DBT Skills: Accumulating Positive Emotions

I am lacking in the positive emotions department right now. How fitting that my Monday DBT class spoke about how we can get those positive emotions in our lives.Β In class, we talked about how accumulating positive emotions can help us when we begin to feel negative emotions come on. By building positive experiences and events NOW we can add positively into our daily lives or have a lot of positive examples to call upon in moments of emotional dysregulation.

Positive Experiences/Events I Can Do NOW!

  • Read a book
  • Listen to calming music
  • Use my anti-stress body spray/pillow mist
  • Call/text a friend
  • Invite a friend over or go out with a friend
  • Watch a favourite movie
  • Go for a walk
  • Make my favourite meal

This list is similar to what I would do to distract myself, but the difference is that these experiences and activities are done all the time. We should have positivity in our lives every day. Having positive experiences makes the bad moments more bearable or they will happen less often.

I am committing to doing at least one thing each day that will help me accumulate positive emotions! Today I went and saw a movie with B. I really enjoyed the movie and the time we spent together.


20 thoughts on “DBT Skills: Accumulating Positive Emotions

    • Thank you! I am understanding the skills, I’m just finding practicing them really difficult right now because I am in “lay in bed all day” kind of mood. But I’m at work so there’s some Opposite Action for you πŸ˜›

  1. There are a couple of suggestions I would add to your list. You have never mentioned having a pet and what time of day it builds up. If you do not have a pet you already mentioned going for a walk, window shop at a mall and if you like animals go look at the types you like. Some light exercise, even just jumping jacks and light punches and kicks with some stretching is good. IDK what kind of phone you have but if you have a smart phone there are free yoga and white noise apps. They are very peaceful and could be added to what you already do.

    • I do not currently have my cat living with me, but I am thinking of bringing her to live with me again and see if she’s happy (she’s been living with my family and two other cats for over a year). Thank you for the other suggestions! Doing some of the things I’ve wanted, like yoga, have been difficult because I do not have reliable internet connection so downloading or watching things just isn’t happening πŸ˜›

      • As far as the yoga and white noise app if you have a smart phone, just install them. If you have a mac you can go to the apple store and dl them. If you have a pc look them up and dl them. Once you have them, no matter how many tried or time it takes you do not require internet as they are programs.

  2. This is a good idea. I know several people in my support team have told me to do this. My Pysch told me that every day I should do one thing I “should” do, whether it’s clean or shower, or write a birthday card, or pay a bill, one thing to move forward with my goals or recovery, like meditate, book a specialist appointment, see my therapist, look for courses etc, and one thing that makes me happy. For a long time I was doing that and I had a great sense of achievement every day and somewhere along the line I’ve stopped doing that. This post has inspired me to restart that because I do need that sort of guidance/routine at the moment πŸ™‚

    • So glad you are going to start doing it again! My teachers gave great examples of how practicing this skill has now become a part of their routine. I have done this before but not consistently and not as a buffer against negative emotions. It’s something I did when I was already feeling upset. We deserve a bit of happiness every day πŸ™‚

  3. i just found your blog while searching for discussion around ‘welcome to me.’ thank you for posting! i appreciate your candidness, thoughtfulness, and skills sharing. I have BPD and this is blog very validating and helpful. Thank you πŸ™‚

    • I am so glad you found help from my blog! That’s why I started it πŸ™‚

      you brought up Welcome to Me and I thought you may find one of my experiences with the film interesting. I watched the film by myself and enjoyed it. I could relate to a few things but Alice is definitely her own person πŸ˜› I believe that I should start writing and reading from prepared statements. My partner watched the movie recently, by himself, and when I asked him what he thought of it, he said that the movie was sad. I was a little taken back because I found the movie funny and on the positive side. I asked him why he thought it was sad and he said, “Because she can’t control her emotions.” I began to point out the progress Alice made throughout the movie but he was very focused on the fact that she had difficulty controlling her emotions. I felt that his view was very reflective of how many see mental health issues in general, as always being bad. Alice did demonstrate great personal growth at the end of the film and that is reflective of our personal experiences as well πŸ™‚

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