Dear little me🤍
Yanyi, The Year of Blue Water (2019)
Describe the behaviour you are trying to avoid. Consider the positive consequences (pros) of avoiding that behaviour. Consider the negative consequences (cons) of giving into the urge for that behaviour. Remember consequences from past times acting on those urges, and consider whether they would be pros or cons of doing it again.
I am feeling the urge to self isolate.
No one else will be exposed to my mood.
No one will be able to distract me
People may worry about me which will affirm that I am cared about.
In the past, it has made me feel worse and made my negative mood last for longer.
May put strain or tension on my relationships
It may make people worry about me and it makes me feel guilty when people worry about me.
It may make it harder for me to meet my needs like hydration, food, etc.
(Please note that it is valid to need space as a form of coping in a lot of situations, but there is a difference between needing to be alone and actually self isolating and the latter is why I’ve used it as an example of a behaviour to avoid.)
This skill can also be used to decide between two or more actions. It might seem obvious which is the right choice outside of the moment, but in moments of intense emotions, things can be clouded and it can be difficult to determine the right course of action.
I am feeling frustrated because my partner said something that upset me. It wasn’t his intention to upset me, but I am angry.
I could either:
Yell at him and make him understand how wrong he was.
I get to vent how I feel.
It will feel satisfying in the moment.
In the end, I end up crying and having a breakdown which ultimately helps release a bunch of emotions leading me to feeling lighter.
It will be hurtful and potentially scary to my partner.
I will punish myself afterwards with the guilt.
There may be tension between us and/or it may damage our relationship.
Or use my Coping Skills
I get to feel proud of myself for using my coping skills.
It will likely lead to me communicating with him in a healthy manner afterwards about what upset me, and potentially strengthen our relationship.
Will help calm my body and mind which is better for my physical well-being.
Will help build and reinforce positive thinking patterns.
It is draining sometimes to use coping skills.
Sometimes it feels good to get a reaction out of my partner in the moment.
been talking about this a lot with my friends lately and I feel its important to share
ur not a bad person or doing something wrong for not cooking ur own food. its okay not to cook things urself. its okay to eat prepackaged and prepared or very simple meals if thats what makes eating easier for u
its not shameful or wrong if u eat out often, or use a meal service, or buy frozen preprepared food. u aren't "waisting money" feeding urself. ur taking care of a basic need in a way that works for u
obviously money and budget are big factors here, and some of us dont have a choice or have very limited choices on what help and accommodations are available or realistic for us. but if u can afford to do those things and it would make ur life easier, there's absolutely no reason why u shouldn't
theres so much that goes into eating. meal planning, recipe and ingrediant research, food shopping, prepping, cooking, storing, cleaning up
each of those steps takes a lot of mental and physical energy, and for some of us, its too much. if doing those things is only making ur life worse or harder or more stressful or even if it would just be easier to cut out some of those steps or offload them onto a service, then do it. ur doing the right thing for urself and ur life
eating is so important and we all have to do it. and I know for a lot of us if the process of eating becomes too stressful or too much work, we simply won't and thats not a real and sustainable solution.
so whatever helps u eat, whatever makes it easier to get nutrients and fuel into ur body so it can keep functioning, is the right thing to do
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook
Maryamhasnaa ~ Twitter
I was talking to my therapist about some anxiety symptoms --- "In my mind, I know I'm going to be perfectly okay, but my body doesn't listen and reacts anyway" --- and she recommended TIPP as strategies to keep in my toolbox of dealing with distress in the moment. I really appreciate having more than one option to try in moments of overwhelm!
If you're feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or other strong emotions, TIPP is a set of techniques that use the body's natural physical responses to bring you back into balance.
TIPP stands for
progressive muscle relaxation
The body naturally lowers its heart rate in response to cold. If anxiety is making your heart race, try an ice pack, a cool washcloth, or a walk outside in cool weather, and it should help you calm down.
Anxiety is typically a symptom of your body going into fight/flight mode. If your body is coursing with nervous energy, burn it off with 10 minutes of jumping jacks, dancing, climbing stairs, or another cardio activity to complete the stress response cycle.
Deep, slow breathing from the belly can also help signal the body to come out of fight/flight mode. Try inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of six until you feel more relaxed. (I like to hold the breath for a count of two between each inhale and exhale.)
Progressive muscle relaxation:
If anxiety makes your body tense up, try this. Start by squeezing the muscles in your toes and feet for five seconds, and then intentionally relax them. Move up to the calves, up your legs, and every region of your body to purposefully let go of extra energy.
When you're feeling overwhelmed, try one or more of these to see what works for you.
thinking i can't do it is not the same as not being able to do it.
thank you sm for sharing the dbt resources! i am looking specifically for resources related to emotional regulation and distress tolerance, in case there are any you could recommend.
I'm going to give you a few skills to start with but keep in mind that if these don't help you, it doesn't mean that none will.
For Emotional Regulation:
Check the Facts is one of my favourites because I tend to be a rational person for the most part and it reminds me to look at things from that sort of perspective when my emotions are out of hand. Here is a link to a page on the skill.
Self-Validation is one I also find useful. Here is a link to a page on the topic.
ACCEPTS is one of my favourites for tolerance. It can help with distracting and get through an immediate emotional crisis. Here is a post about it.
Pros & Cons is another one I find useful. Here is a post I wrote on the topic which includes examples so hopefully it's easy to apply. While it can be used in immediate crisis, I recommend trying it in advance with some urges you get frequently or once in awhile so you can have the list handy to look over.
I hope that this gives you a place to start, anon!
REWIRING // 11.2.2021
I made a carrd that explains what npd is and has some resources + dbt skills. The resources are not npd specific bc I couldn't find any that were not ableist. These resources can be helpful for other mental health problems but I made this with npd in mind.
One of the emotion focused DBT skills I am going to talk about is PLEASE.
This acronym is meant to help you remember to take care of your needs so that you are less vulnerable to things that can cause emotional crisis.
PL: treat PhysicaL illness. If you are not feeling well physically, research has shown this can affect you emotionally and mentally as well. Maybe taking care of your physical illness means setting reminders to take your medications, and schedule doctors appointments or anything else you need like that.
E: balance your Eating. Getting proper nutrition can be really critical to your mental health. This skill doesn't mean to go on a diet or anything super strict like that, but to make sure that you are getting proper nutrition. Even just making little changes can make a huge difference. Lacking certain vitamins can make a lot of mental health issues worse. Maybe for you this even means you start by getting a multivitamin!
A: avoid mind Altering substances. If mind altering substances, like alcohol, non prescribed drugs and even things like caffeine are making it harder to use your coping skills, then consider cutting back on them or not using them if possible.
S: get enough Sleep. We all know this is easier said than done! But an unhealthy sleep cycle can throw off so much. A lack of sleep can heighten emotions. Some tips include avoiding screentime for a half hour before bed, try to go to bed at the same time, try and make your bedroom a comforting place and ideal conditions for sleep whatever that means to you.
E: get regular Exercise. This is different for everyone! This doesn't mean you need to start weight lifting (though if you want to, by all means!) or running marathons. For some people, even adding a 30 minute walk to their day can make a huge difference. Maybe it's dancing around to music. There is a lot of research backing up the benefits of exercise on emotions, physical health and other things. Of course if you have certain physical limitations, then please check with your doctor before trying anything.
Yes, we all hate it when people say "have you tried exercise?" or "have you tried changing what you eat?" as a solution to our mental illnesses. It feels invalidating and dismissive. And no, doing these things isn't going to cure you but it can improve your symptoms and help you to use your coping mechanisms better.
Don't underestimate the benefits of taking care of your body. Even if doing these things can't cure you, not doing these things can certainly makes things harder for you. And you deserve things to be as easy as possible.
Read about other DBT skills here.
Big DBT vibes
Hello! I've been wondering, what exactly is radical acceptance? I've seen the word thrown around several times but nothing that would tell me what the gist is
Radical Acceptance is basically about accepting our feelings, without pushing them down, even the negative ones.
It means accepting reality and feelings for what they are, though it doesn't mean you don't want to change them.
Here's an example (This is a "small" situation because I think this is best started with a more manageable circumstance first.):
Step 1 - Think of a situation that you have feelings about. (Note that I don't recommend trying this with traumatic events to start which is why I've used the example below.)
Example: Yesterday I embarrassed myself in front of the cashier at the store when she said "Here's your receipt" and I said "thanks, you too!" This has heightened my anxiety about future situations where I need to talk to a stranger.
Step 2 - What caused the event? Stick to facts and don't make judgements about something you've done.
Example: I was distracted by feeling overwhelmed and misunderstood what she was saying.
Step 3 - Accepting the feelings. What emotions do you feel when you think back on this event? Try and be open about this and note any physical changes you might feel like your heart beat increasing.
Example: I feel embarrassed when I think back on it and it makes my hands a little sweaty.
Step 4 - The plan. This is where you come up with a plan on how to handle the situation and/or its effects. If you are not significantly affected by the situation, the acceptance steps may be enough. The DBT skill "Wise Mind" might be a good skill to use when coming up with a plan
Example: I can use rational thoughts to help me navigate this. Realistically, she probably talks to dozens of people a day. She also unfortunately probably deals with a lot of rude people that are more likely to stay on her mind rather than my little mix up with words. If anything, maybe it was refreshing for her because I was polite and chipper with her and maybe she felt the positive effects of that mood I was trying to convey.
Here are some coping thoughts that may help:
I do not have control of the past, only this current moment.
Ignoring my emotions only allows them to fester and continue to bother me.
This is uncomfortable, but I am going to get through this.
I hope this helps!