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 18 The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook 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
- RADICAL ACCEPTANCE
- 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
- SAFE-PLACE VISUALIZATION
- CUE-CONTROLLED RELAXATION
- REDISCOVER YOUR VALUES
- SELF-ENCOURAGING COPING THOUGHTS
- TAKE A TIME-OUT
- LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
- IDENTIFY YOUR HIGHER POWER
- ADVANCED RADICAL ACCEPTANCE