Before reading this article, please make sure to read these first:
- What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) & How Can It Help You: A Beginner’s Guide, Part 1
- What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) & How Can It Help You: A Beginner’s Guide, Part 2
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Exploring Core Mindfulness Skills, Part 1
What to do skills
- Sensing without describing or labelling.
- Be curious about what you feel.
- Just notice how you feel, without trying to make feelings stronger, weaker, go away or last longer.
- See how long your feeling lasts, and if it changes
- We practice this outside so than we can then practice inside of ourselves.
- Step back within yourself rather than outside yourself.
- Experience your hand on a cool surface.
- Imagine your mind is a conveyor belt with thoughts passing by.
- Try to sense your stomach.
- When you become distracted, observe yourself as you become aware you were distracted
- Using words to label what you observe and experience, in detail.
- Describing a thought or feeling does not make it a fact. It is your opinion.
- Use “fact” words, call a thought “just a thought”, call a feeling “just a feeling”.
- Try to avoid emotional words. Don’t paint a colorful picture or magnify the situations with words.
- Describing isn’t judging. Nothing is right nor wrong. It just is.
- Practise: Label what is happening to you, e.g. walking – heel down, toes down, heel up, toes up …
- Joining in with an activity, without self-consciousness.
- Acting without observing or describing (throw yourself into something).
- Being in the moment. Get “lost” in the activity.
- No thoughts about the future. Just be in the here and now.
- Allow yourself to be natural.
- Practise: Sharing you thoughts with the group without censuring, Dancing at a party.
How to do it skills
- NOT labelling something as good or bad, valuable or worthwhile, not should or should not.
- In between good and bad there is a huge range of (grey) experiences.
- Difference between what people do and who they are.
- Unglue your feelings and opinions from the facts. Focus on the “what, when, who and where”.
- When you find yourself judging, DON’T JUDGE YOUR JUDGING.
- Focus on one thing at a time rather than multitask. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, focus on the conversation.
- Attend to each thing you do fully.
- If other actions, thoughts or strong feelings distract you, let go of the distractions and go back to what you are doing – again and again and again.
- Not doing things automatically.
- Make specific worry time for yourself if you need to.
- Do what works, what you have to do, not what you want.
- Stay away from thoughts of “right”, “wrong”, “fair” and “unfair”.
- Sometimes sacrifice is needed to achieve a goal.
- You need to know what your long term goals and aims are.
- Opposite of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
- Play by the rules. You need to meet the needs of the situation you are in, not the situation you wish you were in.
- Let go of vengeance, useless anger and righteousness that hurts you and doesn’t work.
Reference: Akeso Crescent Clinic