I am sitting here waiting, wishing for the moments to pass more slowly. Dreaded time has caught me by surprise this morning, dragging me into a place I would rather run and hide from. Yes tonight is the night that I have been both looking forward to yet silently wishing would never come. I admittedly have not been listening to my emotions about this event. If I am honest, I have not observed the suffocating sensation in my neck, or how hard it has been to catch my breath between the shallow gasps.
I am in full blown distress mode this morning. I feel titteringly close to losing control once again. So I must turn to DBT skills to quell my EMOTION MIND and find the calm which accompanies WISE MIND.
Firstly I can recognize that my fear is disproportionate to the situation. Yes OK, I acknowledge that it is out of my safe place. A formal ball with hundreds of new unfamiliar people is not going to be comfortable, but it will not harm me in anyway. With this in mind, the obvious skill to use is OPPOSITE TO EMOTION ACTION. For it to work, I must go ALL THE WAY with this skill to distinguish the fear and snuff out the flame of panic
Sometimes in order to change how we feel we have to act opposite to how our emotions are telling us to act. With anxiety, instead of running from the feared circumstance, we need to approach and engage in it.
Acting opposite to how you’re feeling only works when:
- The fear is not justified. Fear is justified when a situation is a threat to your life, health, or well being.
- You do opposite action all the way. Not just by acting opposite to how you’re feeling, but also by thinking opposite to how you’re feeling.
PROCESS OF OPPOSITE ACTION
Figure out your emotion
Figure out what action goes with that emotion.
Ask yourself ‘do I want to reduce this emotion?’
Figure out what the opposite action is.
Do the opposite action all the way.
So I will firstly decide to go and follow through with that plan. I will fix my tan, go to the hairdressers and get my make-up done. I will dress up and make sure I feel as confident as I can before I go. Once I get there it is really important that I continue to be present, and stay in the skills mindset. I will use HALF SMILE to center my nerves and help accept that it is a difficult night for me. I must make sure that both my body and mind are at the party, so no hiding in the bathroom or keeping quite. I will make small talk and remember to breath!
Wish me luck!