BLOG: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills
Guest Writer: Revna Ozdamar
Accumulating positives is a DBT skill that reduces vulnerability to difficult emotions and creates a barrier between you and feeling overwhelmed. Increase your pleasant experiences by building positives. Building positives refers to increasing positive emotions.
Do one pleasant event per day. Positive events can be anything of your choice examples include reading, gardening, taking a bubble bath. Create a list of things that bring you joy and practice these activities for 25-30 days. While accumulating positives, be present, and immerse yourself fully in a chosen activity. If you get distracted and worry starts to take over your experience refocus.
Refocus your attention on pleasant events and participate fully. Be present with what you are doing. Be unmindful of worrying; do not destroy positive experiences by thinking about when they will end? Acknowledge and release these thoughts.
Another way to accumulate positives is to focus on something good that happens every day. Be mindful of your positive experiences. Journaling and keeping a gratitude journal is a great practice. Accumulating positives, in the long run, requires a different skill set.
Accumulating Positives: Long-Term
Avoid-avoiding. There is a natural tendency to procrastinate on tasks that do not spark joy. Avoiding problems builds up stress and activates your emotional mind. Practice makes perfect, the more you flex your mindfulness skills and address agenda items the better you will feel. Another way to build positives in the long-term is to live a life in alignment with your values, goals, and aspirations.
Identify your goals, aspirations, and values and build a life around them. Examples include improving relationships, ending destructive ones, and spending time working on your goals and dreams.
Accumulating positives takes time and practice. Building a life worth living is a journey and experiencing positive events daily is a component of it. Baby steps pave the way for greater self-awareness and self-discovery. Creating a working list of positive activities takes time and patience. I invite anyone who is embarking on this journey to also practice gentleness. It takes time to build a life that matches your values.