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 🙂