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  • Writer's pictureAngie

Turning the Mind {DBT Skill}

We sometimes have to keep choosing to accept reality over and over and over for a very long time

What is Turning the Mind?

Turning the mind is choosing to accept. Acceptance seems to require some sort of choice. People have to turn their minds in that direction, so to speak.

Often, especially when we are depressed or overly anxious, we must accept that depressive or anxiety provoking thoughts are getting through our minds. We may need to say "A thought has arisen in my mind" and then refocus on another topic. We may need to say this many, many times before it sinks in.

Turning the Mind Step By Step

Observe that you are no longer accepting

The tipoff is often anger, bitterness, annoyance or falling into the sea of "why me?"

Or you might find that you are always trying to escape reality, you're trying to block things out all of the time, you're hiding behind other things.

Or you're covering up how you're really feeling. You find yourself saying all the time, "why? why is this happening? Why is this happening to me?"

Make an inner commitment to accept reality as it is

The inner commitment isn't accepting. You don't have to accept right away. You just have to make the commitment.

Do it again, over and over

Sometimes you may have to go through the first two steps again, over and over, many times in a minute. Sometimes you have to do it many times in a day.

Develop a plan for catching yourself when you drift out of acceptance

The idea here is to think through what you usually do when you are not accepting.

What cues could you use to alert yourself that you are drifting away from acceptance?

You might also decide to check in with yourself on some regular basis- for instance, every night before going to bed or each morning- to review whether you need to turn your mind to acceptance.

Curated from DBT Coach app


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