Category: Self-improvement

Learning How to Manage Your Emotions Leads to a Happier Life

Mental and behavioral disorders have links to a person’s emotional sphere. Even when they’re not the main cause of distress, it’s still inevitable that the conditions will affect how a person feels about themselves and other people.

This is why at The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health we focus on helping children, teens, and adults learn how to manage their emotions through dialectic behavior therapy or DBT. Our facility at Westport, Connecticut is equipped with adequate rooms and materials for DBT sessions. We hope that through these interventions, you can learn to be the master of your emotions.

A Focus of Dialectic Behavior Therapy

DBT is therapeutic in nature. Although its first purpose was to treat borderline personality disorder, psychiatrists soon realized its effectiveness for other types of mental and behavioral disorders, like depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse, and PTSD.

In our DBT sessions, you will experience one-on-one therapy or group learning activities, depending on which program you choose. Regardless of the type, though, our entire DBT Program has one goal: to teach practical skills that will make you constantly mindful of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

Strengthen your Mind and Be “Present”

Being a cognitive-behavioral treatment, the key areas that DBT develops in patients is mindfulness. It refers to a person’s awareness of his or her thoughts, emotions, urges, and actions. It is the set of answers to the questions, “What?” and “How?” Think of it as the “collection of data” stage.

Learning this skill enables you to take a step back and look at your circumstance with a clearer eye. Without awareness, it’s not possible to manage — even change — emotions.

Notice that the principle of mindfulness aligns with the rehabilitation process of people dealing with addictions. Before they can do something about their problem, they need to be aware and acknowledge that there is, indeed, an issue to address.

Avoiding Distress is Not the Answer

Psychiatrists and therapists will tell you that the best way to deal with emotions is to accept and tolerate, not avoid them. Tolerance in this respect, however, doesn’t mean letting emotions cloud your decisions. It’s more about accepting that you’re currently in a challenging situation and then choosing to do something about it.

This is distress tolerance, a common approach to mental health treatments. Through DBT, you will learn how to bear negative emotions skillfully.

Managing Emotions: How Do You Do This?

There is a generic answer to this question: when you experience a negative emotion, and you feel the urge to succumb to certain behaviors or addictions, stop and take the opposite action. This is the active and practical application of mindfulness, distress tolerance, and changing emotions. If you master it, you’ll be able to choose the path to happiness over depression, anxiety, anger, and so forth.

It’s not quick or easy to learn how to manage or change emotions. The unwavering support of family and friends, as well as the guidance of experienced therapists who care about you overcoming your disorders, will be of great help.

Allow us to help you succeed in this journey. The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health offers four modes of treatment to accommodate different levels of need. To learn more about these programs, contact us today.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills to Help You Enjoy the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time of joy for many people. Some, however, dread and struggle through this time as the whole holiday experience can be exhausting. While it may not be possible for people to control the situation around them, they can practice individual Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills to navigate through the difficulties of the season and make the holidays enjoyable.

If you want to create a more stress-free and enjoyable season for yourself and others, keep these skills in mind.

Participate

This core mindfulness skill is about completely immersing yourself in what you’re doing at the moment. Practicing this skill allows you to gently let go of distractions so you can get back to who you are during the holiday season.

Always remember that you can participate either in misery or stress or in the various opportunities for joy that the season brings to people.

Build Positive Experience (BPE)

BPE begins with being mindful of positive events happening around you. People sometimes miss opportunities for connection or fun as they drown in their worries and problems. Take advantage of the positives that are possible this season. Some things you can do to build positive experiences are:

  • Watch time-honored films
  • Listen to your favorite holiday music
  • Schedule times for community functions, get-togethers, and other events

Attend to Relationships (A2R)

Relationships are similar to plants. When you do not water them, they wither and die. So, take the time to practice A2R. Send pictures or cards to your loved ones. Alternatively, connect with people by Skype, phone, or in person. The important thing is to let the important people in your life know that they matter to you.

If you believe you need or can benefit from DBT in Westport, CT, schedule a DBT session with The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health. We will work closely with you to create and implement a personalized treatment plan.

Contact us today.

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