Wednesday, 5 November 2014

An Image for DBT Thought Diffusion

If you've followed this blog for any length of time you will know that I love it when I find images, music, art or anything that helps me to keep using my mindfulness skills. This image is an excellent tool to use in trying to rid myself of unwanted thoughts or feelings.

When using pictures I always start by taking time to focus myself on being in the moment. Usually, I do this through just becoming aware of my breathing, until it is regular and even. In the past during periods of instability I found that I would be holding my breath for short periods of time which would increase the impact of damaging emotions. So, having noticed and adjusted my breathing, I then try to notice how my body is reacting - usually I feel tension in my shoulders and neck. The process of focusing on my breathing actually naturally helps to relieve this tension.

Once I have been able to calmly focus on my breathing I focus on the image in front of me imagining the sort of day it might have been when the photo was taken. This image starts with me lying on my back in the sun, looking up at a stunning blue sky. I notice birds singing, feel the sun on my skin, notice a slight breeze. Then I notice dandelion seeds floating by.

I then shift my focus back to my breathing before noticing any feelings or thoughts. Then I name them. Without analysing or trying to understand where they have come from, I form them into words or sentences. These sentences or words I then attach to the seeds as they float in the sky above me (a bit like the words on the screen when Sherlock is noticing people in the new TV series). I watch them as they and the seeds rise away from me into the blue and eventually float away.

I repeat this as many times as I need until I feel calm. Then I return to focusing on the here and now and my breathing until I am ready to get on with my life without the troubling thoughts or feelings, until I need to deal with them, again!