By: Lyndsey Karns, Psy.D., LCP

Mindfulness, in simple terms, is connecting and focusing on the present moment with acceptance.  While mostly  known for its many stress relieving properties, mindfulness allows one to experience their inner thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and urges without judgment and without clinging to these experiences or pushing them out of awareness.  In this way, one can recognize a thought as a thought, and a feeling as a feeling, which in many ways removes the power of ruminative thinking and intense emotions.  If a thought is just a thought, it can’t hurt you and if a feeling is just a feeling, it doesn’t need to define your experience.

Much of our emotional misery is rooted in our dwelling of past regrets, mistakes and painful memories or being drawn into the anxiety-ridden future.  We also create more suffering in the way we relate to our emotions, for example becoming ashamed at feeling jealous or angry when feeling hurt and vulnerable.  By connecting to and leaving our emotions alone, we can experience them in an uncomplicated way, enabling us to develop non-reactive attention to our emotional experience.

At Lifeskills South Florida, mindfulness is a core component of both the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Chemical DBT and trauma tracks.  It forms the foundation of one’s ability to regulate emotions, cope with urges and reduce impulsivity. Mindfulness can also strengthen focus and attention and enhance goal-directed activity.  While many of its applications are skill based, mindfulness can facilitate a connection to one’s inner wisdom and strength, which is essential in the development of personal resiliency.

Mindfulness is also key in the treatment of trauma. Much of  the post-traumatic symptomatology is rooted in one’s inability to differentiate past from present, essentially drawing a person back into their traumatic experiences. Mindfulness practice assists in helping those suffering from PTSD stay rooted in the safety of the present moment.

To learn more about our specialized tracks, please call our admissions office at 866-321-9430.