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Reduce Stress, Enjoy Life!
Distress tolerance
Most approaches to mental health treatment focus on changing distressing events and circumstances.  They have paid little attention to accepting, finding meaning for, and tolerating distress.  Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) emphasizes learning to bear pain skillfully, I combine these skills with biblical principles and scripture to help you acheive God's plan and purpose for you.

Distress tolerance skills make up a natural progression from DBT mindfulness skills. They have to do with the ability to accept, in a nonjudgmental fashion and without evaluation of yourself or the current situation. Since this is a nonjudgmental stance, this means that it is not one of approval or resignation. 

The goal is to become capable of calmly recognizing negative situations and their impact, rather than becoming overwhelmed or hiding from them. This allows individuals to make wise decisions about whether and how to take action, rather than falling into the intense, desperate, and often destructive emotional reactions that are part of borderline personality disorder.

Wise Mind ACCEPTS
This is a skill used to distract oneself temporarily from unpleasant emotions.

Activities - Use positive activities that you enjoy.

Contribute - Help out others or your community.

Comparisons - Compare yourself either to people that are less fortunate or to how you used to be when you were in a worse state.

Emotions (other) - cause yourself to feel something different by provoking your sense of humor or happiness with corresponding activities.

Push away - Put your situation on the back-burner for a while. Put something else temporarily first in your mind.

Thoughts (other) - Force your mind to think about something else.

Sensations (other) – Do something that has an intense feeling other than what you are feeling, like a cold shower or a spicy candy.

Self-soothe
This is a skill in which one behaves in a comforting, nurturing, kind, and gentle way to oneself. You use it by doing something that is soothing to you. It is used in moments of distress or agitation.


IMPROVE the moment
This skill is used in moments of distress to help one relax.

Imagery - Imagine relaxing scenes, things going well, or other things that please you.

Meaning - Find some purpose or meaning in what you are feeling.

Prayer - Either pray to whomever you worship, or, if not religious, chant a personal mantra.

Relaxation - Relax your muscles, breathe deeply; use with self-soothing.

One thing in the moment - Focus your entire attention on what you are doing right now. Keep yourself in the present.

Vacation (brief) - Take a break from it all for a short period of time.

Encouragement - Cheerlead yourself. Tell yourself you can make it through this.

Pros and Cons
Think about the positive and negative things about not tolerating distress.

Radical acceptance
Let go of fighting reality. Accept your situation for what it is.

Turning the mind
Turn your mind toward an acceptance stance. It should be used with radical acceptance.

Willingness vs. willfulness
Be willing and open to do what is effective. Let go of a willful stance which goes against acceptance. Keep your eye on the goal in front of you.




Skills are taught in the areas of MindfulnessInterpersonal EffectivenessEmotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance.
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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Module: Distress Tolerance?