DBT Skills that are Helpful to Me

Hello everybody. The last several weeks I have really been struggling with my mental health and I thought now was a good time to pull out of my tool box some of the DBT skills that have been helpful to me in the past.


Engaging in activities such as hobbies, talking to friends, playing games, walking, cleaning, reading and watching movies/tv.

Contributing to others through volunteer work, gift making/giving, random acts of kindness.

Comparing myself to others. Realizing that yes, things are hard for me, but they could always be worse. Watching reality shows is one way this helps me.

Using opposite emotions. Whatever my emotion I try to do something that focusing on something different. For example: when sad watching or reading a comedy or Using certain songs as Power Anthems to get through angry moments.

Pushing things away for a time until I am more able to deal with it.

Using other thoughts. Watching something, counting, really any random form of distraction.

Using other intense sensations. Stress balls, and other things I can fidget with.


Vision – Flowers, candles, nature.

Hearing – music, nature sounds, singing.

Smell – scented lotion, candles and essential oils in diffuser.

Taste – favorite foods, iced coffee, hot tea.

Touch – Bubble bath, cuddling up on weighted blanket. Petting my cats, using lotion, cold compress on forehead.

Improving the Moment

Imagery – Imagining safe and relaxing places. For me I like to imagine going and spending time in “The Secret Garden”

Meaning – finding and creating a purpose for the pain.

Prayer – turning things over to God.

Relaxation – relaxing muscle tensions, breathing deeply, listening to relaxing music.

One thing in the moment – Focusing my entire attention to one thing I’m doing in the moment.

Brief vacation – napping, taking a breather from life’s stress.

Encouragement – Cheerleading myself. “You’ve got this” “remember to be kind to yourself”

These are just a few examples from my DBT handouts that are helpful to me. I hope they can be helpful to others as well!

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