Posts tagged self-improvement
How to Self-Soothe to Cope with Distress

Have you ever felt as though your emotions were quickly spiraling out of control? During distressing moments, you may be unsure of how to regulate yourself again. If you’re looking for a better way to deal with crises, the self-soothe skill could work for you!  It’s all about using our six senses to nurture ourselves and cope with distress. By practicing self care using the self-soothe skill, we learn to better tolerate overwhelming events. We can use vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and movement to lower our distress and feel more relaxed. Here are some ideas to self-soothe…

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What is DBT?

Sometimes, life can be challenging. It’s not easy to keep our emotions in check during distressing times. We may have trouble communicating with others and may unintentionally cause conflicts. We might feel like we’re on an emotional roller coaster without any control of where we’re headed. What can you do if you’re feeling this way? Try DBT! Let’s learn more about DBT, as well as how it can help you manage your emotions and create a life worth living…

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Using Mindfulness to Pay Attention

Nowadays, there are many things fighting for our attention at once. We live in a world where everything is instantaneous—where there’s an excess of digital and interpersonal stimuli that pulls us from what we’re currently doing. With so many distractions, our attention is often split between multiple things at once. When our attention is divided, we’re not as focused in the moment. How do we focus on what’s right in front of us and avoid distractions? We can use mindfulness to cultivate our attention and enhance our experiences. Let’s explore how to go about this…

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How to IMPROVE the Moment

Let’s face it—life is full of curveballs. Things may be going smoothly one minute, and the next, something turns your day upside down. There’s a mix of good and bad surprises every day. How do you deal with daily challenges? Generally, people act impulsively—meaning that they put their emotions before their logic when they face unexpected and overwhelming situations. But sometimes, this is not the best option. Do you need a better way to keep your cool during surprising or frustrating circumstances? A dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill called IMPROVE the Moment can help you manage difficult emotions during stressful situations. By reducing the intensity of emotion, you can feel more in-control when life throws you a curveball. Here’s how it works…

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Giving Yourself Credit

It’s a super busy and stressful time of year for everyone. There are many ways to deal with distressing situations. Often times, your mindset is crucial to managing stress effectively. Do you criticize yourself for not getting enough done at the end of the day? Or are you hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned? No matter what your goal is, a negative state of mind—one that’s pessimistic, self-critical, or discouraging—won’t do you any good. There’s a great DBT skill that you can apply to improve your mindset, feel less stressed, and reach your goals: “Give Myself Credit.” Let’s learn more about how it works…

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Reducing Conflicts with the THINK Skill

Do you find it difficult to work things out with others, but you’re not sure why? Often times, when we are interacting with others—particularly when we are disagreeing or arguing with someone else—we approach the situation with a negative mindset. Our brains naturally interpret the other person’s words and actions as negative or threatening. As a result, we jump to conclusions, quickly lash out, and become hostile or defensive. Our emotions (like anger and frustration) can take control of our actions during these situations. This clearly is not acting in an effective manner, especially if your goal is to improve your relationships and communicate in a more healthy way with others. Luckily, there’s a DBT skill which you can employ to reduce disagreements. Use the THINK skill to move from an Emotion Minded place into Wise Mind, where you are able to solve conflicts more effectively. Here’s how it works…

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Quick and Simple Self-Care Strategies

When life gets hectic, how do you practice self-care? Do you feel like there's not enough time in the day to do so? It may feel like you can't take time to de-stress because of all of the “to-do's” of the day or week. But when you neglect practicing self-care, you may feel run down or burnt out. It can certainly impact your emotional and physical well-being. Here are some easy ways to practice self-care in order to feel more refreshed, present, and productive.

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Learning About DBT

Have you ever heard of DBT? DBT is short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidence-based therapy that integrates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Eastern mindfulness practices. DBT is proven effective in helping people develop coping skills, reduce self-harm behaviors and improve negative patterns of thinking. It is validating and empowering as it helps people learn and apply skills to manage strong emotions and urges. Discover more about DBT here…

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How to Avoid Being Reactive

Does your teen feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained? Does your child feel like he or she doesn't have control over his or her life? One key strategy to combat these feelings is to avoid being reactive. When we are reactive, we allow events and other people to dictate how we react. We passively respond to what's going on and we struggle to keep up with life's demands. Whether it’s anger, anxiety, or sadness, our emotions can sometimes manage our actions without us even realizing it. Therefore, we must take responsibility for our actions. We must take a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one. By taking ownership of how we act, we decide what we will do—not the other way around. Here’s how you can be proactive, not reactive…

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Practicing Forgiveness

Do you sometimes find it difficult to forgive other people? The ability to forgive is an important component for our own personal growth and happiness. Holding on to hurt, pain, resentment, and anger harms us far more than it harms the offender. We should all strive to better forgive others, as well as ourselves. Let’s clarify what forgiveness involves, and explore why it’s beneficial to practice forgiveness…

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Self-Soothe to Reduce Holiday Stress

Can you believe that it’s already the holiday season? With the kids home from school, travel plans, gift-giving, and meal preparation, your week off can quickly become a very stressful time of year. Don’t let the holiday stress get you down. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try using a skill called Self-Soothe. Self-soothe encourages you to relax and improve your mood through your five senses. You can comfort yourself, giving yourself the mental health break that you deserve this holiday season…

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5 DBT Skills That You're Already Using

Have you just started working with a DBT therapist or have you recently joined a DBT Therapy Group? If so, you may be anxious about learning a whole new set of coping skills. The good news is that you are most likely using some DBT skills on a regular basis. You may not even realize that you are applying these skills regularly. It is helpful to review the skills, so that you can be aware of when you’re utilizing them and then use them most effectively. Here is an overview of five DBT skills that you may already be using…

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Managing Family Expectations this Holiday Season

Can you believe that the holiday season has already started? The holidays are a time for family, spirituality, personal reflection, gift-giving, travel, food, and so much more. It’s a wonderful time of year, but it’s also a stressful one. We envision an idealistic family gathering or holiday party, even though we know that this is not realistic. Many of us put too much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect holiday experience. While the “perfect” holiday may not exist, you can use the following strategies to make the most of this holiday season…

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Infinity Loop: Identifying Negative Cycles in Your Relationship

Do you and your partner find yourselves arguing over the same issues, time and time again? Do you want to figure out what isn’t working and make a change for the better? Consider using the Infinity Loop to improve your relationship. Scott Woolley, PhD, first introduced the Infinity Loop in order to help couples identify the negative cycles that they get stuck in—the negative habits that perpetuate dissatisfaction. Identifying and communicating these cycles’ helps each partner gain a deeper understanding of one another. Read more to learn how to have less argumentative and more effective discourse…

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The Importance of Mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness has surged in popularity over the last few years—and for very good reasons. Unfortunately, some people are still uninformed or confused about exactly why it is beneficial to incorporate mindfulness techniques into their lives. Are you wondering what all the buzz is about? Read on for some reasons why leading a more mindful life can have far-reaching positive effects…

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4 Common Habits that may Drain your Energy

In today's world, many of us feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. There are so many things to do, but we don’t have enough time or energy to complete them. Life can feel even more challenging due to habits that we don’t even realize are depleting our energy. Here are some common habits that can make day-to-day life more difficult than it needs to be…

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How to Think and Act Dialectically

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a well-known and widely regarded, highly effective practice for a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal issues. One of the first questions clients often ask is “So what does ‘dialectical’ mean? And why is it such a big part of this type of therapy?” Here are a some simple steps you can take to start thinking and acting dialectically...

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How to Tell When Your Mind is Playing Tricks on You

Did you ever have a thought that you absolutely believed to be true and it turned out that you blew it out of proportion, misinterpreted it, ignored the facts or simply got it wrong??

Probably, because this is super common!!  Sometimes, your mind might convince you of things that simply aren’t true. This is called cognitive distortion. If you have ever heard an underweight person claim they are "obese" or a person with a 4.0 GPA state that they have to "try harder," then you understand cognitive distortions. These statements are not based in reality but, rather, in ideas or thoughts or beliefs that are not facts. The mind is very powerful and, often times, it lies to you! Here are five common cognitive distortion “traps”...

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    IMPROVE the Moment

    Life can be unpredictable. Things may be going well, and then out of nowhere, life throws you a curve ball. Or a series of curve balls. How do you keep your cool during these surprises? Everyone tends to act more impulsively, putting our emotions before our logic, when we are met with overwhelming circumstances. A dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) strategy called IMPROVE the Moment can help you manage difficult emotions during stressful situations and regulate your emotions in the present moment. Here's how it works...

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