Yesterday we focused on some distress tolerance techniques from DBT that are intended to help us center ourselves for the short term. Sometimes, however; the solution is not to be found in the immediate future. Possible examples include grieving the loss of someone, going through a break up, trying to quit a bad habit, waiting for a better job to come along.
When we are faced with a situation that tends to roller coaster our emotions, we can use some of the following techniques:
- Being mindful to plan activities. Sometimes we can tend to isolate ourselves when our emotions feel overwhelming. We are better served to build our time; planning coffee with a friend, daily walks, scheduling a weekend away.
- Contribute to the greater good. We often underestimate the sense of meaning we get from volunteering – sign up to help serve a meal, visit a seniors home, sing in the choir at church.
- Use your emotions to re-focus. Feeling sad? Watch something funny. Feeling blue? Put on your favourite high school dance tunes.
- Write by way of comparison – jot down how things were for you a year ago, how they will be a year from now. Sometimes getting ourselves out of our current train of thought helps us to see the bigger picture.
- Do something creative. Nothing like getting lost in our imagination. 🙂
These types of distraction techniques are considered part of distress tolerance as they help us to deal with long term situations, allowing us to focus on how to feed our comfort system and feel grounded despite our emotional state.
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