Physical pain and illness — you’ve suspected it, and you’re right — affect our emotional resilience and can cause us to be more emotionally vulnerable. Fortunately, there are specific DBT skills to help cope effectively when we are not feeling well.
I began having very intense panic and anxiety attacks. I wondered if the pain would ever go away. It was interfering with sleep and eating, which led to more intense anxiety, which exacerbated all of the physical symptoms — a very vicious circle.
I began to feel better physically. I’m still in pain, but not nearly as much. I’m managing it a lot better emotionally, too. Far less anxiety.
|from Dr. Marsha Linehan’s Training Manual for Disordered Emotion Regulation|
The other skill I used comes from the Distress Tolerance module, and it is prayer. (I wrote this post, a while back about using this particular skill.) I am not a religious person but felt comfort in reaching out to a higher power while feeling unwell.
Being stubborn and not attending to our physical body’s needs can have a negative impact on our ability to tolerate distress and regulate our emotions. Our emotional resiliency is reduced.
By being willing to address any physical concerns we have by using the skills above and any other DBT skills that we find supportive and comforting, we give ourselves the advantage of not having our emotional strength compromised in this way.
I hope this post helped you or someone you care about today.
Thank you for reading.