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Mindfulness for Happiness and Relapse Prevention
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host: Counselor Toolbox

Continuing Education (CE) credits for addiction and mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists can be earned for this presentation at

–¬†¬† ¬†Define Mindlessness
–¬†¬† ¬†Define Mindfulness
–¬†¬† ¬†Differentiate between Mindfulness and Purposeful Action
–¬†¬† ¬†Identify how mindfulness can be useful in practice
–¬†¬† ¬†Explore several different mindfulness techniques and activities
What is MindLESSness
–¬†¬† ¬†Mindlessness
–¬†¬† ¬†Auto-pilot
–¬†¬† ¬†Go-with-the-flow
–¬†¬† ¬†What has always been done
–¬†¬† ¬†Examples
–¬†¬† ¬†Getting home and not remembering the drive
–¬†¬† ¬†Eating without realizing it or when you are not hungry
–¬†¬† ¬†Having intense feelings (or relapses) come from ‚Äúout of the blue‚ÄĚ
What is Mindfulness
–¬†¬† ¬†Mindfulness
–¬†¬† ¬†Awareness in the present moment
–¬†¬† ¬†Stop-Look-Listen-Feel-Interpret
–¬†¬† ¬†What is going on
–¬†¬† ¬†Inside you
–¬†¬† ¬†Around you
What is Purposeful Action
–¬†¬† ¬†Purposeful Action
–¬†¬† ¬†Becoming mindful in the present moment
–¬†¬† ¬†Acting intentionally instead of reacting emotionally
–¬†¬† ¬†Intentionally choosing behaviors and actions that will
–¬†¬† ¬†Make effective use of your energy
–¬†¬† ¬†Help you achieve your goals
How Did We Learn Mindlessness
–¬†¬† ¬†Messages
–¬†¬† ¬†Because I said so¬† = Don‚Äôt ask why
–¬†¬† ¬†Suck it up = Don‚Äôt feel, just do
–¬†¬† ¬†Nobody cares/ignore it = Don‚Äôt trust
–¬†¬† ¬†That‚Äôs what everyone does = Don‚Äôt think
How Can Mindfulness Help
–¬†¬† ¬†Transition from reacting to acting (Be proactive)
–¬†¬† ¬†Makes more efficient and effective use of energy by making the right decisions the first time. (Begin with the end in mind)
–¬†¬† ¬†Encourages self-awareness and compassion (Seek first to understand yourself, then understand others)

How Can Mindfulness Help
–¬†¬† ¬†Reduce inefficiency through planning and prioritizing
–¬†¬† ¬†Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle.
–¬†¬† ¬†What do I need right now
–¬†¬† ¬†What options do I have to meet those needs in the present, while still moving toward future goals?
Mindfulness Activities
–¬†¬† ¬†Head-Heart-Gut¬† Honesty
–¬†¬† ¬†How do you feel
–¬†¬† ¬†What do you want
–¬†¬† ¬†What do you need
–¬†¬† ¬†Attitude of Gratitude (a.k.a. Don‚Äôt Crap on the Present)
–¬†¬† ¬†Self
–¬†¬† ¬†Family
–¬†¬† ¬†Job
–¬†¬† ¬†Life

Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†5 Minute Focus
–¬†¬† ¬†Go into a room for 5 minutes (At first it will seem like an eternity)
–¬†¬† ¬†Write down ‚Ķ
–¬†¬† ¬†Everything you see
–¬†¬† ¬†What you smell
–¬†¬† ¬†What you hear
–¬†¬† ¬†How you feel (Emotionally and physically)
Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†Vulnerability Checklist
–¬†¬† ¬†Vulnerabilities are things that‚ÄĒwhen unchecked‚Äď can cause low grade stress, making you more vulnerable to stronger reactions.
–¬†¬† ¬†Emotional
–¬†¬† ¬†Physical
–¬†¬† ¬†Social
–¬†¬† ¬†Environmental

Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†Three Minute Thoughts
–¬†¬† ¬†Take three minutes and write down (or record) all of the thoughts you have
–¬†¬† ¬†Review what you wrote down
–¬†¬† ¬†How many thoughts were negative?
–¬†¬† ¬†How many were about the past?
–¬†¬† ¬†How many were about the future?
–¬†¬† ¬†How many were about the present?
–¬†¬† ¬†How many were irrelevant?
Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†Colors of Emotion
–¬†¬† ¬†Most colors evoke emotion in people.
–¬†¬† ¬†Many of these emotions are learned because a color reminds you of a memory.
–¬†¬† ¬†Get a big box of crayons identify how different colors make you feel
Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†Smells are one of the strongest memory triggers
–¬†¬† ¬†Know Your Nose
–¬†¬† ¬†Calming
–¬†¬† ¬†Nostalgic
–¬†¬† ¬†Angry
–¬†¬† ¬†Stressed
–¬†¬† ¬†Energetic
Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†The ABCs
–¬†¬† ¬†Activating Event
–¬†¬† ¬†Beliefs (automatic ones)
–¬†¬† ¬†Consequences
–¬†¬† ¬†Disputing (Purposeful Action/Considering the Evidence)
–¬†¬† ¬†Evaluating (Purposeful Action/Considering the evidence)
Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†Relapse Warning Signs Checklist (Black SWAN)
–¬†¬† ¬†Relapses do not come from out of the blue.
–¬†¬† ¬†Part of mindfulness is learning about yourself from past experiences
–¬†¬† ¬†Relapse prevention means being aware of your Status Wants and Needs (SWaN)
–¬†¬† ¬†Developing a checklist of your relapse warning signs and reviewing it daily can assist with preventing relapse
Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†Functional Analysis (What, Why & How)
–¬†¬† ¬†Anger/Resentment/Guilt
–¬†¬† ¬†Fear
–¬†¬† ¬†Stress/Overwhelmed
–¬†¬† ¬†Happiness
–¬†¬† ¬†Denial
–¬†¬† ¬†Depression
–¬†¬† ¬†Isolation

Activities cont…
–¬†¬† ¬†Daily Planner
–¬†¬† ¬†Each morning spend 10 minutes being mindful of how you are feeling
–¬†¬† ¬†Identify all the things that need to happen or get done that day
–¬†¬† ¬†Go through the list and highlight the ones that MUST get done
–¬†¬† ¬†Identify anybody that can assist with the must-dos
–¬†¬† ¬†Get going. (Purposeful action)

–¬†¬† ¬†Our culture promotes automation and mindlessness
–¬†¬† ¬†Mindfulness means taking time to think before you act.
–¬†¬† ¬†Stopping to think takes time, but usually it takes less time than making needless errors
–¬†¬† ¬†Mindfulness means understanding your SWaN and the whats, whys and hows of your vulnerabilities so you can make the best choice of action
Mindfulness Related Resources