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Welcome to happiness isn’t brain surgery
with Doc Snipes. Each week we record the podcast during a Facebook live
broadcast in which Doc Snipes presents information and tools to help you start
living happier. Our website DocSnipes.com has even more resources, videos,
handouts, and workbooks to help you apply what we talked about.
After each podcast the accompanying video, text, and worksheets will be
published from members on DocSnipes.com. Additionally each week we have a
members-only educational group followed by a question-and-answer session with
Doc Snipes to help you apply the tools to yourself and start living happier
faster the doc swags podcast will be providing listeners and members the same
tools and information doctor Snipes gives her clients go to Doc’s nights
calm to learn more in today’s presentation we’re going to talk about
dialectical behavior therapy and emotional regulation techniques this is
going to be a five-part series so I want you to pay attention to what we’re going
to talk about in each particular section and obviously the sections will be
divided up so you can come back and review them at your leisure we’re going
to start out by talking about the basic premises of dialectical behavior therapy
then we’re going to move in to learning about the HPA axis and that’s basically
your stress response system then we’re going to go on to understanding what
emotion regulation is as opposed to emotion dysregulation and discuss why
emotion regulation is important and how it can help you reduce your distress and
then finally we’re going to wrap up by exploring emotion regulation techniques so let’s start at the beginning what are
the basic premises of dialectical behavior therapy dialectical theory says
that everything is interconnected reality is not static and a constantly
evolving truth can be found by synthesizing differing points of view so
what does that really mean numb so interconnectedness really means that
whatever you’re doing impacts everything else and the response of everything else
impacts you so when you walk into an environment that is maybe chaotic and
noisy you think of a really busy restaurant or something that is going to
impact you differently than if you walked into the library most likely so
you want to pay attention to not only the interconnectedness in yourself but
also the interconnectedness with the environment
now within yourself your emotions your thoughts and your physical being are all
interconnected think back to a day that you are not feeling so well
how did that impact your mood and how did that impact your thoughts were you
as attentive were you as patient where you as you know fill in the blank
generally when we’re in pain or when we’re sick our mood tends to be a little
bit more irritable and cantankerous if you will so paying attention to that and
just understanding that if you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel well
or you wake up in the morning and your back hurts or you’ve got a headache that
you’re probably already starting out with some stressors built up you’re not
going to be as patient and tolerant so prepare for that likewise our thoughts
impact our feelings and can impact how we actually feel and maybe we we don’t
think about that too much but if you’re having a lot of negative thoughts if
you’re having a lot of stressful thoughts how does that affect your
emotions well I kind of gave it away you probably tend to get a little bit more
stressed and irritable and edgy emotionally but physically what happens
when your thoughts start to become more negative a lot of us take stressful
thoughts and we feel them in our body we get headaches we get neck tension we get
back aches we get belly aches we you know crave certain foods so it’s
important to understand that your thoughts impact your emotions and also
your physical being now so let’s take that back to the beginning if your
thoughts make you feel painful or make you feel icky how is
that going to affect you know your physical feeling how is that going to
affect how you think how you feel and how you interact with others so it’s a
system and it keeps going and it’s a constant feedback loop and it can either
be a negative feedback loop or it can be a positive feedback loop and that is up
to you but it’s important to be aware of how you feel what you bring to the table
and figure out what your next best step is one activity you can do focus is on
interconnectedness and think about how your relationships impact your mood and
how your mood impacts your relationships and obviously general relationships is
going to be different than a relationship with a particular person
but I want you to focus in this particular activity more on a particular
person or do it several times for different people because when you
interact with certain people most likely your feelings and moods and things tend
to be more positive enthusiastic happy whereas when you interact with other
people it might be more stressful for example where I used to work my
immediate supervisor was just a gem of a man and sometimes I had interact with
them and it would be stressful but that’s just part and parcel of him being
my supervisor but it was not a big deal now his supervisor our CEO was a very
intimidating woman so my mood when I’d go in to talk with her was very
different and much more I don’t want to say professional but it was much more
serious and a little bit freaked out whereas if I had to go in to talk talk
to Richard I would just go over and knock on his door and I’d be like hey
you got a second so the way you interact with people impacts how they interact
back with you as well so I mean Richard was always much more
relaxed with me I don’t know if I would have been more relaxed with Maggie if
she would have been more relaxed with me but understanding that we impact other
people if you go into a room and you’re just in a god-awful mood and you’re
grumpy to everybody how are they going to respond to you most likely they’re
not going to be all kinds of joy and happiness so if they respond in a
similar fashion or they ignore you because they just don’t can’t handle
that negativity right now how does that impact your mood so you impacted them
and they in turn impacted you and they said I don’t want anything to deal with
it another thing to consider is how your environment impacts your mood and your
mood impacts your environment if you’re in a really dark dreary smelly closed-up
disorganized place obviously those are my buzzwords if I’m in a place like that
it tends to make me a little bit more cranky and I have difficulty focusing I
get sleepy I prefer to be in environments where it’s bright and
cheerful and there’s a lot of activity and that makes me feel more energized
and somewhat happier likewise when my mood is not so good I
tend to focus less energy on keeping things organized and worrying about if
the lights are turned on so I can create that dark depressing environment if my
mood is depressed because I’m not wanting or caring to devote the energy
to turning on lights so thinking about that if your environment can impact your
mood if you’re in a funk maybe it would be helpful to improve that space
whatever that means for you for me that means turning on lights making it
brighter getting some background noise going on whatever it means for you but
being aware of the interconnectedness of that how does your health or energy
impact your mood and how does your mood impact your energy so we talked about
that at the beginning if your energy is hello or if you’re not feeling good when
you wake up you’re just like oh I did not sleep well then how do you think the
rest of your day is going to go what’s your mood gonna be like it may not be
cranky but I know those days I wake up and I’m tired I didn’t sleep well I
don’t feel well I’m just kind of blah at the very best so my mood is not one of
health and energized and all that kind of stuff how does your mood impact your
health and energy and we talked about that a little bit on physical if you are
in a happy mood you tend to have greater immunity they’ve actually done studies
and found out that people who tend to be more stressed out and more depressed get
sick more often if you are in a happy mood you probably feel more energetic
whereas if you’re in a bad mood you probably feel like you’re carrying the
weight of the world on your shoulders and it’s just treachery to move through
each step of the day again considering how that impacts you it may be worth
looking at paying more attention to taking care of your health and your
sleep and finally how do your thoughts impact your feelings you know we talked
about this already but thinking about it with specific thoughts if you tell
yourself I’m not good enough how does that impact how you feel how does that
impact your mood if you tell yourself I’m lazy I’m a slob I’m never gonna
amount to anything how does that impact your feelings likewise if you turn that
around and you go you know I’m all that and a bag of chips and I can get this
done and I’m smart and I’m competent and you know just give yourself a pep talk
it generally brings your mood up but feelings can also impact your thoughts
so if you’re having a bad day unfortunately the way we’re wired when
you’re in a negative mood you tend to notice the negative things so if you’re
in a bad mood you’re tend to be going to tend to be more pessimistic if you don’t
check and say you know what no I’m not going
to notice all the negatives I’m going to notice a positive for every negative I
know I pay attention to that way you balance it out a little bit and it tends
to help improve your mood a little bit if you actually force yourself to focus
on some of the positives take some time doing this activity and really pay
attention to all the things in your environment in your relationships and in
your thoughts and feelings and health and how they interact because the cool
thing is if you improve one area it’s kind of like pulling a string on a on a
blanket and it kind of unravels if you improve one area then you can unravel
the negativity and de-stress in multiple areas at the same time there’s going to
be a reciprocal effect so to think again about how thoughts impact your feelings
think about a time you dreaded doing something doing your taxes doing your
laundry whatever it is for you what was your mood like most of us if we’re
dreading something aren’t in the best of moods how patient and tolerant were you
toward other people were you kind of edgy and irritable and just shut up and
go away so I can get this done when you are acting like that how did others seem
to react to you and how did their reaction affect you you know if they if
they ended up snapping back at you how did that impact you and when you’re in
that kind of mood when you’re dreading doing something and you’re just kind of
dragging your feet what’s your environment like paying attention to
what kind of vibe you’re setting off not only for others but also for yourself
are you creating an optimistic empowered environment once you’ve thought through
that then think again about how is this scenario different when you’re looking
forward to something now I don’t think any of us ever look forward to doing
taxes well maybe you do if you’re gonna get a big refund but there are things
that most of us don’t look forward to so how can you change those situations that
you’re kind of dreading to make them less unpleasant you may not be jumping
for joy to go out and do it but how can you make it less unpleasant for example
when I had to take my graduate entrance exams that’s not necessarily everybody’s
favorite task to do for some reason I enjoy doing those and I looked at it as
a challenge to see how well I could score and if I could beat you know what
I expected my score was going to be so I turned it into a game for myself if
you’re going to a family gathering that you expect to be somewhat unpleasant how
can you make it less foreboding what can you think about focus on who at the
family gathering can you spend time with but maybe you would enjoy seeing again
what can you do at the family gathering that can help you avoid whatever the
unpleasantness is because the unpleasantness probably surrounds two or
three or a few people not everybody there and everything going on so try to
figure out things that you can look forward to it’s not going to make it a
complete panacea you’re not just gonna love going to do it but it will make it
less drudgery so your mood will be better if your moods better you’re
probably going to put off a happier vibe if you will which will make the
relationships and make whatever that situation is go a little bit easier and
it won’t drain all your energy because when we dread things we tend to spend a
lot of energy thinking to ourselves I wish I didn’t have to do this and being
angry about the fact that we’ve got to do something we don’t want to do so find
the positives find something you can look forward to in every situation reality is ever-changing that’s the
second tenet of dialectical theory what that means is what’s true right now may
not be true in the next moment so let’s look at some examples
if you’ve ever started exercising and God he’s gotten stronger so what was
true for you back in fed you arey may not be true for you now
because you may be able to lift 15 pounds more
have you ever gained or lost weight and changed a clothing size so your reality
six months ago was that you wore a size whatever but your reality right now is
that you wear a different size reality changed it’s not anything to get all
excited about is just accepting reality in the moment now we can also apply this
to people have you ever known someone who is attentive and kind and you know
maybe you were really good friends who suddenly started being neglectful and
irritable now what’s that about are they still attentive and kind in this current
reality and in the current reality you’ve got to figure out what is going
on with that person so you may decide that in the current reality maybe they
are having a lot of family troubles or maybe they have gone down into an
addictive sort of set of behaviors and they are not able to be the same person
they were six months ago or even a month ago that’s the current reality and you
need to make your decisions on whether to interact with that person based on
the current reality in order to protect your own emotions and feelings think
about how your needs have changed over the last five years you know five years
is a long time what I thought I wanted and I needed five years ago was very
different than what my goals and wants are right now so thinking about that and
finally truth can be found by synthesizing different points of view so
the easiest one is to think of a disagreement you had with somebody and
what was your perception of what was going on what was their perception and
was reality somewhere in the middle I’ll give you an example I have teenagers at
home and I will come home they will have said they’ve done their
chores and I will look around and I will say no you haven’t now my reality is
different than theirs they think they have I think they haven’t so what is the
difference in the truth well the truth is they did what they felt they needed
to do I saw things that I thought they needed to do but they didn’t do so
reality was the fact that we both had our own truths and combining them in the
middle and then talking about what does this look like because ultimately I’m
the one who judges their chores so my truth is more important in that
particular situation but thinking about different people’s perceptions when my
son was very very little you know I would tell him to clean his room and his
definition of clean has always been different than mine I’m a freak about
floors I’m a freak about baseboards and he was more like shove everything under
the bed and into a pile and it’s clean and I’m like no that doesn’t work so
talking about what your different truths are what your different definitions of
certain words and certain experiences are this is also the reason when law
enforcement goes to a crime scene they interview multiple witnesses and each
witness saw something a little bit different because everybody’s perception
everybody’s truth is a little bit different it doesn’t necessarily mean
they’re lying it means they saw paid attention to or
interpreted what happened a little bit differently so it’s up to law
enforcement in the courts and what have you to determine what the actual truth
is by synthesizing all those points of view another example think about a time
you had to make a decision about something you were totally torn off like
whether to take a job or not so if you play devil’s advocate
you’re basically synthesizing two different points of view you’re
synthesizing the this is not a good idea point of view and this is a great idea
point of you to come up with reality which is
generally somewhere in the middle where it’s a good idea but there are going to
be some drawbacks another thing you can do is think about a time you had to make
a decision and your heart told you one thing but your head told you something
else so what I want to do but what I need to do two different realities
within the same person you know you can feel a little bit torn a lot of times
but taking listening to both of those voices if you will hearing them out and
then combining them and going okay now what is the best choice of action based
on my ultimate goals and objectives so it’s important to remember when we go
into trying to control our emotions and trying to feel better and trying to
understand what impacts us and makes us happy or sad and how we affect other
people that everything is interconnected your feelings thoughts and physical
health all impact each other your mood and behavior impact your environment and
your relationships and all of those in turn impact you so think about how your
kids impact you think about how your spouse impacts you think about how your
boss impacts you and think about how you impact them and how it’s kind of a
give-and-take relationship you have the ability to control your thoughts your
emotions are your body’s natural reaction to a threat or you know
something good when you have happy emotions it makes you want to do it
again but you can control your thoughts which impact your emotions you can
control your physical vulnerabilities so things that make you more irritable like
pain or lack of sleep for being hungry you can control things in your
environment to a certain extent I mean sometimes you’re going to be in places
where the environments the environment but you can try to improve it at least
your little aspect of it and you have the ability to control your
relationships how you interact and with whom you
choose to interact reality is not static it is what it is
in this very moment it is what it is now in five minutes it may be different and
then it’ll be what it’ll be but we need to understand that reality can change
and will change even if we don’t want it to needs wants and situations can change
dramatically over time so reality figuring out what’s actually going on in
this very moment is based in finding the truth that truth can be found by
synthesizing differing points of view at that exact moment so in situations
involving other people put yourself in their shoes or heaven forbid you might
even ask them tell me what is it you’re thinking here and explore their point of
view instead of trying to convince them that your way is right or your
perspective is right put yourself in their shoes and go let me understand
where you’re coming from and then you can start working on synthesizing your
to your truth and their truth in situations involving only yourself
examine it from a logical perspective of how it will help you achieve your
long-term goals and from an emotional perspective of what will ultimately make
you happier synthesize both of those to figure out what the best choice is that
will help you reach your long-term goals and be happy at the same time thanks for tuning in – happiness isn’t
brain surgery with Doc’s nights our mission is to make practical tools for
living the happiest life of yeah you thanks for tuning in – happiness isn’t
brain surgery with Doc’s knives our mission is to make practical tools for
living the happiest life affordable and accessible to everyone we record the
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