Three DBT Skills That Everyone Can Receive Benefits From
DBT is a very effective form of CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. It is often used to treat a variety of mental health issues like depression, bipolar and eating disorders. DBT skills teach people four different sets of skills that help them with negative behaviors. The four sets are mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.
Don’t Have to Have a Mental Illness to Use DBT Skills
It doesn’t matter whether or not you are suffering from a mental illness, you can still benefit greatly from learning and using some of the DBT skills that are taught in DBT therapy. In fact, there are three DBT skills that can help anyone to manage their emotions more effectively and lead a much happier and healthier life.
Mindfulness is one of those DBT skills that help you to learn to live your life in the present moment instead of letting yourself be controlled by your past and your future. When you practice mindfulness you become far more aware of your feelings, thoughts, reactions, and thoughts. It allows you to stop and pause for a moment and then check in with yourself. It also teaches you how to identify your emotions and to consciously make healthier decisions.
This is one of those DBT skills that can be done at any time or anywhere. In fact, you can simply practice mindfulness when you go for a simple walk, How to do this is to make sure that you can feel your entire body while you are walking. The best thing to do is to notice how your body knows what it must do to be able to move all the complicated muscle groups in order to walk. You should also pay close attention to the sky, the color of it and any clouds there might be. You also want to notice the nature around you take notice of what the trees look like as well as the houses and/or buildings that you pass while walking.
Even if your mind starts to wander, that’s alright, just redirect your mind to the present moment that you are experiencing. You can choose to try and refocus on the external experience of walking. Make sure to once again take notice of what’s happening all around you. Then you can refocus on what is going on internally like what your thoughts are, any emotions you feel along with any physical sensations of walking. The main thing here is to notice everything you are experiencing without actually getting completely caught up in it all.
This is one of the key DBT skills taught during DBT sessions. This is a skill that helps you focus on accepting your daily life experiences and then to work on accepting the painful events that may have happened. DBT skills such as this one teaches you that by fighting the reality of the event will only heighten the suffering the pain can cause.
A good example would be if you are at work in a meeting and you’re extremely bored you may start thinking about some other things that you might be doing. Instead of thinking you have far too many other things you need to do than the stupid meeting you are in. You would tell yourself that there’s nothing you can do about being in the meeting. You instead, accept the fact that it is simply something you have to sit through. This skill helps you learn to tell yourself it is what it is and you can’t fight that fact.
This is one of those DBT skills that encourages you to take a deep breath when you feel frustration rising up. It teaches you to realize that there is no sense in getting upset or angry over situations that you have absolutely no control over.
All DBT skills are important but this one is extremely important to help you to be less judgmental overall. This skill helps you to notice when you are judging things as bad or good. If you carry around negative judgmental thoughts they will boost your emotional pain. This is a skill that helps you when you are angry, frustrated, or irritated to pay more attention to what judgment you might be making at that moment. It then teaches you to focus on trying to replace this judgment with facts and emotions you might be feeling at the time.
A good example would be being disappointed in a friend who seems to always break plans you have together and you think they are a terrible friend. But instead of telling them how awful of a friend they are it is better to say something like “You know there have been times in the recent plans that you’ve canceled our plans together at the very last minute and I have felt hurt and angry by this.”
When you are less judgmental doesn’t mean the pain will go away. It does, however, help you to reduce your emotions like anger. If you are able to do this you’ll be able to think wiser and more clearly. It helps to open up different choices for you to make. It helps you to reduce the time and energy you otherwise may have spent on being angry with someone. Being less judgmental also can empower you to do problem-solving which will help you make the kind of decisions that support and serve you.
Judging Amplifies Emotions
If someone does something that upsets you nonjudgmental thinking is a skill that teaches you to recognize the fact of judging that person is only going to amplify your anger. You don’t want to waste energy on something as fruitless as that. When you treat someone nonjudgmentally it can also boost your self-respect.
Everyone can reap benefits by becoming far more aware of their feelings and thoughts. Learning to accept things are what they are and then being a lot less judgment of yourself and others will lead to a much healthier and happier life.