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 Post subject: Opposite action/emotion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:25 am 
admin goddess from hell
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This is another DBT skill aimed at helping you avoid engaging in harmful or negative thoughts or actions. The concept is simple: do or think the opposite of what it is you want to do or are thinking. With practice it becomes easier. You think, "I've gained so much weight", and you consciously force yourself to reframe that as, "I have been nourishing my body and helping it heal." Or, you want to restrict your dinner, but instead you call and friend and go out somewhere together and eat. It is just as easy...and as hard, as it sounds like. This is a really good description of it:

Quote:
Another Skill for the Toolbox: Opposite to Emotion
February 8th, 2013

A vital part of the recovery process is building a toolbox of coping skills and mechanisms you can draw on when urges come, emotions run high, and returning to old negative behaviors seems the easier way out. One skill I’ve particularly been finding myself using daily, sometimes even moment by moment, stems from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and is called “Opposite to Emotion.”

It’s nothing fancy, and if you take the words literally, you have the skill. Basically, if you are experiencing distressing emotions, you act opposite or do something helpful rather than harmful. This does not mean you suppress emotions, rather, it is used to help regulate and tolerate emotions and experience more positive events and growth.

For example, lately my ‘to do’ list seems to be never ending and I have been extremely overwhelmed. I’ve been experiencing both fear and depression that many mornings I don’t want to get out of bed. My first urge upon awaking has been to pull up the covers and avoid the day. In that moment, I have to use my skills and self-talk to remind myself that ignoring my responsibilities and not taking care of myself will only have more detrimental effects and cause more stress. So, rather than avoiding the day, I take it moment by moment and get myself up, make a list of small steps to accomplish and face the day acting opposite to my fear and depression even though my body and mind might be screaming “no, no, no, no!”

Another example is sticking to my meal plan when all the monster voices in my body and mind want to engage in old negative patterns and behaviors. All I can sometimes hear is “oh, you can skip that meal or snack,” “you ate too much, go get rid of it,” etc. and I have to act oppositely and remind myself that my meal plan is nourishment to my body and without it I would not be able to do the things I love. Sometimes, I have to combine the skills in my toolbox, layering opposite to emotion with distraction or self-soothing actions.

This skill can be extremely helpful with activating the wise mind, so you can create positive events from deregulated emotions. Again, it is not meant to discount emotions! If you are in an unsafe place and experience fear, get out! Don’t own guilt or shame that is not justified. If you need to say you are sorry because you actually did something against your values, apologize. Just remember that even when our emotions run high and everything in us screams “no!” , take a moment to double check the thoughts, feelings, and emotions surrounding them. Before you react, pause and step back to see if it’s an opportunity to act opposite and even begin to take that small baby step toward creating something more positive in its place.

Written by: Faith (Guest Blogwriter)

ED Recovery


So, ummmm, just how do you actually do opposite action/emotion with specific skills? The excerpt below provides examples of actual emotions and opposite actions you can try to counteract the negative urge:

Quote:
Changing Emotions by Acting Opposite to the Current Emotion

FEAR
* Do what you are afraid of doing....OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
* Approach events, places, tasks, activities, people you are afraid of.
* Do things to give yourself a sense of CONTROL and MASTERY.
* When overwhelmed, make a list of small steps or tasks you can do.
* DO the first thing on the list.

GUILT OR SHAME
When guilt or shame is JUSTIFIED (emotion FITS your wise mind values)
* Repair the transgression.
* Say you're sorry, apologize.
* Make things better, do something nice for person you offended (or someone else if that is not possible).
* Commit to avoiding that mistake in the future.
* Accept the consciences gracefully.
* Then let it go.

GUILT OR SHAME
* When guilt or shame is UNJUSTIFIED (emotion DOES NOT fit your wise mind values)
* Do what makes you feel guilty or ashamed....OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
* Approach, don't avoid.

SADNESS OR DEPRESSION
* Get active, approach, don't avoid.
* Do things that make you feel competent and self-confident.

ANGER
* Gently avoid the person you are angry with rather than attacking them (Avoid thinking about him or her rather than ruminating).
* Do something nice rather than mean or attacking.
* Imagine sympathy and empathy for other person rather than blame.

Emotion Regulation Handout 10


Finally, some exercises for you to think about and write about, either in this thread or in your journal on here or privately:

Quote:
Exercises

Can some of you give examples of how you have acted opposite to your current emotion? Can you describe a situation in which it was not appropriate to act opposite to your present emotion?

What do you do when you:
* are angry?
* depressed?
* sad?
* guilty?
* ashamed?
* afraid?
* disappointed?

What are some opposite actions you could take when you have these emotions?

Excerpt from Opposite to Emotion Action

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Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Opposite action/emotion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:30 am 
orange you prolific
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It's kind of funny but I was doing a lot of these things before I read this. Whenever I feel depressed I'm always trying just to go do things anyway and it has seemed to help a lot. If I'm anxious about something I try to make myself do it anyway (sometimes giving myself encouraging pep talks, sometimes at bus stops...out loud). I guess I spent a lot of time doing the opposite, letting myself give in and give up, and it always made things worse.

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Kelly

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Your feelings will not kill you, engaging in disordered behaviors could.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”


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 Post subject: Re: Opposite action/emotion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:05 pm 
admin goddess from hell
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I practice this one, too. I've recently started volunteering for my local candidate in the upcoming provincial election, and I have to actually force myself to get ready and out of the house, ignoring all the excuses my head can come up with, and it's been good. I've been practicing it in other ways and it really works for avoiding dangerous or self-destructive urges.

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Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Opposite action/emotion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Been looking at this this week and I'm finding it a great tool for excuses not to eat or finish something. ..if I hear don't finish that I'm like oh well gosh now i have to. ...

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"We have nothing to fear, but fear itself"


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 Post subject: Re: Opposite action/emotion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:51 pm 
admin goddess from hell
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Perfect use of this skill! Anytime you hear "that" voice telling you something, do the opposite - you rock!

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Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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