Further Look Into DBT & Mindfulness

Back To The Acronym Of S.T.O.P.

So, today it’s back to the study of Mindfulness and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). I wanted to touch on some points that are part of what is called Distress Tolerance. As we found out last time as we dug into this topic, this specific chapter within DBT studies covers areas that many of us face time to time.

This one gets down to the specifics of the philosophy. It’s the acronym we are already familiar with. It is S.T.O.P.

I have introduced it in past writings. As we know, studying all about Mindfulness and DBT does mean that we will face many acronyms. However, this one of S.T.O.P., always shines to me as one of the big ones. The likely reason for that is because its part of distress tolerance. It’s topics like that, that can relate to a lot of the reasons for why we’re studying subjects like these.

I certainly never searched to learn about DBT and Mindfulness because life was great. Hell, it was anything but that; I was living a life in distress 24/7. So let’s dive back into the acronym of S.T.O.P., and see what it really can do for us.

Letter S for stop. I have long since struggled even with this seemingly easy sounding cue. I never did what many experts have strongly recommended; I was stopping to visualize what the hell I was doing. I seemed to be going through mistakes at light speed, and failing to heed the valuable lessons that many of them carried. I was not taking time to stop acting off irrational emotions and feelings that were firecracker hot.

I learned a long lesson after long decades of mistakes. I needed to stop being controlled by emotions. I began hitting the pause button for a few extra seconds in those steaming, moments that lacked rationale.

I began visualizing those scenes as they were happening, and began allowing myself to learn the lesson those moments were giving. From there, I was making decisions that had that rationale attached to it.

I began acting, not reacting.

So, right from there at letter T, I did what they said. After stopping, it was time to Take a step back. In my mind, I connect this to the first part.

Taking that step back is another great way to remove oneself from situations that can be heated or highly strung. It’s another way to look at it from a safer perspective.

Experts say that this exercise is a way that can be used to be mindful of one’s breathing. We may notice that we’re breathing in a fast shallow way. Taking that step back, allows us to slow down breathing, allowing its quality to improve to a better paced, deeper breathing.

It’s a lot more than just slowing down breathing. The changing of it, definitely calms us down and allows us to think more clearly.

So, I have taken on the letter O of Stop and I tried out the suggestions. As I wrote many months ago, we are to use this letter to take a step back and observe what in the world is going on around us, and also within. We seem to take this endless walk all around the world around us, and we barely can even tell you sometimes as to where we just were, who we just saw, and what we just did.

We allow our daydreaming to sometimes take a hold a bit stronger than we meant for it. It can turn into a long distance runaway train before we ever shake it off and realize that we’ve been on snooze for a long time.

Observing is a must. Heed the warning that observing can certainly turn into subconscious daydreaming once again. The type of daydreaming that isn’t the type we all deserve to relax and do once in a while. It is the type of daydreaming where real time significant thoughts are lost.

So, finally, we finish up the S.T.O.P. acronym with the letter P. What that letter stands for is Proceed Mindfully. This takes us back to the basics of utilizing mindfulness skills in conjunction with the Wise Mind philosophy.

As I’ve written about in the past, the theory of Wise Mind is being able to look at something and determine the difference between something to be valid or true.

Wise Mind is the combination of emotion and reasonable mind. It’s that part of us that is able to find the logic in something. It’s making determinations that are neither too emotionally charged, nor too rigidly charged. It’s a balanced line of thinking. It’s that control mechanism that stops us from acting or making determinations that are too impulsive. It’s that pure balance that keeps us steady in decision making.

We have now looked at the S.T.O.P. philosophy of Dialectical behavior therapy. In both what each letter means, and how each letter is utilized in our day to day lives.

I can attest wholeheartedly that ever since I began studying Mindfulness and DBT, my daily life has become more steady in the decisions I make. The awareness I keep with my thoughts and choices has improved greatly too. There is still plenty to learn. And I hope to continue this journey with my readers.