For the past few months I have been studying DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) in a weekly group. One of the skills I have learned is known as “opposite to emotion action” or in simple terms, act in a way opposite to what you feel with the hope of feeling better for it. This technique can be used in situations from binge or disordered eating to isolation urges, from self-harm to anger. It is very hard to practise but very worthwhile if it is possible in the moment. Here are 5 opposite things you can do instead of harming yourself (be it physically, emotionally or unleashing anger).
- Have a long bath with all the trimmings. This is a really easy way to pamper yourself- light some candles, turn off the lights, put on some music and focus on relaxing and getting back in touch with your body. If you don’t have a bath, of course a shower could work just as well.
- Put on your favourite perfume or hand cream. Scent is a powerful sense and can not only bring up many past experiences but also many past emotions. Try to invoke some positivity with some of the scents you love the most. Another way to do this could be to light a candle.
- Go for a walk or a run. It doesn’t matter where you go, just as long as you leave the house and are out among nature. Fresh air and exercise can really help when trying to urge surf or refresh your mind.
- Arrange to see a friend or family member. The people that matter in our life remind us what we are fighting for. Love can sometimes be all it takes to keep us going.
- Treat yourself to a pampering. Be it a massage, getting your nails or hair done, getting a tan or getting your make-up done, pick something that makes you feel beautiful, empowered or at least a little bit good about your body. Look after yourself because you deserve it.
If anyone else has any ideas please comment so that we can cover all bases and have this list out there for anyone that needs it.