Improving the Moment

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DBT Distress Tolerance Skill

Improving the Moment is a skill in Distress Tolerance found in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). It is one of my favorite skills. Sometimes, when your emotions are heightened, you feel panic. It’s like your rational mind leaves and your emotion mind takes over. In reality, your rational mind is still online, but you have to make your emotion mind quiet back down so that you are in balance.

Improve

Improve stands for:

  • With Imagery
  • With Meaning
  • With Prayer
  • With Relaxing Actions
  • With One thing in the moment
  • With a brief Vacation
  • With self-Encouragement and rethinking the situation

With Imagery

Use your imagination to build a place of happiness and peace. Alternatively, use your imagination to picture your pain and suffering leaving your body.

With Meaning

Try to find positives in a negative situation. Also, you can find purpose in a difficult situation. You can also think about or read about spiritual values that you find helpful.

With Prayer

Pray to a god that you believe in and turn your problems over to him or her. You may also use your own Wise Mind to tap into your inner wisdom. When I see upsetting things or hear about sad things, I say a prayer for the person or animal-a prayer of peace and healing. It helps me from diving into depression.

With Relaxing Actions

You can take a hot bath, try yoga, use diaphragmatic breathing, get a massage or do a self-massage. You can also change your facial expressions to help change your mood. Notice where there is tension in your face and release it.

With One thing in the moment

Immerse yourself in an activity to rivet yourself to the present moment. Try a guided mindfulness meditation.

With a Brief Vacation

Do something you find pleasurable and comforting. I keep a textured blanket to snuggle with to help me with sensory overload. Go for a hike, read a magazine, eat chocolates, or take a brief vacation from your responsibilities.

With self-Encouragement and rethinking the situation

Be your own cheerleader! Talk to yourself. Acknowledge that difficult situations will pass and better days are around the corner.

Linehan, Marsha, M. DBT Skills Training and Worksheets, Second Edition. (2015). 

Photo: Neutron Star’s Accretion Disk

Listening to 80s Pandora station via my Roku. My favorite song that played is “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood. I love the lyrics to this song.  My favorite parts are in bold.

Higher Love

Steve Winwood

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on
Facing our fear and standing out there alone
A yearning, and it’s real to me
There must be someone who’s feeling for me

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
I could rise above on a higher love

I will wait for it, I’m not too late for it
Until then, I’ll sing my song
To cheer the night along

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love

Songwriters: Will Jennings, Stevie Winwood

 

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