Be Mindful. It’s kind of the catchphrase out there. If you have been involved in any kind of situation that involves finding ways to relax, cope, settle down, or just take an extra breath, you most likely have heard some form of it. Mindful. Mindfulness. One Mindfully.

Mind you, it’s out there, so what is it?

I struggle with my mind being loud. I explain that is is like being in a middle school gymnasium during lunch recess. All the echoes of kids talking, laughing, running. Basketballs bouncing, maybe some jump ropes. All kinds of noises and yet nothing can be deciphered. It is just…..loud. There I am, in the bleachers, unable to get away from it, unable to make it stop, and unable to understand any of it as it all meshes together. This is my mind. It used to be this way all the time. Nope, that is not exaggerating. Even in sleep, it was like that. All. The. Time.

In the chaos that is life today, how do you manage to focus on what is happening here and now – at this moment? Take a moment right now, take a deep breath, and think about each of these:

  • Girl listening to headphones with eyes closedWhat are three things you see?
  • What are three things you hear?
  • What are three things you feel via touch?
  • What are three things you smell?

Welcome to a small corner of mindfulness, one of the pillars of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT.

Mindfulness teaches us how to take a break from the loudness of life – outside and inside our minds – and focus on what is around us.

It teaches us how to focus on this moment, here and now, letting the past be the past and letting the future be what it will. It is being able to walk slow motion through a high-speed environment.

For me, it has allowed me to find a quiet spot my mind. Sure, there is still plenty of activity going on in there and yet, I can control the volume. You might say, I can get up and walk out of the gym.

Be patient with yourself as you go through the many things on this site, I have been working with this for over four years now and still come back to the basics almost daily. It is not about learning it all in one shot, it is about slowly incorporating it into your life, learning and relearning skills, retraining your brain, being patient, and the most important, being kind and loving toward yourself.