It’s unavoidable; life gives us lemons. It’s how we deal with it that counts. Distress tolerance skills help us in difficult situations when we want to keep our composure or regain it after feeling too worked out. These skills are to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and to improve the way we are experiencing the moment. You’ll need the ability to soothe yourself, take care of yourself, show compassion to self and others.
You will feel more empowered when learn to be Pro-active instead of Re-active to the situations in your life. You can have the skills to keep your balance and respond to challenges in healthy ways.
Let’s help you get beyond feeling overwhelmed by emotions, to navigating emotions effectively.
Would you like to be more effective in the way you handle yourself in the presence of others? Could you use more confidence when it comes to getting your point across and your needs met? If so, these Interpersonal Effectiveness skills are worth the practice. Often times, stress and anxiety can interfere with our ability to be heard and to express ourselves as well as we’d like to. By developing skills to have your voice heard while keeping a good balance of Emotion and Reason, you’ll improve relationships while earning respect for yourself.
Use the following graphics as reminders of the Interpersonal Effectiveness DBT Skills.
If you sometimes struggle with confidence and have problems with self-esteem, I have Good News for you. You have every reason to love who you are and to walk through life filled with joy. Consider yourself royalty, in fact. The heart of the Inner Renovations Project is to help you connect to your heart and what lives within. It is to help you answer your questions of “Who Am I?” It is so that you recognize that you are more than your past, more than your thoughts, more than any mistakes you think you’ve made or pain caused to you. In fact, those are things you’ve experienced but they are not you. You are a spiritual being having these human experiences.
You will be able to improve your self-concepts by clarifying just how special you truly are, not by anyone’s standards but the one who created you just how you are meant to be. There are things within you that you have yet to discover; your very peace and healing living right inside of you. We discuss Biblical references that will help you on your journey to knowing the truth about who God says you are and why everything you need is already within you.
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’
For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
The most important thing for you to do at this moment in your life is start looking at what you have inside of you. Understand your value and the reason for your creation. You are made in the image of Light and Love.
You are made in the image…
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5
He that loves not, knows not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:8
“I am just misunderstood,” she says. She has tears in her eyes. Her pain has come out in anger again and she’s pushed away the people she loves the most. Have they actually become afraid of her? “I just want to be hugged and loved, but they don’t come near because they don’t know what to say. “I’m sorry,” comes from her lips as it has several times before. She means it. She always means it, but hasn’t yet learned how to control the behaviors attached to such strong emotions.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
Do your actions often misrepresent what you truly feel inside?
You are not alone.
It can be so difficult having pent up feelings that you have held in for as long as possible, trying to keep them from coming out and hurting others, or trying to keep them from exposing your truth. But they can only stay down for so long before something happens, sometimes not even so closely related to the matter at hand, that triggers a flare up of all of those things that you’ve been keeping inside. Out they erupt like a volcano on whoever is “lucky” enough to be sacrificed for the wrongdoing committed by those before them. They have no idea why you’re having such a huge response to something they think “isn’t a big deal,” and that only makes you more angry. It can make you feel alone.
The truth is, you are not alone. So many of us feel that way; but remember, a characteristic of this experience is not knowing how to express it. So those who feel this way, usually don’t know how to talk about it – so you often don’t know who it is.
A NEW PRACTICE IN SELF-AWARENESS
Try something new the next time you recognize this phenomenon happening.
- Notice what’s happening in your mind, body, breath – just observe for a moment.
- Now use all 5 senses to take in the scene around you. Become fully present in the moment.
- You’re giving yourself a moment; before saying or doing anything else. Deepen your breathing. Tune in with yourself. Sit down if you can. Just take it all in. Focus on your breath.
(NOW… YOU’RE SET… YOU’RE CENTERED…YOU’RE BREATHING…LET’S DO THE WORK…)
- Continuing to breathe deeply, ask yourself the important questions: “What is this situation reminding me of? When have I felt like this before?”
- You may be surprised what you come up with. You may see different faces, different times, and completely different situations than the one you are currently in.
- Move forward from a more informed, fair, and balanced posture – in Wise Mind.
HOW TO MOVE FORWARD AFTER THE PRACTICE
You have several options after this practice.
1. You may choose to express your emotions to someone who had the potential to trigger you (unbeknownst to them). Except now when you deal with them, you’re able to stay focused on the issues you have specifically with that person rather than dragging any baggage from the past they have nothing to do with. It’ll help you stay fair in that relationship and not do any damage to something that you value and would prefer not to be affected by past negativity which you’re still trying to heal from.
2. Through your meditative moment and exploration of where you’ve had those feelings before, you’ve gathered some intel. You can use it to communicate more effectively. Don’t be afraid to share that in your conversation. Feel free to say, “this is reminding me of a time I felt like this before and I don’t like it.” This way, you’re a) being honest about your inner experience, b) owning it, and not blaming someone else for behaviors of another, and c) not taking your anger out on a person who doesn’t deserve it.
3. It is possible after the self-awareness practice, you realize the strong emotions you are feeling actually have nothing to do with the people or situation your currently dealing with at all. Yes, something happened and it triggered an emotion that reminded you of a time you felt that way before. But after further analysis you realized that the current situation is completely different and should not be generalized into the same category as your previous experiences – or it/they should at least be given the benefit of the doubt. With this option, you decide to let your last step be the Self-Awareness Practice itself. You go on and grow on, privately continuing your journey to a greater you.
No doubt, you will have a chance to use all of these methods at some point or another with as many opportunities as life affords us to regulate our emotions and manage stress. Encourage yourself, feed your mind/body/spirit good food, and build confidence in your Personal Inner Renovations Project.
Just as you need the right set of tools for a Do It Yourself home renovation project, you need them for your Personal Inner Renovations Project – the work that you will do to improve the atmosphere of your mind, heart, and spirit.
The components of The Project and sections as found on this resource site include: a Blueprint for Wellbeing, connecting with the Kingdom of Heaven Within, and having the following D.I.Y. Coping Skills in your toolbox.
This material should be used for reference purposes only and is used by my clients to support the work that we are doing in our sessions. It does not take the place of mental health services. If you would like more information on how to become a client, please visit www.InnerRenovations.com
Sometimes we’d like to have a fresh start, but it seems difficult when our environment isn’t so fresh. Our ideas aren’t so fresh. Our motivation isn’t so fresh. It benefits us to identify things that are taking up space, so we can clear them out and make room for what’s new and more helpful to our lives.
Identify things that are taking up space, so we can clear them out and make room for what’s new and more helpful to our lives.
Ask yourself, what is it time to release? When we put down the heavy weight of some of the baggage we’ve been carrying around, it’s amazing how much more energy we have to accomplish the tasks necessary to move us closer to our true purpose. We often need to remove certain objects or even entire relationships from blocking our view of our purpose in the first place. Most of the time, these aren’t easy decisions to make. We become so emotionally involved in situations, and attached to our things, and certainly invested in our relationships – so making changes in these areas is no small matter. If those circumstances can be improved, of course our first attempts are to try to improve the situation before completely removing the situation from our lives. But chances are, by this point, you’ve already made several attempts to improve it and have ended up with the same results. If this is the case, then it may be what we are referring to as the subject here of taking up space in your life, where something more positive and affirming could be.
Do a Quality Self-Check:
- What relationships are enhancing versus harming your sense of wellbeing?
- What thoughts patterns & beliefs are enhancing versus harming your sense of wellbeing?
- What behaviors & habits are enhancing versus harming your sense of wellbeing?
Once you’ve identified which are helping you, do your best to honor those relationships, affirm those thoughts, and continue those positive behaviors. When you identify the relationships, thought patterns, and behaviors that are unhelpful to you, this is what you want to remove from your life to create space for something new that brings you closer to the better quality of life you deserve to experience.
Anytime I start getting too worked up about things and worrying about how I’m going to make things work, I know that I’m relying more on myself than on God. It’s a warning sign, like my “check engine” lights have come on to tell me that I’m running hot from putting too much faith in my own abilities. It was never me in the first place making things happen. It was by God’s grace. All progress, success, anything that I attained or accomplished was by His blessing. So anything that I maintain, endure, and comes to pass will also be because He says it is so as well. Let’s not lose sight of this. I am reminding myself and reminding you to
- Reset our vision
- take the load off our mind
- release the tension from our shoulders
as we feel our bodies once again relax and extend our hands to God to hand over those things we were never intended to worry about in the first place.
If you were to take a moment to describe yourself to me, what words would you use?
- Would you speak of yourself with love?
- Lead with your strengths or weaknesses?
- Find it difficult to say anything good about yourself at all?
- (or the opposite) Highlight only the things you want others to see to cover the shame hiding under the brags.
Whatever the case may be, how we talk about ourselves to others holds a lot of clues to how we feel about ourselves. As in one of the examples above, even the person that goes on about how great they are may be unconsciously indicating they actually see themselves as insignificant.
How do you see yourself? It’s a good idea to reflect on this for a moment because as we learn from Cognitive-Behavioral principles, perception is connected to behavior.
What you believe and how you perceive has a lot to do with how you behave. So if there are any patterns of behavior that you would like to improve, a good place to start is the exploration of how it is linked to what you believe about you.
For instance, if I get nervous every time I know I’m going to have to meet new people, I could reflect on how this relates to some way I feel/think about myself.
Maybe I already have the beliefs, “I’m not good with people. I’m too different to fit in. I’m not as cool as others. I don’t have smart things to say…” Or fill in the blank with any other negative belief a person can have about themselves.
If you carry those thoughts and feelings into that social environment, think of the ways it will affect your behavior!
Here’s the great news: IT WORKS BOTH WAYS! If you IMPROVE YOUR SELF-PERCEPTION, your behavior can also improve.
Imagine going into that same social scene but now you’re a person with these core beliefs:
- I Am Confident
- I Can Go with the Flow
- I Like Who I Am
- People will like me once they get to know me, and if they don’t, that’s okay too!
- I embrace my quirks and imperfections
- I Am Enough
The scope of life changes when seeing yourself through that lens. You won’t have to think about how to behave differently. The changes in your behavior will flow from the shift of your perception.
PERSONAL REFLECTION & JOURNAL OPPORTUNITY
1. How do you see yourself and how do you think it relates to how you currently feel and behave?
2. How long have you had your current self-perceptions and where did they originate?
3. Are there any outdated self-perceptions that are no longer working with your current life systems that need to be upgraded? If so, what upgrades can you start making today?