(4 min read)
Life can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride, with ups and downs that can leave us feeling all over the place. While we often focus on dealing with the downs, it’s equally important to celebrate the ups and inject some humor into our journey. Enter the magical world of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and the ABC PLEASE skill. Grab your sense of humor and let’s explore how positive experiences and laughter can help strengthen our resilience and allow us to be less vulnerable to the negatives!
Now, you may wonder, how exactly does ABC PLEASE make us less vulnerable to negative emotions? Well, it’s like putting on a superhero suit made of emotional resilience. Accumulating positive experiences (do fun stuff you care about!), Building mastery (have something in your life you feel interested in, that you are able to get better at, and feel improvement), and Coping ahead of time (see it coming and try to find the humor/absurdity) help us to embrace laughter which then acts as a shield against the arrows of negativity. Making sure we are attending to our PhysicaL health, and making sure to have balanced Eating, Avoiding mood altering substances, along with balanced Sleep and Exercise!
- Accumulating Positive Experiences: Picture yourself on a mission to gather happiness points, like a real-life video game. It’s all about actively seeking out activities that bring a grin to your face. Take a break from adulting and indulge in hobbies that spark joy. Dance like nobody’s watching, binge-watch your favorite comedy series, explore the great outdoors, or spend quality time with friends who make you laugh till your belly hurts. Remember, positive experiences are the sprinkles on the ice cream of life!
- Building Mastery: You’re not just a mere mortal; you’re a superhero in the making! Building mastery is all about leveling up your skills and channeling your inner superhero. Challenge yourself to learn something new, conquer a skill, or crush a personal goal. Whether it’s becoming the master chef of your kitchen or nailing that guitar solo you’ve been practicing forever, each victory adds to your cape of confidence. So, go ahead and unleash your inner superhero—tights are optional!
- Cope (or Chuckling) Ahead: Life has a way of throwing curveballs, so why not prepare with a dose of laughter? Coping ahead doesn’t have to be all serious business. Injecting humor into challenging situations can be your secret weapon. Visualize potential obstacles and imagine hilarious ways to tackle them. Picture yourself diffusing tense moments with a well-timed pun, or imagine a comical dance routine to shake off stress.
The Importance of Positive Experiences (and a Good Laugh!):
When we actively seek out positive experiences, we create a reserve of good vibes that can counteract the impact of negative emotions. Building mastery boosts our confidence, reminding us of our abilities and strengths when we’re faced with challenges. And when we cope ahead, we disarm the power of negativity by approaching difficult situations with a lighthearted and flexible mindset. ABC PLEASE empowers us to navigate the rollercoaster of emotions with grace and a touch of humor, making us the masters of our emotional universe.
- Emotional Resilience: Positive experiences and laughter are like a double-shot espresso for your emotional resilience. They boost your ability to bounce back from life’s hiccups and help you keep your cool when things get bumpy.
- Happiness Boost: Positive experiences and laughter have the power to dilute negative feelings. They release feel-good chemicals, reduce stress, and make you feel like you’re floating on a cloud of joy. It’s like a vacation for your soul!
- Balance and Self-Care: Positive experiences and laughter act as the cherry on top of your self-care sundae. They bring balance to your life, counteracting the seriousness and stress that can bog you down. Don’t forget to savor the flavor of life and give yourself permission to indulge in the sweet stuff.
- Strengthened Connections: Positive experiences and laughter are contagious. Sharing moments of joy and humor with others strengthens your social bonds. Whether it’s giggling with friends, creating inside jokes, or sharing funny memes, these connections bring warmth and support to your life.
Who said emotional well-being has to be all serious and somber? Embrace the ABCs of DBT, sprinkle in some laughter, and allow for lightness – it doesn’t all have to be heavy lifting and deep conversations (though those are great too!). We also need the silly, the novel, and the fun. Allow yourself to make positive experiences a priority in your life. Remember, interest and curiosity are your secret weapons, and a good laugh can save the day.
Go out there and have some fun!