Dialectical Behavior Therapy is not a forever-treatment that one is in for their whole life. When only looking at DBT skills groups, a study showed the effectiveness of DBT skills group on “reducing negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors, promoting positive self-help behaviors, and reducing service users’ reliance on professional help for support.” The goal is to help someone learn how to gain control over their emotions, take charge of their life, and to gain a life worth living.
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Stigma and fear can keep people from being able to cope effectively with biological challenges such as mental disorders. Fear of being exposed and what society may judge about someone inhibits the one from seeking appropriate help to take care of one’s self and further achieve life goals. Mariah Carey has recently exposed herself to such vulnerability because the burden was heavier to keep her diagnosis a secret and refrain from seeking help. Now she is facing her Bipolar II diagnosis and getting the help she needs. She has days of high functioning and days of challenge like anyone else. Hopefully this will be a positive image to all those around the world, normalizing mental illness and showing that it is nothing to be fearful or ashamed of.Read More »
When life gets crazy, it’s easy to put everyone else’s needs above yours. Your job, your family, and other commitments may take priority to keep the plates of life spinning.
The result is physical and mental fatigue that can take a long time to fully recover from. People get burned out and need to leave jobs or end up with serious health issues as a result of stress and anxiety.
Don’t find yourself in that position! There are many ways to keep even the smallest amount of focus on yourself no matter how crazy life becomes.
Relax and Play
Even the busiest people need to take time to quiet their mind and relax a little throughout the day. Children play all day long and can be a great inspiration for this — sing a silly song, play a game, draw a picture, run around, or do whatever else is going to put your mind at ease. You’ll be surprised how much less stressful the rest of your day feels once you take that mental reset.
Disconnect and Unplug
Getting away from the screens we stare at all day long is another important aspect of that mental reset. Your email, calendar, texts, and voicemails will all be there when you come back. Stepping away from those distractions will allow you to clear your mind and dive back into the day refreshed and ready to go.
Ask for Help
Many of us become overwhelmed when we try to take on too much. We can’t say no when new projects or tasks come up because we don’t want to let others down, and our own physical and mental health suffers as a result.
Stop this behavior by asking for help when things get to be too much. It will not be looked upon as a sign of weakness, but rather that you understand your own limitations and do not want to let the quality of your efforts suffer as a result.Read More »
No matter how busy you are, there’s always time to add a little mindfulness to your day. This is especially important as we all spend more and more of our time looking at screens of one variety or another.
Here are a few simple ways to unplug and reclaim your thoughts throughout the day!
Be Present During Breaks
Whenever you have a minute of downtime, what do you do? Pull out your phone and check your email or scroll through social media? This passive scrolling is the opposite of mindfulness and has long-term impacts on focus and attention span.
The next time you find yourself in that situation, put down your phone and focus on being present in the moment. What are you feeling? What are you thinking about? Let your mind wander from your daily to-do list to your larger emotions — you might be surprised at what you find.
Appreciate What You Have
As we go through the hustle and bustle of daily life, we are often so focused on the next task at hand that we forget to take a moment and appreciate everything that we have around us.
Make a point to notice five things each day that you are thankful for and take a moment to reflect on what your life would be like without them. For example, your car moves you around from place to place each day. How would your life be different without it? Would it be better or worse?
Questions like this allow you to mindfully consider your place in the world in relationship to everyone and everything else that’s in it.
Listen to Others
We all talk to lots of other people throughout the day, but how often do you really listen to what they’re saying? If you are constantly distracted by other things, words might go in one ear and out the other.
Whenever you are interacting with others, do your best to eliminate all other distractions so you can fully focus on what’s being said. You might be surprised at how this simple activity can improve the quality of your relationships with those around you!Read More »
Dan Harris, from Good Morning America, was interviewed about his personal experience with anxiety and his new book, “10% Happier,” and shared a brief exercise on how to practice mindfulness daily. So why not give it a try:
- “Find a reasonably quiet place (it doesn’t have to be pristine – and if it’s a little noisy, just wear headphones).
- Set the alarm on your phone for five minutes.
- Sit comfortably with your back reasonably straight (so as to prevent an unintentional nap – although, to be honest, worse things could happen).
- Bring your full attention to the feeling of your breath coming in and going out. Pick a spot where’s it’s most prominent: your nose, your chest, your belly, wherever…
- Whenever you get distracted – which you will, a million times – just gently start over.”
“In my experience, it’s a mistake to strive to achieve a certain experience. Often the striving prevents you from getting wherever you’re hoping to go. The goal in meditation is not to reach some special state; it’s to see whatever is happening in your mind clearly. Why is this important? Because when you see your thoughts and feelings clearly, they have less power to yank you around.”Read More »
Researchers have found a correlation between an increase of mindfulness in those experiencing a wider range of emotions with improved health; and no affect shown on the specific types of emotions identified in the range.
By increasing mindfulness we can relieve undue stress in our daily life and improve our emotional well-being, and at the same time tend to our physical health as well. What a win-win! When we are more in Wise Mind and are practicing mindfulness we can also connect with others more, relate to them, and find walk a middle path to empathize rather than criticize. Invest in being mindful to gain the benefits of an improved life as a whole.Read More »
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This phrase could also say, “All work and no play makes Jack more vulnerable to unwanted emotions.” Finding a balance in what we do each day and each week is important.
We can put a toll on ourselves emotionally if we put too much on our to-do lists and only tend to responsibilities. We can become depleted of the pleasures life has to offer which make us more vulnerable to unwanted emotions, like sadness and anger. To too in reverse can happen if we only do things we enjoy and ignore the responsibilities we need to tend to. Unwanted emotions can arise then as well, such as guilt, shame, and anxiousness. So be mindful each day in regard toward the balance of activities on your agenda. Accumulate at least one positive event each day and also tend to your responsibilities to achieve your longer-term goals too.Read More »
We all make judgments, so why is it sometimes bad to be stating judgments? There are two types of judgments; judgments that are discriminating, and judgments that are evaluative.
Judgments that are discriminating (i.e. I prefer X over Y) reflect personal preferences and subjective opinions. They are considered judgments that are effective in terms of not projecting one’s perception as a complete conclusion.
When judgments are evaluative (i.e. This is horrible) it is stating something as a whole and objectively. It is taking the facts of a situation and adding personal preferences, values, and opinions to make it an objective truth. This type of judgment is ineffective because others may view the same situation differently, whether it is marginally different or completely different.
By being nonjudgmental in DBT terms, it is referring to evaluative judgments. By speaking in discriminative judgments, there leaves room for other interpretations and perceptions.Read More »
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– RumiRead More »
Stress is a natural and inevitable part of life. And with many research studies on stress, there are a number of conclusions supporting the correlation that stress has negative effects on our bodies. It negatively affects our health, from increasing our risk of catching the common cold to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. This creates a negative relationship between stress and us.
Our bodies are created to aid us in many situations rather than hindering our ability to overcome challenges though, and so by practicing the M in IMPROVE of Distress Tolerance, we can all alter this relationship with stress. We can find Meaning in our body’s response to stressors. We can view our bodies as energized and preparing us for action. Our bodies have developed to increase our heart rates, to increase our breathing, to increase our alertness. We can view this as our body’s way to help us overcome any stressors we face.
If we view this as a helpful performance, we can change our relationship to see our body’s response to stress as beneficial. Changing our thoughts can in turn change our reactions for greater effectiveness.Read More »