Moving out of Sadness
Feeling sadness is healthy but sometimes it’s time to move out of sadness. Tips on how to do that.
Today we’re going to talk about something that I ran across in the DBT skills workbook. I use this workbook with a lot of my clients. We do worksheets from it. It was a worksheet on the opposite action for sadness.
Opposite action and DBT is when you determine an action… You’re feeling something and you determine that it’s not effective or it’s not appropriate for the situation. Sometimes, feelings are completely appropriate and completely effective. Sadness is the one that we’re going to talk about today and sadness is often completely appropriate for what’s going on in your life.
When it becomes inappropriate or ineffective is when you want to take the opposite action for it. Let’s say something happens and you’re truly sad and you lay in bed for a couple of days and then those couple of days extend into weeks. It’s like, “Wait a minute.” That’s not effective for your life. At some point, you have to get up and continue to live. The recommendation there is that you recognize that and you say, “Okay. This isn’t effective. What are some things that I can do? What is the opposite here that I can do? The opposite of what I really want to do, which is lay in bed forever.” Okay?
Here, we have to Get Active, Avoid Avoiding, Build Mastery, do things that make you feel competent and self-confident, and Increase Pleasant Events.
Let’s talk about Avoid Avoiding. This is the best sentence ever. It can be applied to all kinds of stuff. It can be applied to anxiety, to fear, which is one of the specialties in my practice: avoid avoiding. When we move into avoiding, then all kinds of things happen in our lives that are not always the best results. When we avoid avoiding, we’re getting active. We’re confronting and we’re facing what it is that we fear. We’re facing the world. Let’s say we’re in sadness and we’re facing the world, right? I’d like to stay here just in sadness but I’m avoiding the world when I do that so let me avoid avoiding. It’s a wonderful phrase. It just makes me laugh.
Get active and do things that make you feel good. That is part of moving out of sadness. Not that you can’t come back to that sadness sometimes and that sadness may extend throughout your life when you think about something or you think about the event but it’s also, how do I move out of this for a little bit and give myself some relief, give my body relief from that as well?
I hope you have a great day.
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