IMPROVE the Moment
If you follow us on Instagram (which you should… @smithpsychotherapygroup) then you would know that this week’s DBT skill is dedicated to distress tolerance! In Tuesday’s post, we introduced the acronym IMPROVE. Each letter in this acronym stands for a tool that can help you manage stressful situations. This blog will dive deeper into each of those meanings. Let’s get to it!
Imagery: Use your imagination to create a different reality that feels more comfortable and stable. In order to do this, you need to incorporate the use of all your five senses. Here are some examples of using imagery:
Imagine being on the beach
Imagine your ideal self
Listen to guided imagery
Meaning: This skill helps you find a purpose or meaning for what is happening to you. By doing this, the crisis can become more manageable. Here’s some mantras to help you practice this tool:
“Going through this will make me a strong person.”
“Having this experience will help me understand others.”
“This will help me learn new skills.”
Prayer: Prayer can mean something to everyone, but the biggest objective of this skill is to connect to something greater than yourself. This can look like:
Saying a religious prayer
Reading about your astrology
Relaxation: Yep, just as simple as it sounds! Make your body feel cool, calm, and collected. This will help decrease your racing thoughts and allow you to think more clearly!
Take a walk
Cuddle with a pet
One Thing at a Time: Remind yourself to focus on one thing...you do not have to take on everything all at once!
Ask yourself, “What’s important now?”
Make a list and go task by task
Vacation: aka Take a break! Make sure you have a good work/life balance...do not get stuck in your day-to-day routine and forget to have some fun! Take a day to…
Go to a new restaurant with friends
Have a spa day
Do a new art project
Encouragement: You are your own cheerleader. Root for yourself during the good and bad times! Self encouragement can look like…
Make a list of your positive qualities
Listen to a song that hypes you up
Remind yourself of your value
So, next time you encounter a stressful situation, which is bound to happen, IMPROVE the moment with these skills!
Source: "Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training with Adolescents" by Jean Eich PsyD, LP