Another great way to distract yourself from pain is to put your attention on someone else. Here are some examples. Check (…) the ones you’re willing to do, and then add any activities that you can think of!
Do something for someone else. Call your friends and ask if they need help doing something, such as a chore, grocery shopping, or housecleaning. Ask your parents, grandparents, or siblings if you can help them with something. Tell them you’re feeling bored and you’re looking for something to do. Call up someone you know and offer to take them out to lunch. Go outside and give money to the first needy person you see. If you can plan ahead for moments like these when you’re overwhelmed with pain, call your local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or volunteer organization. Plan to participate in activities that help other people. Join a local political activities group, environmental group, or other organization, and get involved helping other people.
Take your attention off yourself. Go to a local store, shopping center, bookstore, or park. Just sit and watch other people or walk around among them. Watch what they do. Observe how they dress. Listen to their conversations. Count the number of buttons they’re wearing on their shirts. Observe as many details about these other people as you can. Count the number of people with blue eyes versus the number of people with brown eyes. When your thinking returns to your own pain, refocus on the details of the people you’re watching.
Think of someone you care about. Keep a picture of them in your wallet or in your purse. This could be your husband, wife, parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, children, or friend, or it could be someone else you admire, such as Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Jesus, the Dalai Lama, Ganesha, and so on. It could even be a movie star, an athlete, or someone you’ve never met. Then, when you’re feeling distressed, take out the picture and imagine a healing, peaceful conversation you would have with that person if you could talk to them at that moment when you’re feeling hurt. What would they say to you that would help make you feel better? Imagine them saying those words to you.
Other 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