DBT Skills: Wise Mind ACCEPTS

During our second Distress Tolerance class, we went over the skill Wise Mind ACCEPTS. ACCEPTS is an acronym for different ways to distract ourselves in times of crisis. I already use some of these skills, but I think, no, I know, I need to put more emphasis on using them.


Distract using ACTIVITIES: A hobby, read, watch a video, listen to music, go for a walk etc.

  • I tend to read, colour, blog, poke around Facebook and watch funny shows to distract me.

Distract by CONTRIBUTING: Volunteer, do something nice for another person, help someone who needs it etc.

  • My volunteering is huge for me. I have been volunteering with the same organization for almost 4 years!

Distract using COMPARISONS: Have you improved from where you were 2 years ago? 4 years ago? (This distraction actually suggests you compare yourself to others who have it worse which I think is horrible. I NEVER want to make myself feel better by thinking, “Well, so-and-so has it worse.”)

  • I readily acknowledge that each year I greatly improve. I am not even close to being the person I used to be!

Distract with EMOTIONS: Get yourself feeling the opposite emotion of what you are feeling by listening to music, reading a book, watching shows that encourage the opposite emotion.

  • I started listening to dance/electronic music years ago because it made me feel happy. The rock music I was listening to usually made me upset so making the switch to music that made me want to dance was a smart move.

Distract by PUSHING AWAY: mentally leave the stressor for awhile, put up a mental wall and come back to it later.

  • I’m not good at this and rarely consider leaving something that is bothering me. I need to work on this.

Distract using THOUGHTS: count, write, do puzzles etc. Anything to distract your thoughts.

  • I should do some of this more!

Distract using SENSATIONS: hold ice to your skin, pet an animal, take a hot/cold shower/bath, listen to music, taste your favourite food etc.

  • I used to take a lot of baths with scented candles lit or bath salts 🙂

8 thoughts on “DBT Skills: Wise Mind ACCEPTS

  1. Well, it’s been long since I’m here. But, it appears to me you are going through something good. By the way this ACCEPT elaboration was worth reading.

    • Why thank you! Minus the comparison part of ACCEPTS I think it’s filled with good strategies. When it comes to distraction the more options you have the better (although maybe that can be overwhelming!).

  2. Pingback: DBT Skills: Urge Surfing | Pride in Madness

  3. Pingback: DBT Skills: The Physical Side of Emotions | Pride in Madness

  4. Pingback: DBT Skills: How does a Distress Tolerance Box work? | Pride in Madness

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