How Does Mindfulness Help BPD? (Part 1)

By Amparo

Full consciousness causes awareness of what is happening, in the moment in which it happens, without judgements or rejections. It drives us to feel, to know and to be in each of our internal and external experiences avoiding to qualify or disqualify them and without holding onto anything.

Mindfulness is one of the many resources that can help you fell better. It’s a set of awareness techniques that allow you to experience the present moment (while performing ANY activity), with all senses, with fullness, attending to thoughts and emotions with openness, with acknowledgement, attention, kindness and acceptance, without judgement and without too much effort. It does not require great training or experience to meditate and feel good, it’s just about getting calmed through breathing; it’s something simple and accessible to all and allows us to open our thoughts to live with them without judgement and at the same time getting deep relaxation. This kind of meditation only requires 10 to 15 minutes a day to calm down, be at peace and celebrate the present. There are many benefits that mindfulness brings, for example: it increases grey matter, slows down brain deterioration, relaxes the body and helps to fall asleep faster and deeper, improves immune system functioning, often reduces blood pressure, the heart works better and you can live longer. It also improves mood and decreases anxiety and depression.

People who live with mental disorders usually try to escape from emotional experiences because they have learned they are painful, so they willingly stop participating in the present moment.minfull giphy

Patients with emotional disorders such as anxiety and depressive disorders are prone to anticipate future negative events and to ponder about past negative events, distracting their attention from the present moment and as a consequence the “here and now” experience loses meaning and brings great discomfort.

People who live with personality disorders have not been able to develop their sense of identity in a healthy way, they have a diminished self-concept and low self-direction (difficulties in establishing and attaining personal goals and lack of vital meaning), experience feeling lost, emptiness and not fitting and experience states of disconnection with others and with themselves.

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Specifically speaking about one of the most serious personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), the above conditions also present cognitive symptoms such as difficulties on focusing, high levels of distraction and / or dissociation, provoked by instability and emotional intensity, extremely polarised thinking, and impulsiveness. The awareness of the experiences lived through the practice of mindfulness can benefit the patients who live with these disorders, especially with BPD since: it improves adaptability, it facilitates anger management, it helps decrease  suicidal behaviour or self-mutilation, it provides greater stability in their personal relationships and contributes to a clearer perception of reality, it helps identify and accept problematic experiences, it makes it easier to acquire patterns to relate to the world and to themselves, it develops full awareness of reality, it increases self-control and self-regulation and it provides training to face daily challenges.

(To be continued…)

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