Archives for Emotion Regulation
In DBT™, you learn about three states of mind: Emotion mind, rational mind, and wise mind. Living your life in either emotion mind or rational mind is not effective. In emotion mind, your emotions are in control. They overwhelm you. To make good decisions,...
Reinforcement is a term used in operant conditioning to refer to anything that increases the likelihood that a response will occur. If every time you stay home on Sunday night your child performs better on the tests on Monday, and you are more likely to stay home because of that, then your child performing well on Monday tests reinforces your staying home the night before. When other people reinforce you for being with them, you want to socialize more. There are many reinforcers for behavior. Among the naturally occurring reinforcers, social reinforcement is one of the most commonly occurring. Social reinforcers come from other people and include smiles, hugs, praise and attention. Social reinforcers are powerful. Acceptance and approval of others means you are part of the group/family and communicate that you are a lovable person.
Imagine that your daughter is late coming home. It's 3 AM and she hasn't called. The roads are wet--it's pouring rain. You are terrified. The minute she finally walks in the door, you're angry. You scream about how inconsiderate and irresponsible she is. Then she's back out the door, yelling that she hates you. You sit with your head in your hands. So many times you've been through this and promised yourself you'd handle it differently. But you can't just let her walk all over you, right?
You survived the holiday. Maybe it was a good holiday, one you enjoyed. Then suddenly Monday comes, the Monday that all goes back to the same routine. Not only are you hit with all the issues that have been put on hold for two weeks, you also hear about the fantasy holidays that some people enjoyed. Suddenly your holiday pales in comparison.
Countless minefields lie ahead in the next few days. The holidays can lead you to pressure yourself to be joyful, spend time with family, buy the perfect presents, and have a memorable celebration. There's food to cook (the meal must be special, right?) and concern about who might drop off freshly baked goodies when you can't reciprocate. For the emotionally sensitive person, these challenges are aggravated by perfectionism, worry about people getting along, fear of hurting...
If we are paying attention to our lives, we'll recognize those defining moments. The challenge for so many of us is that we are so deep into daily distractions and 'being busy, busy' that we miss out on those moments and opportunities that - if jumped on - would get our careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow. Robin S. Sharma I’ve been thinking about priorities and demands. That’s an interpersonal skill in DBT. Priorities are what you want, what’s important to you. Demands come from other people, what they want you to do. The idea is to have a balance that helps you live your life effectively. So how does this actually apply to your life?
Strengthening relationships and feeling less lonely is a challenge for emotionally sensitive people and can be overwhelming. Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges offers a step-by step model that is easily understood and gives the reader a way to move forward. I am grateful to Lori Deschene, the author, for answering a few questions about her work. How did you get the idea for Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges? I knew I wanted to write a book about strengthening our relationships, both because authentic connection is such a huge part of Tiny Buddha, and because I’ve personally experienced the consequences of shutting people out. For years when I was younger I isolated myself in shame, afraid that people would reject me if they knew about my struggles and shortcomings.
What does it really mean to have happiness from within? Doesn't happiness come from laughing with friends, having a family you love and enjoying your work? Certainly there are many ways that you can find happiness outside yourself. But lasting, enduring happiness comes from within and isn't so affected by whether you lose your job or a friend moves half way around the world. You can develop happiness from within in many ways. Here are a few ideas that make sense to me.
Making decisions in emotion mind often has very difficult consequences. Being in emotion mind means more than experiencing strong emotions, it means your emotions are controlling your thinking and actions. Demanding in anger a divorce (that you don't really want), quitting a job you need when upset and you don't have another one, and walking out on your best friend who you still care about are all examples of acting on your emotions in ways that hurt you.