In times of crisis, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and scattered. You might feel like your emotions are out of control, your thoughts are racing, and you don’t know how to find your footing. This is where DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skills come in handy. DBT is a type of therapy that teaches practical skills for managing intense emotions and navigating difficult situations. Here are some ways to use DBT skills to stay grounded when life feels chaotic.
1. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a key component of DBT. It’s a way of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. When you’re in the midst of a crisis, it can be easy to get swept up in your thoughts and emotions. By practicing mindfulness, you can ground yourself in the present moment and stay focused on what’s happening right now. Try taking a few deep breaths, and then bring your attention to your breath or to the sensations in your body. Notice any thoughts or emotions that arise, but try not to get caught up in them. Just observe them and let them pass.
2. Use self-soothing techniques
Another important part of DBT is learning how to soothe yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed. This might involve doing something that relaxes you, like taking a warm bath or listening to calming music. You might also find it helpful to engage in self-care activities, like taking a walk or practicing yoga. The goal is to find something that makes you feel calm and grounded.
3. Practice radical acceptance
Radical acceptance is a DBT skill that involves accepting reality as it is, rather than fighting it. When you’re in a crisis, it can be tempting to resist what’s happening or to wish things were different. However, this often just leads to more suffering. Instead, try to accept the situation as it is, even if you don’t like it. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with it or condone it, but simply acknowledging it can help you move forward.
4. Use wise mind
Wise mind is another DBT skill that involves finding a balance between your emotional mind (the part of you that is driven by feelings and impulses) and your rational mind (the part of you that is logical and analytical). When you’re in a crisis, it’s easy to get caught up in your emotional mind and make impulsive decisions. By using wise mind, you can tap into both parts of your mind and make more grounded decisions. Try asking yourself what both your emotional mind and your rational mind are saying, and then find a middle ground that takes both into account.
5. Seek support
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you need it. Whether that means talking to a friend, seeing a therapist, or joining a support group, having a safe space to process your emotions and thoughts can be incredibly helpful. You don’t have to navigate a crisis alone.
In conclusion, DBT skills can be a useful tool for staying grounded in times of crisis. By practicing mindfulness, using self-soothing techniques, practicing radical acceptance, using wise mind, and seeking support, you can stay centered even when life feels chaotic. Remember that it’s okay to struggle, and that help is available if you need it.