Skills That Help Me Cope With Anxiety And Depression

1. Reduce worry by considering the odds: This is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) skill for Depression, which emphasizes that a person will overestimate the risk of a situation and underestimate their ability to cope. In the group therapy session that focused on this skill, the therapist told us to write down a situation that we were worried about and then rate, on a scale from 1 – 10, the likelihood that that situation would happen.

2. Cope ahead: This is part of a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skill called ABC PLEASE from DBT Skills Training and Handouts, Second Edition, by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan. It stands for Accumulate positive emotions, Build mastery, Cope ahead of time with emotional situations, and treat PhysicaL illness, balance Eating, avoid mood-Altering substances, balance Sleep, and get Exercise.

3. Challenge negative thoughts: I often have negative intrusive thoughts that pop into my mind throughout the day without warning. It’s important to reframe each negative thought, so that it’s positive. For instance, a thought that regularly enters my mind is that I’m a bad person. I challenge it by repeating, “I’m a good person,” until I feel calmer.

4. Know your rights: This has to do with your personal rights. Depression tricks me into thinking that I’m not deserving of certain things, such as love. But, the therapist in this group encouraged us to write down the rights that we believe we deserve. I wrote down that I have the right to my beliefs, to feel the way that I feel, to be happy, to plan for the future, to self-care, to say no to activities that might be harmful to me, and to write about what I’m going through and feeling.

5. Be assertive: The four communication styles include passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. I often act in a passive way to avoid conflict, which causes anxiety. But, I learned that it’s important to be assertive by being honest and direct with other people. If I’m in a situation where I feel uncomfortable, then I need to tell people how I’m feeling.

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