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Accumulating positives can build happiness

Her model promotes learning and practicing skills that help people tolerate distress, regulate their emotions and negotiate relationships effectively.

Accumulating positives can build happiness

POSTED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015 4:30 AM
Sound Mind / By Deidre Ashley

When we think about mental health there tends to be a lot of focus on solving problems or reducing symptoms of depression or anxiety. We work on taking care of ourselves by getting the proper amount of sleep and exercise, eating right, taking medications, reducing conflict and reducing stress to ease uncomfortable symptoms.

While those are all key pieces of mental and physical well-being, it is also prudent to avoid overlooking the importance of creating happiness. In an effort to protect ourselves from stress or hurt we sometimes inadvertently create barriers to happiness. We turn our attention to schedules, structures, ideals and things.

Marsha Linehan created a type of therapy — called dialectical behavior therapy — that works on both sides for true mental health. Her model promotes learning and practicing skills that help people tolerate distress, regulate their emotions and negotiate relationships effectively.

Originally the therapy was designed for people dealing with intensive behavior problems — people who were harming themselves, for example, or thinking about suicide. Now the therapy is used for a variety of issues. And it provides good general guidelines for anyone.

Dialectical behavior therapy uses components of cognitive behavior therapy, which explores connections between thoughts, feelings and behavior to change unhelpful patterns of thinking and alter how you feel. The dialectical behavior therapy model combines the components of cognitive behavior therapy with mindfulness to build an awareness of the issues and cultivate a focus on being present in the moment. While many of the skills taught are centered on problem solving, dialectical behavior therapy also emphasizes building a life worth living.

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1 comment to Accumulating positives can build happiness

  • I read this full article. I agree with the writer. I am a Borderline. I have participated in DBT for about a year, two times a week, along with emotions management, anger management group therapy, and one on one psychotherapy. I have learned many skills to help myself regulate my emotions. But the workplace continues to be a serious challenge for me. I was fired from my job of fifteen years last October, 2014 for the continual outbursts and dysregulated emotions I exhibited from co-workers silently, arcanely, secretly harassing me. Co-workers and management knew, they dam well knew how to get rises out of me. They were conscious of my weaknesses and they were conscious of their motives. However, I was to blame because I was and am a Christian woman, and I allowed satan to control me. That is the bottom line. So, the Lord spanked me and permitted my employer to fire me. He also compelled my employer to re-hire me this January, 2015. I was put in a new location, with different people. But you see, it’s the same old satan scratching at my weaknesses. Ugh. I get so frustrated with this manure. I have acquired a new set of effective coping skills. My thoughts and my mindset fervently desire to be strong and faithful and courageous in relying not only on those secular skills, but especially dependent upon the Holy Spirit controlling my mind, my thoughts, my behaviors. I pray for it all the time. But the natural woman in me is to fight, not flight. And it is a constant battle and struggle every stinking day. I realize many readers of my reply do not believe in GOD, the Creator; that’s your choice, but I DO, and HE’s the only ONE I got to answer to, and the ONE who put DBT in my life, and HE’s the only ONE going to save my soul. Peace.

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