Using PLEASE Master Skills to Maintain Emotional Control

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When people neglect their self care, they may become more emotionally vulnerable—meaning that more often, they get overwhelmed by negative emotions, engage in negative coping skills, and lash out at others impulsively. PLEASE Master is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skill that helps reduce emotional vulnerability. It enables people to better regulate their emotions and make positive choices. If you work on leading a balanced lifestyle, you are more likely to maintain emotional control during times of stress! This is how PLEASE Master Skills work:

•    PL: Treat Physical iLLness: Take care of yourself when you are sick! Take all medication as prescribed by your physician and take your vitamins daily. It is important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you begin to feel sick, make an appointment with your doctor. Make sure to schedule routine check-ups even if you are feeling fine, just to be safe!

•    E: Eat Balanced Meals: Eat every few hours so that you have enough energy throughout the day. Avoid eating portions that are too large or too small. Be sure to prepare balanced meals, with fruits and vegetables. Also, try to eat small amounts of sugary or high-fat foods. Nutrition should be a priority!

•    A: Avoid Mood Altering Drugs: Only take substances that are prescribed to you by a doctor. Drink alcohol in moderation, or consider drinking moderately on the weekends only. Do not take any illegal drugs. Using drugs and alcohol greatly contributes to feeling emotionally vulnerable, both during and in the one to two day period after use. Remember the cons of excessive drinking and drug use.

•    S: Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Most people need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night. Practice good sleep hygiene: unplug from electronics an hour before bed, dim or shut the lights off completely, and make going to bed at the same time each night a priority. By avoiding naps during the day, you may be able to sleep better at night.

•    E: Make Time for Exercise: Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day. Exercise releases natural mood-boosting chemicals and provides a healthy outlet to expend excess energy or frustration. If you do not exercise regularly already, start small and work up to the full 20 minutes over time.

Achieve Mastery: Do one activity each day that makes you feel confident, capable and accomplished. You can easily build mastery by doing everyday household tasks, like tidying up the house or finishing a task that you’ve been putting off. Consider enhancing a skill you already have (such as knitting, drawing, or bicycling) or setting a new goal. Building mastery helps you focus on your strengths, instead of feeling down about your weaknesses.

By achieving PLEASE Master, you can feel better both physically and emotionally. This will help you keep your emotions in check and reduce your emotional vulnerability. Be sure to make this a New Year’s resolution!