Counting is a simple skill that can really keep your mind busy and help you focus on something other than your pain.
Here are some examples.
Check (…) the ones you’re willing to do, and then add any activities that you can think of:
(…) Count your breaths. Sit in a comfortable chair, put one hand on your belly, and take slow, long breaths. Imagine breathing into your stomach instead of your lungs. Feel your belly expand like a balloon with each inhalation. Start counting your breaths. When you inevitably start thinking about whatever it is that’s causing you pain, return your focus to counting.
(…) Count anything else. If you’re too distracted by your emotions, simply count the sounds that you’re hearing. This will take your attention outside of yourself. Or try counting the number of cars that are passing by, the number of sensations that you’re feeling, or anything else you can put a number on, such as the branches of a tree you’re looking at.
(…) Count or subtract by increments of seven. For example, start with one hundred and subtract seven. Now take that answer and subtract seven more. Keep going. This activity will really distract you from your emotions because it requires extra attention and concentration.
(…) Other counting ideas: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Distress Tolerance Skills:
DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILLS
DISTRACT YOURSELF FROM SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIORS
DISTRACT YOURSELF WITH PLEASURABLE ACTIVITIES
DISTRACT YOURSELF BY PAYING ATTENTION TO SOMEONE ELSE
DISTRACT YOUR THOUGHTS
DISTRACT YOURSELF BY LEAVING
DISTRACT YOURSELF WITH TASKS AND CHORES
DISTRACT YOURSELF BY COUNTING
CREATE YOUR DISTRACTION PLAN
RELAX AND SOOTHE YOURSELF
Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Smell
Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Touch
Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Taste
Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Hearing
Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Vision
Self-Soothing – CREATE A RELAXATION PLAN
Advanced Distress Tolerance Skills:
Advanced Distress Tolerance Skills: Improve the Moment
REDISCOVER YOUR VALUES
SELF-ENCOURAGING COPING THOUGHTS
TAKE A TIME-OUT
LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
IDENTIFY YOUR HIGHER POWER
ADVANCED RADICAL ACCEPTANCE