Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a great way of combating the roots of mental health issues. It deals with holding two seemingly black and white truths at the same time. That these two ideas can be true at the same exact time. That when viewing a hurtful or harmful situation you can see that there is more than one true way to see it. By examining the issues from different points of view you can come to a better conclusion, one that views things holistically.
Things that seem opposite to us can also be true at the same time. Such as being angry at your parents and loving them at the same time. Things as wanting to move out of your family of origins house and needing their emotional support. This form of black and white thinking can cause us to be at war with ourselves within our minds and we begin to spin out of control. Yet we can alleviate this by mindfulness. I will discuss mindfulness practices in the latter half of this post.
The view that all people have something worthy to teach us is very important. People have different minds and unique ideas of how they view the world. That is why it is important to not spend your time with like-minded people. When you are introduced to a variety of ideologies it exposes your brain to a plethora of new ways to express yourself. That is probably why during the earlier stages of my life I practiced Buddhism, Mormonism, and Hinduism. I really was more of a spiritualist than a religious person. But through these different practices I was able to find what I know to be absolute truth.
We also must remember that people have to live in the uncomfortable and comfortable parts of life. That when we are scared of the uncomfortable parts of life we stifle the comforts of life. An example of this would be fear of rejection and avoiding or not nurturing the friendships that you have. With dialectical thinking there is always truth and fallacy within ones thinking. In order to practice this type of thinking we have to let go of the “all or nothing” mindset we have created or the “black and white” ideas we have succumbed to believing.
Mindfulness is a very important part of allowing yourself to heal from your mental health issues. It allows you to process the ideas that you are feeling by actuality and intentionality. Some things that shows that you may want to thinking about is feelings of self-harm, compulsive, suicidal idealization, or running away. I say this not as a professional but someone who has struggled with these thoughts and actions as a “normality.”
Observation is an important part of mindfulness. Things that you can do are the following. Set a piece of peppermint candy on your tongue and let it melt away. Notice the flavor and the feelings that it gives you. These sensations are meant to ground you. Allow yourself to feel your own feelings. Sit with them and allow them to wash over you. In this space you are allowed to feel these things. It is peaceful and you are exhibiting self-control.
Describing what you are feeling through journaling it is a great way of dealing with anger. I know from experience that anger is something that washes over me and I can feel it coming on without control sometimes. It has allowed me to say and do damaging actions. This is why we need to practice mindfulness as a form of emotional regulation. When describing to another person make sure that you are avoiding emotional words and speaking factual. Such as saying, “This is just a thought” or “This is just a feeling.”
Participation in activities. Get lost in something that you are wanting to learn and do. Allow yourself to be natural. To be naturally who you are. Do not engage in the noise around you, but allow the white nose around you to naturally drown you in time. We are gradually changing into the people we want to be through acceptance and that is Self-Management. We are able to regulate our emotions through the tough work.
Having a Wise Mind:
Your wise mind is a combination of the emotional and the reasonable mind. The two of them on their own can cause interpersonal dysregulation by negatively impacting your mood and your ability to stay in self-management. The emotional brain has some beautiful impacts on your personality. Such as opinions of the world around you that shape your world view. Strong emotions drive strong behavior sometimes unhelpful and distressing behavior can come about through the emotional brain as well. Yet having an emotional brain allows us to be soft and malleable. The reasonable mind is intellectual and scientific sometimes over rationalizing the emotions the emotional brain contributes. We ignore the emotions that are coming up by trying to think factually not using a heart check. Although the reasonable brain is where we think we would want to be it is also a part of us the neglects to take in problems when we are afflicted by someone’s wrongdoing. The reasonable brain also allows us to stay calm in problems and asking questions geared toward solving problems. This is easy for us- only when our emotional and reasonable mind are synchronized into the wise brain. This adds intuitive brainstorming and analysis of the emotional distress that you are dealing with. Wise brain also allows us to feel calm amidst the storm. You have to come to the idea of your needs being met through the wise brain. You are ensuring that your reasonable mind has many truths that it can perceive and the emotional mind needs to be soothed. You may be able to ask yourself through the wise mind what is a appropriate approach to the situation. How are you able to confirm that what you are doing will help you in the future. It allows us to understand what we are about to discuss and go through without catastrophic thinking. Catastrophic thinking is usually when you are ignoring the reasonable mind and focusing only on the problems and how they are making you feel. Hence you must enable yourself to focus on the mindfulness that was discussed above.