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Navigating Emotional Turbulence: DBT Skills for Emotionally Sensitive Individuals

Navigating Emotional Turbulence: DBT Skills for Emotionally Sensitive Individuals

Do you ever feel like your emotions are ruling your life? Are you trapped in a never-ending rollercoaster of intense feelings you can’t control? Take heart, my friend. You’re not alone in this struggle. For many emotionally sensitive people, emotions can be like a wild and stormy sea that threatens to capsize them at any moment.

But there is hope!

Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), you can learn practical skills to help you navigate these tumultuous waters. From mindfulness and distress tolerance to emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness, DBT offers proven strategies to help weather any storm while keeping your mental health intact.

And the best part?

You can learn these skills from the comfort of your own home with Suffolk DBT’s online DBT program. By incorporating DBT into your daily life, you can finally achieve the peace and freedom you’ve longed for. So, what are you waiting for? Your journey to wellness starts right now!

Core components of DBT: What you need to know

The main focus of DBT is to learn skills for understanding and managing emotions through four core skill sets: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. With dedication, you can master these skills and experience significant personal growth.


One way to boost your emotional awareness and decision-making skills is by practicing mindfulness. This involves being present and aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment.

You can try different mindfulness techniques in your everyday life like observing your breath and senses, doing a body scan, enjoying mindful eating or walking, describing events objectively, and fully engaging in activities. Regularly incorporating mindfulness into your routine can increase your ability to accept and understand your emotions while reducing reactivity for better decision-making.

Distress tolerance

Knowing how to manage painful emotions and stress healthily is important when life gets tough. Distress tolerance skills can help you do just that. You can improve your well-being by learning to self-soothe and distract without turning to self-harm or destructive behavior.

These skills include sensory self-soothing, distraction techniques, improving the moment, and weighing the pros and cons of tolerating distress. Whether going for a walk, calling a friend, or simply removing yourself from a stressful situation, there are plenty of ways to manage distress positively and productively.

Emotion regulation

Learning emotion regulation skills can be incredibly helpful in managing emotional reactions in a healthy and balanced way. By practicing DBT techniques, such as identifying emotions, fact-checking, opposite action, problem-solving, understanding the relationship between emotions and behavior, learning to influence your emotional experience, and coping, you can work towards reducing emotional vulnerability and reactivity.

With time and effort, these skills can help you reduce emotional suffering and gain greater control over your behavior. Managing your emotions flexibly and adaptively can improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

Interpersonal effectiveness

Improving your ability to communicate with others is essential in fostering healthy relationships. By developing interpersonal effectiveness skills, you can effectively express your needs, establish boundaries, manage conflicts, and navigate challenging conversations. These skills include learning to say no, making requests, handling criticism or rejection, balancing priorities, showing respect, and meeting your needs. With consistent practice and dedication, you can master these skills and experience significant personal growth. DBT provides valuable resources to help you enhance your emotional well-being and cultivate meaningful connections with others.

How does DBT help emotionally sensitive people?

If you’re struggling with intense and unstable emotions, navigating unhealthy relationships, or seeking an effective borderline personality disorder treatment, DBT can be life-changing. DBT provides coping mechanisms to help you reduce unhealthy impulses, understand and regulate your emotions, deal with distressing thoughts, and create and maintain meaningful relationships. DBT also stresses the importance of balancing acceptance and change, which helps decrease feelings of inner turmoil and instability.

DBT skills are practical and can be used in everyday life. Some examples include:

  • Taking a mindfulness moment to focus on your breathing when upset.
  • Using self-soothing techniques like taking a warm bath or listening to calming music during distressing moments.
  • Identifying emotions and their triggers to gain awareness and control of your reactions.
  • Communicating in a respectful, assertive manner to get your needs met while also maintaining relationships.

The benefits of learning DBT skills online for emotionally sensitive individuals

If you are an emotionally sensitive person, the convenience of online DBT therapy may be perfect for you. In this treatment, you can learn skills to better understand and manage intense emotions from the comfort of your own home without the stigma often associated with in-person treatment.

The advantages of online DBT are its accessibility, privacy, affordability, and self-paced learning, empowering you to develop DBT skills and achieve emotional well-being on your terms. While some may still seek additional in-person treatment, online DBT provides a gateway to get started and a supplement to ongoing therapy. The skills and tools you need to thrive are now at your fingertips.

How DBT skills can help manage emotions and foster healthy relationships

DBT skills can effectively manage difficult emotions and cultivate healthy relationships. For example, interpersonal effectiveness teaches you practical strategies for interacting with others in a way that reduces conflict and builds trust.

Apply the GIVE Skills to Strengthen Relationships

  • Gentle: Be gentle in your communication. Speak softly and avoid harsh language.
  • Interested: Show interest in the other person by making eye contact, listening actively, and asking questions. People will feel valued and understood.
  • Validate: Validate their experiences and feelings. Say, “I can understand why you feel that way.” This helps to defuse anger and bring people closer together.
  • Easy Manner: Have an easy manner. Relax your body, make casual small talk, and smile. Your calmness will spread to others.

These skills can help you approach others compassionately, navigate challenging conversations, set boundaries, and constructively resolve conflicts. The GIVE skills will help cultivate meaningful relationships based on mutual care, respect, and trust.

Finding Balance through Opposite Action

The Opposite Action technique is an effective way to manage emotional extremes. When you feel an urge to engage in unhealthy behavior due to emotional distress, do the opposite. This helps you find balance and make wise decisions. For instance, call a friend instead of isolating yourself when you’re sad. If you feel angry and want to lash out, take deep breaths and count to 10. Opposite action enables you to respond in a balanced way rather than impulsively. Over time, you will gain awareness and control over your emotions instead of your emotions controlling you.

Practical Tips for Incorporating DBT Skills Into Your Daily Life

DBT skills are essential in our daily lives to manage emotions and build healthy relationships. Here are a few ways you can try introducing them into your life in ways that fit for you.

  1. Practicing mindfulness during everyday activities such as commuting, exercising, or having casual conversations can help ground us in the present moment.
  2. Observing our senses and surroundings lets us notice the little details we often overlook. Doing this during a nature walk also releases feel-good hormones that boost our mood and serve as a healthy coping mechanism. Even a 30-minute walk a few times a week can make a difference, and yoga or light exercise at home are great options if getting outside is not feasible.
  3. Use social interactions to practice DBT skills. Make eye contact, listen actively without judgment, and name the emotions you observe in yourself and others. This helps you better understand behaviors and reactions, allowing for a balanced and non-reactive response.
  4. Keep a diary to record situations that trigger intense emotions, how you reacted, and skills that could help next time. Regularly reviewing entries will help you identify unhealthy patterns and create a plan to use alternative skills. This diary also provides a constructive space to express complicated feelings.


Start small by selecting one skill to focus on each week, such as practicing mindfulness for 10-15 minutes daily or naming three emotions you observe daily. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, as any progress you make is a positive step forward.

More than borderline personality disorder treatment

While DBT was initially developed as a borderline personality disorder treatment, the techniques apply to anyone struggling with emotional sensitivity or volatility. The beauty of DBT is that you can start practicing the skills today and experience real benefits, whether you work in person, with a therapist, or online.

It may take time and dedication, but incorporating mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness into your life is well worth the effort. Stay committed to the process. Keep practicing the skills, no matter how small your progress may feel. Your efforts compound over time, so remain patient yet persistent. Reach out to others for support – family, friends, and mental health professionals.

You have the power to achieve a life with fulfilling relationships, purpose, and peace. The journey may not always be easy, but with DBT by your side, you’ll have the skills and strength to navigate any emotional turbulence that comes your way. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you, or someone you love, is an emotionally sensitive person interested in learning more about Suffolk DBT’s online therapy options for added convenience and anonymity. Remember, there’s always hope and healing on the horizon!

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