Posted by Willful on May 25, 2011, at 10:24:00
In reply to Re: vacation anxiety » Willful, posted by floatingbridge on May 24, 2011, at 16:40:28
I was compressing a lot of information into a few words, so I'm sure it was my description that was too shorthand.
Dbt gives you many suggestions for handling painful, disruptive and destructive emotions-- Part of the idea is that each time you manage or regulate the feelings better, you strengthen your ability to do it the next time. Eventually you become skillful and also confident enough that that the overall suffering in your life is lightened, because you will start using these techniques more successfully and also become more capable of not being overwhelmed by negative thoughts and feelings.
One of the techniques is deep breathing, or focusing on where in the body you feel the pressure,tension, tightness or pain, and then using relaxation (or meditation) to relax and often to accept the pain,, which is often made worse by thoughts that emotions that accompany it.
It focuses on how to let go of, or change negative emotions and thoughts. For example-- one one page, it says,
I "Experience your emotion-- as a wave, coming and going;-- try not to block emotion;-- don't try to get rid of emotion, --don't push it away--don't try to keep emotion around--don't hold onto it-- dont' amplify it---
II Practice Mindfulness of emotion of body sensations --notice where in body you are feeling emotional sensations;--experience the sensations as fully as possible--observe how long it takes before the emotion goes down--
III Remember you are not your emotion Do not necessarily act on your emotion;--Remember times you have felt different
IV Practice loving your emotion--do not judge your emotion;--practice willingness--radically accept your emotion.
--- ~~~These are all skills that the book has explained in greater depth and the group practices in homework assignments over time, so each phrase refers to a set of practices that we have learned and tried. I know it's very hard to follow if you haven't done some of the exercises and reading. But I wanted to give it as an example of how the book teaches you skills, and then tries to help you with ideas about how to respond with "self-soothing"-- within yourself, when you're assailed by these painful or disabling emotions. Each phrase refers a skill. the book just has lots and lots of ideas about how to become more capable of responding to anxiety states and avoidant states.
This is just one set of techniques or "emotion-regulation" skills that you can use in this "COPING AHEAD"-- which I was mentioning. I will try to explain these later-- it really is not very hard, if I can explain it right.
The idea is taken from buddhism, in which you can't remove pain from life, but you can reduce suffering-- which is the additional pain that we inflict on yourselves because we can't or won't accept the pain or losses, or disappointments of life-- and begin to blame ourselves or others, or to become frightened, or angry at the way things really are (when they aren't the way we want them to be).
Coping ahead though uses skills like the ones above to try to cope with fearful or dreading predictions about how a future event will go-- in my case, for example, I got over my fear of flying enough so I can now go to places I could never before have imagined visiting. And it can help with the fear you project into the future about how events will go-- especially like in your case, when you kind of know that it really will go okay when you actually get there.
Thanks very much for your kind words, fb. I really appreciate them. (sorry for such a long post)