Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SKILL: Breaking it down


Life can be overwhelming. Moments pile upon one another and before you know it, you can feel as though you are buried so far beneath the surface that happiness is no longer near enough to you to touch. When mental illness is added to the mix it can be downright debilitating. Paralyzing in fact. What to do?

As many of you know, DBT is designed to get you out of that mud and back to the surface where you can be happy and fulfilled. Sometimes the journey seems too far, the path too difficult and the mountain too high. I personally can attest to that feeling. A specific skill comes to mind:


The skill of small steps, broken down to become more manageable is the key here. Once you take things in smaller, measurable, steps; you will feel less overwhelmed-more successful and ready to keep working!

Here is how it works: Take your day or week or "to-do" list that tends to get put on the back burner because, after-all, you are so overwhelmed with just breathing you haven't the time for anything else. Pick one thing on that list, just one and do it. Do it now if you can. Then, pat yourself on the back and don't pick up that list again until tomorrow. Push the idea of that list out of your mind until tomorrow. Not even giving it a second thought. This way anxiety isn't allowed to build and you can have clear, mindful thoughts during the day - knowing that you have accomplished something today! When tomorrow comes, you do it again. Picking just one thing and doing it. Again, push the list out of your mind until the following day. Do this day-by-day until your list is fulfilled. Chances are, things will get added to the bottom of your list, but that is OK - because those items are for the next days accomplishments!

For those that are more adept at this, you may choose to do 2 items, or a multi-part item. But the idea is that you breath, relax and relish in the accomplishments of today. Small steps. Celebrate each step that you make, because that is the fuel to make the next step. Don't look to the height of the mountain or the length of the journey, look only to the next step. That way you will relieve yourself of the burden of being overwhelmed and you will experience the peace that comes with accomplishment.

Give it a try and come share your experience! We'd love to hear from you. :)

~MJ



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