1. STOP for a moment. Observe and Name the experience you are having "I am freaking out". This already starts to turn on your prefrontal cortex.

2. Grab ice cubes and hold them as long as you can. YIkes! You won't last long. (An alternative would be to pop a warhead candy or a lemon/lime slice into your mouth).  This will trick your brain in a helpful way.

3.  Place the entire palm of your hand over your forehead, gently pressing for 1 - 5 minutes. Until you feel better. This sends signals for blood to comes back to the prefrontal cortex. The trick is it can take several minutes. 

4. Take 3 full belly breaths. As best as you can. You have now tolerated the worst of it, using your skills, and can regulate the emotional experience. You may reflect to gain insight. Write about it. Start problem solving. Or distract yourself. 
“Intense Sensations” is a Distress Tolerance skill to use when you are feeling intense emotions. It is especially good to use with panic, anger, disgust, & jealousy.  Yet, it can also be used with other emotion’s. The premise is that it tricks the brain to go to the new “Intense Sensation” and therefore the brain shifts and stops sending out messages for the unwanted emotional experience. This will not take the emotion away entirely, but will bring it down enough that you can better manage the emotion, OR enough so you don’t act out.

Safe Intense Ideas

·      Put ice cubes in hand; hold until you can’t anymore

·      Put 1 or 2 Warhead candies in your mouth

·      Use COLD water on hands & face

·      Short burst of Intense exercise

·      Put a lime or lemon wedge in your mouth

·      Put an atomic bomb candy in your mouth (must be intense)

·      Put a Jalapeno in your mouth

·      Put a “VERY Strong” mint in your mouth

·      Put pop rocks candy in your mouth

The Acceptance Skills are often the most difficult. “Willingness” is a skill that helps us move toward “Radical Acceptance”. “Willingness” is being willing, or open, to doing something that might be difficult, because it is what is needed.  Wise Mind opens us up to being more willing in our lives. 

The purpose is to transform stubbornness and denial that keeps us stuck, into “Willingness” to participate, to move forward, and to do the hard, but helpful work, we need.

Do what is needed for the situation you are dealing with.  Open yourself up to being willing.

Try “Willing Hands”:  If your body and mind feel rigid or stuck, open the top of your palms up fully and place upwards on your lap.  Then take a few deep breathes.  Take a moment to “Observe” if you feel more willing.