Intrusive Thoughts and Obsessive Thought Loops

What’s an intrusive thought? An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.* We all have intrusive thoughts, although it’s something we don’t talk about because of embarrassment, shame, and well, guilt. They range from things like wanting to break everything when you’re walking by the dishes in Target, thinking you have a deadly disease because your stomach hurts, or replaying an event in your head over and over again. There are darker intrusive thoughts too. Thoughts like hurting the people you care about, even your kids, or going over a bridge and wanting to drive your car off of it – can you believe that those thoughts are normal and lots of people have them? Seriously! Brains are weird. Most people have those fleeting thoughts, and that’s all they are – fleeting.…

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Distress Tolerance: Self-Soothing

I first heard of self-soothing as it relates to small children but a few years ago as I started practicing DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) I also learned that it’s a skill we need to cultivate as an adult. Making ourselves feel better is a pretty underrated talent. DBT focuses on four main things, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Distress tolerance is how we learn to bring ourselves down from super strong emotions. I used to have such strong spikes of emotion. My moods would go from 0 to 100 almost instantly. Anger, sadness, depression, overwhelm – one minute I’m fine and then something (usually) little happens and suddenly I’m feeling all of the feels. Distress tolerance is about bringing those feelings back down to a manageable level so that you’re able to deal with them without being destructive or lashing out. It’s essential to know how to self-soothe.…

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Why I love DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a behavioral treatment that was created to treat Borderline Personality Disorder but is now being used to treat a whole host of mental illnesses. It’s a therapy that is designed to help you change thought patterns and so much more. It teaches you how to re-program your brain and I’ve found it to be extremely helpful in whatever ways I’m trying to improve myself. It’s definitely on my list of self-care. Personally, I think it’s something that we should all learn just because it teaches us really good coping skills. My anxiety workbook, Breathe, heavily focuses on the different points of DBT to help with anxiety. Here are the four main points of DBT. Mindfulness: How to be in the moment instead of what happened a month ago/ year ago/ decade ago. Focus on the present and separating yourself from past baggage. Don’t let how you were…

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