self portrait.jpg

HGM

Chasing adventure & living mindfully while parenting through mental illness

What and How Skills for Mindfulness

What and How Skills for Mindfulness

Wise Mind is such an important skill to learn, especially as a parent. It is the place you should operate from whenever possible. So it's important to practice What Skills (what you should do when you practice mindfulness) and How Skills (how you should practice mindfulness) in order to be able to access your Wise Mind easily. 

What Skills

What Skills are 3 things you should do to practice mindfulness. They are:

  • Observe

  • Describe

  • Participate. 

To observe, you can notice your body sensations or pay attention to the current moment. Observe both inside and outside yourself. 

To describe, simply put words to what you're experiencing. Stick to the facts (what, when, who, and where) so you stay grounded. Avoid all-or-nothing descriptions or other faulty interpretations. 

To participate, throw yourself into your current activities. Go with the flow and become one with what you are doing. This, I find, is the easiest way to access Wise Mind when I'm with my kids. Throw myself into playing at the park, really ham it up reading a story, or throw on some music for a dance party. 

How Skills 

How skills are the ways you should practict mindfulness. They are:

  • Nonjudgmentally

  • One-Mindfully

  • Effectively


To be non-judgmental try and look at just the facts of a situation. Acknowledge your emotional reactions and things that are helpful or harmful, but don’t judge them. But replace judgments with facts.

To be one-mindful, do one thing at a time. Keep in the present moment. Turn the mind back to your one thing when you get distracted.

To be effective, keep your goals in mind. Focus on what works. Act as skillfully as you can. I find viewing whether my bahaviours are effective to really help me not react poorly. When my kids do something that elicits a reaction, looking at the effective behaviour versus the emotion mind behaviour is more likely to result in a decision that is in line with my values and priorities. 


Resource: Linehan, Marsha M. DBT Skills Training: Handouts and Worksheets Second Edition 2015. Guilford Press, New York

DBT Skills for Parents: Finding the Balance Between Being Mind and Doing Mind

DBT Skills for Parents: Finding the Balance Between Being Mind and Doing Mind


Find Out Which City In Bali Fits Your Travel Style?

Find Out Which City In Bali Fits Your Travel Style?