How can mindfulness help when I'm miserable in the present? - Center for Evidence Based Treatment Orange County DBT and CBT
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How can mindfulness help when I’m miserable in the present?

How can mindfulness help when I’m miserable in the present?

quiet-stillness

I have been asked this question on several occasions. Jon-Habit Zinn defines mindfulness “[the] awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” How can paying attention to the present moment help when you are feeling miserable? Recently, I noticed that I had tinnitus – a fairly loud white noise sound. I first noticed while meditating in the morning. My first thought was, “how can I make this go away?” I was irritated by the sound and stopped my meditation. I thought about it throughout the day, while also doing research on tinnitus and learned that it is often chronic. I knew that mindfulness was the answer, but I became, what we call in DBT, willful. I just wanted the irritating noise to go away, which is what caused my misery. After a few days of sitting in my misery, I decided to approach this with willingness to radically accept the noise. I noticed it became less irritating and as I thought about it some more the noise sounded like a white noise machine that I use to sleep. The only reason the noise was causing misery was because I had judged it as irritating and wanted it to go away. Further research, I found that there is a mindfulness based program for tinnitus. The program is: http://mindfultinnitusrelief.com

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