Living One-Mindfully - A Superb Mindfulness Practice - DBT Skill

Mindfulness is a skill practice by ancient Buddhists and other religious teachers. It is also a form of mental yoga and meditation used today by everyday professionals and by CEOs to manage stress, anxiety, and help them effectively run their businesses. One-mindfully is a term in the practice used to describe doing things one at a time. It's the opposite of issue stacking or blending one event into the next. When you are one-mindful you are only focusing on the present moment. The past or future ceases to exist. The benefits of approaching life one-mindfully is feeling less overwhelmed and stressed about our obligations. This also means that we do things more effectively since our minds are less cluttered with everything before or after what we are presently doing.

Living one-mindfully takes patience and a sense of "I have all the time in the world to do this." We don't live in the past or future but the moment. We don't even think about what's going on in the next hour. All our attention goes into the very second before us when we operate one-mindfully. And amazing things start to happen: we begin to feel lighter and more present.

We may even end up in a "flow" state where we are doing things effortlessly without thinking. Where creativity, socializing, a burst of energy, or recalling information comes organically for us. We may feel less bored, more curious about that long sermon or speech, the person talking across from us, the movie on the screen, and things seem to take less time. Writing this post for example. Imagine how I'd feel thinking about all the other posts I have to tackle and the months of editing it will require before making my first Youtube video based on the posts? Okay, enough, let's continue being one-mindful!

How to Live One-Mindfully

We can live one-mindfully by A) doing one thing at a time and keeping our thinking to the present. B) while we are doing whatever it is we need to or enjoying whatever we want to do, we purposefully become aware of only the task or activity. C) we are not observing, describing, or participating in anything else. It's not that we won't think about the past or future or upcoming tasks or activities, but when we do, we catch ourselves. D) after catching ourselves, we may label the thought as, thoughts about the future, or thoughts about the past. We can alternatively label the thought, distracting thoughts.

When we admit to ourselves that thoughts that aren't conducive to being one-mindful are unnecessary then we'll be more likely to identify them and release them with a breath. Then, finally, we can E) return our thought to the present activity, moment, situation, task, or event.

Ways to Practice One-Mindfulness

  1. Jump into a full-body scan. Allow yourself to be present to your own experiences. Try not to suppress any present feelings and try to observe the present thoughts, sensations, emotions, movements, or actions.

  2. When you are driving, drive, when you are eating, eat, when you are walking, walk.

  3. Let go of past and future, and rivet yourself to the now. Notice and label past and future thoughts. Keep reminding yourself to refocus on the present until it becomes natural.

  4. Do mundane tasks with awareness. When we make our coffees, spread our beds, or walk our dogs with awareness and a present mind, we are training our mindfulness muscles. You may even find that you start to get more enjoyment over simple tasks. Instead of hurriedly washing a cup and setting up the coffee machine or water to boil, we do each movement consciously, feeling, and seeing our actions. A part of building patience is purposefully slowing down our actions. This tells the brain it's okay and it's quite pleasant to be doing what I'm doing.

  5. Try your best not to ever multitask.

  6. Wash your hands slowly. Practice the 30-second rule.

  7. Next time you are in the washroom, take a long, soothing shower or bath or add flossing and Listerine to your teeth cleaning routine.

  8. Allow for long meaningful pauses when you are talking with someone. Allow them to take the floor first and listen with your full awareness. Be willing to discuss one topic at a time without rushing all over.

  9. Sit and take a deep breath while you are working on something. Allow yourself to take momentary breaks. Slow down the processing and be okay with the task filling the current time.

  10. When next you're cleaning the house, divide tasks into stages, and fully commit to each section, giving it your best, focused effort. Allow for a good length of time for each task and move slowly. Try not to sing or dance or even listen to music. Challenge yourself to just engage with and only the task and notice your movements and any exertions you have to make. Follow your breath when needed.

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