Managing Stress with DBT-STOP Skill
Emotions come in waves. There are times when feelings can be overwhelming. During a stressful day, when you are feeling elevated, utilize the DBT skill STOP. Stopping involves taking a step back, observing what is happening, and choosing to proceed mindfully. It is easier said than done, stepping back involves taking a break from what you are doing, or pausing.
When you hit pause, take the time to observe. Observing involves sitting with our emotions and understanding the sensations in our body. In a way when we observe, we think of ourselves as a fly on the wall. Instead of passing a judgment about what is going on, the goal is to see the situation clearly and look at the facts. Observing also includes steering away from subjective assessment. It involves taking the facts of a situation and bearing your emotions in mind.
The last step is proceeding mindfully. Proceeding mindfully involves taking what is observed, keeping your goals in mind and bridging the gap between your rational mind and emotional mind, in other words it is activating your wise mind. When your wise mind is activated, think about what you would like to get from the situation at hand and whether the emotions that you feel fit the circumstances. When you utilize the STOP skill, think about the outcome of your actions and your goals. You can ask yourself, what would I like to get from this situation? What are my goals? What can I do that could make this situation better or worse?
In other words, proceeding mindfully involves emotional regulation, staying calm and collected when you have gathered all the information internally and externally about how it can impact your goals.
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