Full awareness of daily experiences through the practice of Mindfulness represents a hopeful alternative for patients living with personality disorders, especially with BPD.
Mindfulness in daily life activities increases life quality for people with BPD and other personality disorders. Mindfulness skills are a valuable tool to accept internal and external experiences, to tolerate discomfort and frustration, to act consciously, to avoid judging or holding on to past experiences and to improve the capacity for emotional self-regulation. As a result of mindfulness practice, behaviours such as drug use, dangerous interpersonal relationships, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts will be diminished. Mindfulness is very effective in relieving the suffering of the patient; according to scientific evidence, it is a valid self-care method, with excellent results for BPD or any other personality disorder.
How to bring Mindfulness to your life?
When you wake up, take a couple of minutes to slowly move your whole body from feet to head: feel your fingers, your feet, legs and thus every part of your body, realize the quality of rest you had last night and get ready to start your productive day.
While bathing, realize how it feels when water touches and falls through your body, be aware of how it relaxes you and at the same time fills you with energy. Focus on what your fingers and hands feel as you go around your body to clean it.
At breakfast, lunch, dinner, drink or while having a snack, try to focus your attention on the container that holds your drink or food, touch it, hold it in your hands, feel it. Feel the aroma of your food or drink, its sound if it is sparkling, feel its temperature. Try it first with your lips, then keep it in your mouth to feel its texture, its flavour. When you swallow, feel how it passes through your body.
When driving, at each stop light, release the steering wheel and put your hands gently in your lap, breathe in and breathe out.
While walking, you should explore different rhythms until you find the one that is more relaxing and liberating for you.
As you walk, be aware of your breathing, of the feeling of your feet when they touch the ground, and of the wind that touches your skin when you move.
Get wherever you are going calmly, do not run, do not go in a rush.
Take 5 minutes to become aware of how you feel, situate yourself, organize your activities.
- Breathe deeply and more slowly than usual, become aware of the present moment, your body, your postures, the possible tensions in your body, the temperature of the place, its lighting and the sounds that surround you.
Throughout the day you can take 1-minute pauses for Mindfulness: focus all your attention on your breathing for one minute. You can also count up to 4 as you inhale and count again up to 4 as you exhale.
Choose any object (cup, pen, keys, etc.) and let it completely absorb your attention. Just watch it, feel as the mind focuses on the present moment. You can also practice this type of concentration with the sense of hearing.
At home you can choose a space and time that fit your lifestyle to practice Mindfulness. Remember that you must be committed and constant. Start with 10 or 15 minutes and gradually increase time, depending on how comfortable you feel.
Listen to music, preferably relaxing music and experience its calming effects; focus on the sound and vibration of each note.
Watch your thoughts, take a few minutes to observe your thoughts instead of getting involved with them. Observe all the ideas and your list of tasks in your head without judging, without trying to solve anything, just stay with them. This will keep your intensity under control.
If you live with BPD, remember that you have the right to be relaxed and happy. It is possible for you to live in full consciousness.