Emotional Regulation 2, session 14. Mindfulness notes and AhHa moments.
Mindfulness recap and overview.
In today's session after a mindfulness meditation sesh, we initially discussed how DBT is cruicly built upon Zen Buddhism and the Buddhist practice of mindfulness coupled with somatic psychology and CBT. We explored those building blocks and we have suggested further reading to explore and learn more about those subjects which I have already delved into.
Of interest particularly, apart from all things Buddhist and Zen but closely related are:
Somatics; the art of experiencing our bodies and all the sensations within, especially when aroused negatively or positively. Essential practice in all DBT skills and the rerouting of neural pathways.
Orienteering mindfulness practices. The art of steering ones emotional state in desired directions mindfully and consciously in "wise mind".
Mindfulness, basically, in DBT terms or in moments of distress enables us to:
Notice our experience. Stop and notice our experience.
Reign the moment in. Take control.
Regain our mind and power.
This practice, especially important for people with EUPD, helps us to:
Reduce immense intense suffering.
Work towards our goal of being in wise mind.
Ground our emotions
Stay mindful that we our not our thoughts or emotions
Calm our physical nervous system
Build confidence in our ability to both focus and redirect our thoughts
See intentions through to the end and gain a sense of dignity and integrity. A huge powerful thing for us EUPD lot. Not quiting!
Believe me, I know all of the above to of vital importance.
Again, recapping on the how feelings work subject, we looked at and discussed how feelings/emotions often play out. Something like this typically:
Interpretation of event, circumstance etc
Action urge. The urge to act out.
Resulting feeling, emotion
End event. The big event. The result.
External or internal prompt
Fear, anger, shock, confrontation etc
The prompting factors are almost always coupled, hand in hand.
Meaning. The meaning we assign to a prompting event.
How we assign a meaning as in a good or bad assignment or meaning. How bad? How good? Scenario A vs Scenario B.
Skewed interpretation or not?
This is the moment we can begin to intervene using DBT skills we are learning and practicing. This is the best time to kick start those skills, nice and early. In these moments using DBT skills, we need to try our best too:
Fact check. Our thoughts are not facts. We need to discriminate between fact and skewed thoughts.
Keep noticing and taking in info about our environment and our self's, our physical sensations. Remain mindful.
Keep checking and being mindful of bad responses and healthy responses.
Be mindful of my own neurosis's around abandonment, neglect and abuse and how powerful they are and the negative part they play in my responses to emotional conflict. My go to deep routed schema of defensive anger that colours my interpretations and responses. The very things I am trying to neutrally reroute. Be mindful. Notice. Slow it down using DBT skills. Mindfully.
Bear in mind the in the moment factors such as illness, being tired, sensory overload etc etc.
Observe and describe
When observing a tricky triggering situation it is important to firstly observe the predicament, internally and externally, without words. Observe the feeling and emotions and what is happening around you mindfully. Step back and take note.
Secondly and importantly, give those observations words, descriptions. This practice, although be it quick, can really slow and focus your mind on what is really happening. Fact checking.
Observe physical sensations:
What the jaw is doing
And then assign words to those observations, i.e. ;
Tense upright posture ; aggresive
Heat in face ; anger
Heavy weight feeling ; sad
Crying eyes ; devestated
These observations and descriptions help us focus, slow down and help us on our path to critical acceptance in emotionally challenging times.
By the time we get here hopefully we may have slowed down the falling dominoes a touch through our DBT skills we are learning and practicing. But this does take time, practice and commitment. We are indeed rewiring our brain literally. Physically.
Emotion (and strength of emotion) =
Actions will also equal emotion.
This is where we need to find our wise mind in order to able to surf the urge, the action urge.
If we can take control of our emotion in to a wise mind zone we can recognizer the urge we have and surf it rather than acting out or in on it. We can surf that urge until that wave of emotional urge peters out and calms and slows and stops thus swerving the dreaded meltdown, the action or in my case, violent aggressive end event. And a bad action will just feed the negative cycle of emotions and we remain in catch 22 and hardwired for self destruction!
Find the wise mind! Surf the urge. Find the wise mind!
A negative action is the shit bit, the really shit bit that has wrecked my life and inflicted misery on others I love and care about. Indeed, sabotaged the one relationship I held dear. Fucked it.
So this is the bit, the utterly horrid, ugly bit I am working on irradicating from my life. It needs to be sent back yo the shadows!
I will rewire this stage so that my actions and end events are normal. As normal and rational as I can learn to be. Wisemind.
No more self sabotage:
Damaging objects around me
Abusive behaviour towards the people I love the most (it has always been them 😔)
Perpetuating the cycle of depression and self hatred
Etc etc. Its all hand in hand. I will deal with the complexity of these issues in my next few sessions.
The bottom line is I am now working hard to replace all of my hard wired learned unskillful behaviours with healthier wise mind behaviours and schemas.
I'm on the right track. I am doing this.
After life throws things at me and I struggle to deal with them emotionally and I practice these new skills I am learning I need to:
Observe and describe my experiences in my journal and charts. I need to really practice recording my progress.
Analyse the prompts, skills I employed and what skills work for me and what skills do not.
Fine tune my responses using appropriate tools.
LEARN AND KEEP LEARNING ABD PRACTICING OVER AND OVER until I get it right and keep meditating on it. Being mindful is a lufeling lesson. Keep working towards a healthy mind and emotional tool kit.
Change! Grow! Be Happy!
In order to effectively practice this I need to re-enforce my self love and respect routines.
Earlier nights to bed
No night work
Far less booze or ideally T total
Keep excersise routine constant
Do the things I love like art, study, cycle and be with good friends, family and cats!
Keep the glass half full!
And that is a good place to end my sesh review and AhHa moment thingy. Got a lot of re capping covered.
To follow below will be McKay 6, 132 overcoming read up review and Linehan emotional regulation handout work 214 to 223 with write up. Note, I need to to refer back to student hall to check full H/W description for write up specs!❗
Well. Fuckadoodledoo. I'm tired.
Exersise 6, page 214.
Desribe the emotion:
I won't describe the scenario or mention names here for sakes of privacy and decency but I know what they are and this is my description to the emotions the scenario invoked in me.
Anger: irritation, hostility, frustration
I felt that accusations and name calling were aggressive and constited attack. Attack on my character.
Loss of respect
I sensed that this person has lost respect for me all be without justification. Should never have crossed pernal boundaries.
The conflict and bad blood between us stirs up lots of pain inside. Regret. Guilt. Anger. Etc. Mixed bag of nasties.
I believed I had been treated unfairly. I believe my reactions have been immature and conflicted. I can see the error of my ways. I need to work on it.
Other anger words that may apply:
Sad ess words that apply:
What a jolly little list!
That's that for now.