People deal with stress and frustration in various ways every day, from traffic jams to friendship or family difficulties. These events, well, can interfere with your mood. If they are ignored or pushed away, they can create emotional dysregulation.
In these situations, Marsha Linehan developed the “Improve skill”, which helps improve the moment and reduces the intensity of emotions in any kind of situation, and enables people to feel more in control of their lives.
How to improve the moment?
You can use this tool anytime you don’t have a solution to the situation at hand. The tool helps you endure distress or frustration without making it worse, ideally to make it better.
- It’s simply out of your control.
- You can’t do anything about it.
- You might feel hurt, helpless, and frustrated because you can’t figure out your problem.
Many people feel like they are constantly in crisis, so using these skills to deal with such feelings and gain confidence is important. There are few distinct components to improving the moment, but not all will work for everyone. So, make your choice based on those that are most meaningful to you.
Let’s start with the imagery..
- Think of a positive, calm place.
- Go there to that positive, calm space.
- And in your mind, You will go there.
- It’s somewhere that you feel peaceful and that will work best for you.
- You can also imagine how you feel.
- Consider what it would be like to go through that Crisis and then get out of it.
- How does it feel and look on you?
- Picture yourself handling frustration with ease.
This helps retrain your brain to visualize the best outcome, even if you first imagined the worst.
In the next step, we’re going to look at the Meaning Exercise.
Understand the current challenge or try to find its meaning to improve.
- Ask yourself what you can learn from this and how this can prepare you for the future.
- This one is called a prayer practice.
- Prayer means becoming aware of the connection between you and the universe.
- It doesn’t have to be the presence of God.
- It could also be asking for guidance from your higher power.
- Replace the word prayer with the word practice if it’s not your cup of tea.
- Practice here refers to doing something in your mind that builds mastery.
You can, for example, recite the lyrics of a song you like.
Or try to visualize a new route to your home.
With practice, you learn how to improve your skill level in that one area that is not too challenging so you will have a sense of accomplishment.
Next, you need to give yourself encouragement.
- Activate your cheerleader side.
- Just talk yourself through it like you would if you were a good friend.
The following examples include “I have gone through many painful experiences before and have survived.”
“This too shall pass.”
“I am strong enough to handle what is happening to me right now.”
Try to relax..
How can you relax and get better at living in the moment when you’re frustrated or angry?
The brain chemistry changes when the body feels different, and that can alter your mood.
- Tune in to soothing music that helps you relax.
- Listen to this guided meditation.
- You can also breathe by focusing your breath on your abdominals.
These activities can calm your nervous system, helping you deal with challenging situations.
Taking a short breath to regroup can do wonders to your nervous system.
If there is a thing we constantly do, everywhere we go, it is breathing. We don’t notice it and yet it keeps us alive.
It’s my favorite exercise partly because it’s so simple and easy to do, but also because it’s so powerful for grounding and improving the moment.
If you are feeling anxious or in panic mode, you breathe.
If you’re distracted by thoughts that you don’t recognize, you can turn your attention back to your breathing and go from there.
So when you’re panicked, just focus on your breath.
Being able to breathe is a natural part of the human body, so going back to it feels like going back to something basic, something familiar, something grounding.
So try using this “Improve the moment” technique the next time you feel out of control.
Friday, February 19, 2021, 00:00 [IST]
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