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Using DBT in Everyday Life

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Dialectical behaviour therapy is incredibly effective when it comes to helping those with the most severe mental health conditions, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). But what about the rest of us? Is there any use in learning how to use DBT techniques in everyday life? If you’re wondering if there are practical ways to use DBT in your daily routine, read on to learn more about how you can apply these techniques to improve your outlook on life and even get out of depression.

Mindfulness

Living a mindful life is simply about being aware of what’s happening around you and within you. Mindfulness is one of many tools used during dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). For example, when you’re involved in mindfulness exercises, it can help bring attention to your body sensations and experiences. When you’re on a mindful walk, for instance, you may notice a sensation around your chest that tells you to slow down or rest. If you hadn’t been practicing mindfulness regularly, you might not have noticed that until later—or not at all. So why bother?

Emotion Regulation

Using Dialectical Behaviour Therapy skills to regulate emotions effectively is a critical skill for successful people. This can help you keep your relationships and life stable. You don’t need a therapist to learn these important skills; there are countless books and DBT groups that can help you use emotion regulation skills in everyday life.  If you want to know more about how it works, read on.

A common misconception about emotional intelligence is that it means being able to control or eliminate your emotions at will. That’s not what emotional intelligence looks like, though, because it’s impossible to do either of those things completely or consistently. Instead, emotional intelligence involves using skills such as dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) skills and mindfulness techniques so that your emotions don’t control you—and neither do other people’s actions or words. If you’ve ever said something regrettable after an argument with someone close to you, then learning how to manage your emotions better will likely be helpful.

Distress Tolerance

One way to learn DBT skills is to practice them at challenging moments. This could mean simply learning your distressing emotions, or noticing your urge to react and stopping yourself from doing so. It can also mean taking action when you’re upset, such as walking for ten minutes and then reevaluating how you feel. The Distress Tolerance skill is a crucial one for making changes in your life—whether it’s feeling more comfortable with distress or building resilience.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) interpersonal effectiveness skill involves having an effective strategy for communicating with other people. The goal is to help you communicate better so that you can minimise frustration and increase cooperation. The ultimate goal is helping you make what you want happen, and to be able to do it without resorting to self-destructive behaviours.

Mindfulness at Work

If you’re having a particularly stressful day at work and you have a low tolerance for frustration, try using your mindfulness skills to focus on your current experience without judgment. Instead of getting upset about being stuck on a project longer than expected, stop and think: am I experiencing physical symptoms like tension or an upset stomach? If so, focus on just experiencing those physical sensations for five minutes. In doing so, you’ll start to notice two things: first, that what you’re feeling isn’t so bad after all; second, how much better able you are to focus once you make space in your mind.

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