Distress Tolerance

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: IMPROVE

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) teaches a lot of coping skills to help with stressful or emotionally trying situations. Which is why I reference some of those skills in my anxiety workbook Breathe.

This skill is called IMPROVE the Moment and gives us a list of things to try when we’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and emotionally overloaded.

It’s super easy to do and incredibly effective!

*This is my interpretation so it might look a little different than what you usually see!

Here’s how we IMPROVE the moment.

Imagery: Do a guided meditation. Imagine a safe space. Visualize things going well for you and having a positive outcome.

Meaning: What are you learning from the situation you’re going through? Or what *can* you learn? How is the experience helping you grow? What positives can come from what you’re going through?

Pause: Give yourself a few moments to take a deep breath. Get in touch with yourself and where you are right now in the moment. Pray or meditate or just close your eyes and listen to nature.

Relax: Your muscles, your mind, and yourself. Pay attention to where you are holding tension. Unclench your jaw. Give yourself a massage, yoga, or a nice long bath.

One Thing at a Time: Stay in the present moment. Focus on what’s in front of you. Organize your tasks and start from the top.

Vacation: Take a deep breath. Do something that releases your tension. Stand up and shake it off, physically. Take 15 minutes just for you.

Encouragement: Practice positive self-talk. Be kind to yourself. Tell yourself that you’re doing an awesome job. Be your own cheerleader.