While I wait to be put into a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy specific program, I've been putting a ton of time into self-help books about DBT specifically, and other things related. I'm currently knee deep into The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook which teaches practical DBD exercises for learning mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation and stress tolerance. This is where I learned the below technique. ------ So, you're feeling like you're about to explode. Something happened to trigger a mood. You're mad, sad, anxious and about to freak out and do some unhealthy shit. Time to REST. R- Relax E- Evaluate S- Set an intention T- Take Action Changing any behavioural habit is hard. Just try your best to remember that you WANT to do something differently; the way things have been aren't working. Collapsing into yourself, exploding, self harm and spiraling into your other unhealthy reactions is, simple, not good for you or for anyone else. In those moments, unless you're prepared or mindful, you might not even remember that you had planned to do something differently. The first step is to not act impulsively. Put down the cell phone and delete the wall of text, close the tabs of online shopping you're using to fill the void, don't make the plan to go drink or smoke up or whatever to numb yourself. REST. Relax. The first step is so relax. Stop what you're doing. Freeze. Take a breath. Just pause. This is an act of stepping away from the situation briefly to gather a different perspective. Remind yourself then that you have an opportunity to behave differently. Create some space between yourself and your desire to act out impulsively. I like to audibly tell myself to stop and chill out. For some reason, being audible with myself helps a lot. Evaluate. Ask yourself what's happening in this situation. Ask yourself to look at the facts. Just a quick evaluation! Remember that you don't have to figure it all out, you don't have to do an in-depth analysis of why you're feeling how you do, and you don't even have to solve the problem immediately. Just do your best to get a general sense of what's occurring. Set an Intention. Set an intention to do something. A target, goal or plan of what you're going to do. It could be something away from the problem at hand, a self-care thing, a distraction etc. It could be something that's going towards solving the problem if you feel ready to. Ie. sending a text to someone outside of the problem to have them help you evaluate and navigate your negative thinking in order to gain an outside perspective. Whatever you choose to do, it doesn't have to be the final or best solution to the problem right now, but it will need to be something healthy that will help you cope. Take Action. Finally, take action and put your plan into motion. Proceed mindfully! Act slowly and with awareness. Whatever your intention, do it now as calmly and as effectively as you can. I know it seems like a lot to do and it's something I still struggle with terribly. Wen you're under overwhelming negative emotions, those few moments can seem impossible, but they're not! It all starts with a single breath. I believe in you. Shay xo.