  Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Author: Journey to Recovery (2015) & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery (2017)

The video version of this presentation as well as worksheets are available at DocSnipes.com/mindfulness

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
What is Mindfulness
~    Mindfulness
~    Awareness in the present moment
~    Stop-Look-Listen-Feel-Interpret
~    What is going on
~    Inside you
~    Around you
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
~    Maintain awareness to prevent or mitigate discomfort
~    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?
Core Mindfulness
~    Three States of Mind
~    Reasonable: School Brain, Scientist, Robot
~    Emotional: What your heart says
~    Wise: The logical choice that makes you as happy as possible balancing your wants with the best choice

~    Example: Animal rescue
~    Example: Extracurricular activities

Core Mindfulness
~    Wise Mind What Skills
~    Observe: Be a detective.  Take in the whole situation.
~    Describe: Name your experiences
~    Participate: Be actively involved in the moment

~    Practice observing, describing and participating
~    Identify 5 things that get in the way of observing, describing, participating
Core Mindfulness
~    Wise Mind How Skills
~    Nonjudgmental: Observable, measurable
~    One mind: Focus on the task at hand. Clear your mind of everything else
~    Do what works
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
Mindfulness Activities
~    Head-Heart-Gut  Honesty
~    How do you feel
~    What do you want
~    What do you need
~    Attitude of Gratitude (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
~    These 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.
~    What Color Do You Feel?
~    Get a big box of crayons identify how different colors make you feel
~    General Color Families
~    Hot colors are red
~    Cheerful colors are yellow
~    Calming colors are blues
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 helps you 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
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