Ultra Violet.

Yesterday, Pantone Universe revealed the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year. Ultra Violet is a vibrant hue representative of counterculture, individuality, and mindfulness. Violet is also the color of amethyst. The quartz crystal amethyst is known to imbibe a sense of mind sobriety, clarity, and protection from poison – all elements of what we at Beacon call wise mind, a DBT foundational concept.  A truly visionary color that evokes energy and empowerment for the future, ultra violet communicates ingenuity, creativity and visionary thinking that directs us to our future goals.

Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets. Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.

How does this apply to you Beacon Buddy?

The link between stress and disordered eating and addiction is well-documented. Stress jacks up the likelihood of substance use, yes, that includes food. Clinicians are now recognizing the importance of utilizing stress management skills such as meditation and mindfulness skills to combat the cravings to use maladaptive behaviors that may lead us into troublesome choices and actions. Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Mindfulness encourages awareness and acceptance of thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations as they arise, and recognition of their impermanence. Mindfulness practitioners are taught to acknowledge and accept their experiences rather than to modify or suppress them.

In DBT there are six kinds of mindfulness skills divided into two categories: What and How. In the ‘What’ mindfulness skills category, we practice observing, describing and participating. In the ‘How’ mindfulness skills category, we practice being mindfully non-judgmental, being one-mindfully, and being effectively mindful.

Here are some suggestions for each – practice them at home, on the go, at work, and whenever you feel you need a little wise mind action:

Observe: Sit outside. Watch who and what go by in front of you, without following them with your head or eyes.

Describe: Describe as many thoughts as you can while feeling a strong emotion.

Participate: Sing along to whatever music you are listening to.

Nonjudgmentally: See, but don’t evaluate as good or bad. Just the facts.

One-mindfully: Concentrate your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop – go back to one thing at a time (the opposite of multi-tasking).

Effectively: Focus on what works – don’t let emotion get in the way of being effective.

Practicing skills like this will help you to Shine Bright Beacon Buddies!