Tipping The TemperatureTipping the temperature down sends a message to our brains to slow everything down by activating the mammalian dive reflex. By engaging this reflex, a physiological response (e.g., reduced heart rate) can occur which helps calm you. You can do this by putting your face in a bowl of cold water for 30 seconds, splashing cold water on your face, or holding an ice pack on your eyes and cheeks for 30 seconds. *
Intense exercise can release some of the stress you are experiencing. This can work even when you only have a few minutes. You can engage in behaviors such as running in place, doing jumping jacks or putting on music, and dancing energetically.
Paced Breathing can decrease the emotional intensity and your heart rate. Try to take slow, deep, breaths from your belly (not your chest). The key is to make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale. A good rule of thumb is to inhale for a count of 2-4 seconds and exhale for a count of 4-6 seconds.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation can help you feel more relaxed. Focus on tightening one muscle group at a time, holding for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat this with other muscle groups. There are many great YouTube videos to help guide you through this exercise.
When to use Distress Tolerance Skills?
Learn when to use distress tolerance skills.
Distract with ACCEPTS
Distraction helps by taking our mind off of whatever set off the painful moment.
Walking the Middle Path
One of the goals of DBT is to “walk the middle path.”
Emotion regulation skills focus on understanding emotions, building resilience, and decreasing both vulnerability and suffering through skill use.
Not only do our relationships impact our emotions, our emotions impact our relationships.