If you’re familiar with Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), mindfulness might sound like a buzzword that applies to the practice of DBT — and it kind of is. But there’s more to mindfulness than that, and learning how to use mindfulness in your everyday life can help you build better, enhance your mental well-being, reduce and stress, and even improve your physical health.
Take Time to Breath
You’re a busy person, that’s for sure. But it can be easy to rush through your day, thinking about what comes next or what you must do later. It might feel counterintuitive but taking time out of your day just to breathe may benefit you more than a few minutes of meditation ever will.
Don’t Try Too Hard
While it’s okay to work hard and strive for goals, it’s not okay to beat yourself up when you don’t reach those goals. It is important that you do not use negative self-talk. The acronym DBT (for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) is sometimes used as a reminder: DBT stands for Don’t Be Too hard on Yourself!
Pay Attention, Even When You Don’t Want To
Our daily lives are filled with distractions, so it’s often hard to find time for things that we truly want to do. When you’re trying to be mindful and prioritize things you care about most, try not letting yourself get distracted—and just focus on whatever it is you’re doing. Don’t allow yourself a moment of multitasking because that just means being unmindful of your task at hand.
Be conscious of your body, thoughts, and words. We all have a tendency to be negative towards ourselves, other people, and our world at large. While it’s easy for us moderns to express negativity through snarky comments on social media or by gossiping with friends, living mindfully involves taking a moment before we speak and pause before we take action.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
We live in a world where multi-tasking is common. And while many studies suggest that women are better at multi-tasking than men, research also tells us that we can’t really focus on more than one thing at a time.
Try taking a few minutes before bed each night to just sit quietly and breathe deeply. Bring your attention away from your worries and turn your focus toward your own body. Focus on each breath as it goes in and out, allowing yourself to slowly start letting go of any stress that may be weighing you down. Not only will relaxation help you wind down for sleep, but it can also be used anytime throughout your day when you feel like you need a break from whatever is weighing on you mentally.
Do What Brings you Joy
When we are mindful, we can do what brings us joy. When you are focused on something that brings you joy, you experience less stress and enjoy life more. If there is an activity or person that brings you joy, then it will be easier for you to focus your attention. Being mindful means giving yourself permission to feel whatever emotion or state of mind that arises without judging yourself for having those feelings.