Sooo.. I have mentioned in the past that I have borderline personality disorder (i will put my video about it below!) Because of this diagnosis I was directed to use Dialectical Behavior Therapy (or DBT) as treatment.
While in a fantastic group setting and learning about DBT skills we covered a very interesting skill. The skill is called “opposite action” and it is exactly what you are thinking…. yup if you feel like punching someone the f&%# out, try hugging them instead.
WHAT!? i know it sounds crazy! of course there are exceptions to this for example if you feel you are in danger or someone is abusing you then turning around and hugging them or being kind is NOT a good idea.
This skill is for the times when maybe your super depressed and all you want to do is hide under the covers of your bed, curl up and cry. instead.. get out of bed.. maybe even try showering or putting on a nicer then usual outfit and STAY OUT OF BED!.
This, like all skills take Time and Practice. Trust me it is easier then it sounds! i still haven’t been able to accomplish hugging someone who has pissed me off, but then again anger is just a whole different issue for me.
With all skills its something that you need to keep consistent with and usually start small! this could mean.. if you feel like wearing black clothes one day maybe add some color and every day just try to push yourself a little to the opposite of what you feel. even if its trying a new ice cream flavor! yea, I know that isn’t necessarily gonna change your mood and help your mental health but it will help you get the hang of the skills!
Now to make this Skill even more of a WTF moment for you.. the important part (and one I have the most trouble with) is you have to fully engage in the opposite action! so if you are really dreading work but you decide that you need to go in then the opposite action would be that you get ready, you go into work and like the old saying “put your game face on”.
Yes, I know , some of you are thinking… but i thought we were becoming more accepting of mental health??? and now were supposed to hide it? Let me explain! the point to this is to try and help you slightly change your thought pattern in hopes that you will feel better.
In my blog post about working while depressed i mentioned that i have forced myself to go to work many days when i haven’t felt up to it and at the end of the day i feel just a tiny bit better, (sometimes a lot better but saying that can be misleading! and give false hope.) i usually don’t get to the point where I’m smiling and loving my day but nevertheless, i engage with customers and it forces my mind and body to move out of the black world in my head for bits at a time.
If you didn’t know! DBT was created by Marsha Linehan! and she created a workbook about it if you wanted to check it out i will link it here: https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=dbt+marsha+linehan&i=stripbooks&hvadid=74354573355005&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=msncahydra-20&ref=pd_sl_79ktu05jdh_e
This is The Group I went to with Krystal Martin http://www.oshawapsychologist.com/dialectical-behavioural-therapy-dbt-group-or-individual/