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About Sayu

  • Birthday 10/18/1991

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  1. Flodearnley, I'm glad you found it helpful! Isn't it amazing how we subconsciously do so many things to calm ourselves without even realizing it?
  2. Oh wow. I've been away from AS for a good while and I didn't realize how many people would find this helpful. I'm glad that you all like the suggestions.
  3. I apologize for not responding earlier. I'm glad that you all like the resource. Copper, I really like your methods of self soothing also; especially distracting your thoughts by focusing on details of an object and how you'd replicate them.
  4. Other Crisis Survival Strategies Meaning: Find or create some purpose, meaning, or value in the pain. If you must endure this stress (and/or pain), what lesson(s) might you learn from it? Focus on whatever positive aspects of a painful situation you can find. Repeat them over and over in your mind. Make lemonade out of lemons. Prayer: Open your heart to a supreme being, greater wisdom, God. Ask for strength to bear the pain in this moment. Turn things over to God or a higher being. Encouragement (Positive Self-Talk): Cheerlead yourself. Repeat over and over: “I can stand it,” “It won’t last forever,” “I will make it out of this,” “I’m doing the best I can do.” Thinking of PROS and CONS: Make a list of the pros and cons of tolerating the distress. Make another list of the pros and cons of not tolerating the distress ---that is, of coping by destructive behavior (such as hurting yourself, abusing alcohol or drugs, or doing something else impulsive). Focus on long-term goals, the light at the end of the tunnel. Remember times when that pain has ended. Think of the positive consequences of tolerating the distress. Imagine in your mind how good it will feel if you achieve your goals, if you don’t act impulsively.Think of all of the negative consequences of not tolerating your current distress. Remember what has happened in the past when you have acted impulsively to escape the moment. Source: Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder by Marsha Linehan. 1993. The Guilford Press.
  5. Self-Soothing: When you feel distressed, find a way to sooth yourself. Don’t wait for others to soothe you, although you may want to think about people you can call on to soothe you later. The more things you can think of to do and practice in any given moment the better, since it’s unrealistic to expect that others always will be available when you need them. To self-soothe you will want to use activities that engage in one or more of the five senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch (Linehan 1993). Vision Think about all the things you can do or think you can do, or find yourself interested in making accessible to you. Focus on using your sense of sight to see your beauty, peaceful scenes, and art. Create order (organize) your living and work space to reduce any visual chaos or stress. Organize your room to reduce visual chaosHang pictures on your wallsBuy/look at beautiful painting, print, or posterLook at nature (trees, plants, rivers, ponds)Look at photo books or magazinesLook at a fountainWatch the sunrise or sunsetWatch a thunderstorm Hearing With the emphasis on soothing, you want to find sounds that relax you, calm you, or reassure you. Heavy metal may be great for distraction but for self-soothing you want chamber music or ballads. Listen to classical music or mellow musicBuy a “noise” machine with nature soundsPlay a musical instrumentSing to yourselfListen to relaxation or meditation tapesListen to affirmation tapesListen to books on CDTurn on a fan, air purifier, or anything else that makes white noiseHum a tuneWhistleCall a friendCall a toll-free line to hear a human voiceRead out loud Smell Either fill your environment with delicious or beautiful smells, or, if you can’t do that then take yourself somewhere that you can experience smells that bring delight. You may find smells that trigger positive memories or that will likely help you relax. Rub scented oil or lotion over your bodySmell fresh laundryBake fresh bread or browniesSpray air freshener around your roomPut on cologne or perfumeWash your hair with fruit scented shampooNotice the smell of freshly cut grass; smell flowersUse flameless scented candlesGo to wooded areas and notice the smells Touch Remember that you’re human, and as a human you need touch like everyone else. Touch is very nurturing and it triggers endorphins to release in your body, giving you a sense of well-being and connection to others. Touch is a form of communication and can be social, but if you are alone there are strategies to use as well. Go for a swimTake a long and luxurious bathPut clean sheets on your bed and climb inPut on silk pajamas or underwearTake a long hot showerNotice how the wind feels blowing across your faceMassage your hand, foot, arm, or legRub your temples and foreheadSquish your toes in mudWalk barefoot through sand, mud, or grassTaste When you’re feeling distressed, it’s wise to avoid too much sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Sugar or caffeine can make you edgy, and alcohol can impair your judgment and impulse control, making you vulnerable to the negative emotional stage you might be experiencing. So pay attention to your needs, your body, and your medical issues. Know what will soothe you instead of trigger you. Slowly eat your favorite food, savoring every biteSlowly drink a warm drink, feeling its warmth entering youEat hot toastEat peppermint or cinnamon candy, slowlyDrink chocolate milk or warm milkChew your favorite gum, or try a new oneHave heated water with lemon squeezed into itDrink herbal teaHave a bowl of your favorite soupEat ice cream or make and ice cream sundae
  6. Distractions: “Setting Aside” Thoughts Use your imagination or thoughts to interrupt your current thoughts if they are distressing, or are restarting intense negative emotion. Telling yourself that your problems will still be around later may make this easier (in case you’re worried they will disappear). Cut yourself some slack for now. You don’t have to worry about your worries not being around to worry about. Give yourself a break from troubles. Mentally leave your distressing situationIntentionally block out distressing thoughtsThink about pleasant thingsRemember happier timesThink about people who have been kind to youThink about an activity you enjoyBuild an imaginary wall between yourself & the problemImagine that you’re in a beautiful location, surrounded by lush trees and bright flowersPut your problems in an imaginary box and place that box on an imaginary shelfThink about future plans for school, family, work, marriage, ect Energize Your thinking Use other thoughts to crowd your short term memory. This can derail obsessing and negative thinking related to distress, anger, or depression. For example, if you’re having steady thoughts about something that went wrong (a breakup,failing a test, ect) and these thoughts are feeding into emotional disregulation, think about something that really engrosses your attention. Try to think about things that really take up your brain space as it were. Think about pleasant times, do mental exercises----whatever works. Count to 10, 50, or 100Watch something engrossing on TVRead a suspenseful novel or mysteryWork a crossword or jigsaw puzzlesWork logic puzzlesTry to understand obscure poetryCount tiles in a floor or ceilingWrite out your solutions to a political or social problemMemorize and recite prayers, poetry, or songsMemorize facts about topics that interest youTry to remember every detail of a beautiful day you had Seek Powerful Sensations Strong physical sensations can interfere with the physiological component of your current negative emotion. (…You can prevent emotional overheating and interrupt chains of behavior and feeling that could otherwise lead to impulsive acts). Strong physical sensations also may interrupt physiological action urges, such as the urge to harm yourself or other people, to eat or drink to excess, and a host of other behaviors you may be trying to eliminate. By using your physical senses to interrupt destructive patterns, you will be engaging your whole self to change, not just your brain or will power, but your body will too. Here are some suggestions for sensation-seekers: Hold ice cubes very tightly in your handsTake a very hot or very cold shower, or alternate hot and cold waterSnap a rubber band on your wristDrink bitter coffeeListen to hard and loud musicSuck on very tart or sour candies, letting them melt in your mouthSqueeze stress ballsDo push upsPut ice or a frozen item to your foreheadPlunge your bare feet into a bucket of icy water
  7. My former T gave me this little handout in a packet once a few years ago. I recently found it again and thought that it might help some of you out as well. I'm sorry that it's so long. I split the information between a few posts to hopefully make it a bit easier to read. None of this material belongs to me. Make an Emergency Self-Soothing Kit You can't always predict when an emotional emergency will strike, but you know that it will happen inevitably, so make preparations now. All of the distractions mentioned above [will include in next post] help to get thoughts going somewhere other than deeper into rumination, and they get the body and brain forcibly reoriented. Consider making a sort of "emergency kit" that includes items you have found effective to get through a crisis without making it worse. Place these items in a basket, box, or bag around your house (or room) where you can access these things easily. (It's important to be able to find the kit easily, because it's hard to think calmly when you're exceptionally upset or in great turmoil.) Here's an example of what you might place in such a ki: Lilac or almond body lotionIncenseClassical CDA few chocolatesRabbit's foot or worry stoneA magazine or Sudoku puzzle book After creating your soothing kit, making some other changes around your home (or room) also can help you be prepared. This especially is important if you struggle with self-harm behaviors, such as cutting. You will want to strongly grab your body's and brain's attention so you might emphasize strong physical sensations. Think about any items you have available to you, or that you can afford to put together. Some of the ideas may not suit you, but don't disregard them. They came from people going through much of the same thing as you. Be willing to try something new. Remember, distress tolerance isn't about solving life's deepest and most profound problems; it's about surviving intense emotional crises without making things worse. Put a few ice cubes in sandwich bags. When you begin to feel very disregulated, go to the freezer, grab a bag of ice, and squeeze tightly. Sandwich bags will keep dripping to a minimum, but if you don't care about having some water on the floor, try holding the ice without the baggies. Keep lemon concentrate or lemon juice available in the fridge. Lick, drink, or directly taste these without diluting them. They can be quite potent in flavor, and be strong disractions. You can also cut up some fresh lemon, lime, or grapefruit wedges and put them in plastic containers in the fridge. When necessary, get them out, bite down on them, and feel those taste buds come to life. Keep frozen cranberries, blueberries, or strawberries on hand. Get them out and chew slowly, feeling the cold and noticing as the tart or sweet flavors explode in your mouth. Keep orange popsicles handy and use them the same way. These are all examples of things others have tried - whatever items you select, make sure you know where to find them. Place them where they make sense to you to go and look. You take a bubble bath in the bathroom; so don't put the bubble bath soap in the garage. Source: Spradlin, S. E. (2003). Don't let your emotions run your life: How dialectical behavior therapy can put you in control. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
  8. Welcome back. I had to rejoin as well but it feels so good to have AS back.
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