The four basics of DBT
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in your body and surroundings. It helps you focus on living in the moment. You’ll notice your thoughts, your breathing, and what’s currently happening around you by making note of your five senses.
It helps ground you during times of emotional pain, but it’s a good practice to work on daily. By taking time to pause instead of immediately reacting to a bad situation, you can avoid impulsive behavior and negative emotional outbursts.
Emotion regulation focuses on teaching you to name your emotions at the moment. This is easier said than done. By learning to name and recognize your emotions, you’re better able to intervene when you feel yourself losing control.
You’ll learn to accept and change your negative emotional responses to stressful situations and triggers.
Distress tolerance is a technique to help you cope with a stressful environment. Rather than impulsively avoiding or trying to change a painful situation, you’ll learn to radically accept what’s going on.
Negative emotions and stressful situations are simply a part of life. Distress tolerance skills get you to feel more in control in these moments that might feel unpredictable.
Interpersonal effectiveness is essentially the practice of understanding and setting boundaries. DBT teaches the skills for effectively communicating your wants and needs. This means developing assertiveness and a strong sense of self.
Interpersonal effectiveness will help empower you to advocate for yourself. You’ll also be better able to maintain and strengthen your relationships with others because healthy boundaries are necessary for good communication.