Since starting blogging a little over a month again, I’ve had so many people ask me this question, “Why? Why are you exposing your deepest and darkest secrets for the world to read?” There isn’t just one answer for this question, but I will give you one.
A few days ago, my 12 year old cousin sent me a text that read, “ Casi I want you to know that I love you so much and you have helped me with hella shit I love that your expressing your feelings and you inspire me to do that I wish the best of you.” When I read this message, I had the most overwhelming feeling of goodness come over me. I felt so happy that my words reached a 12 year-old, and had enough impact in her life for her to send me this message. It was indescribable. She made my entire day better. I felt like I was finally doing something for the greater good. She took my story and my words, and applied it to her life. She has followed my blogs to learn how to better deal with her emotions, and every day struggles that life brings. It has inspired her to do better with herself, and it has touched me in an unimaginable way. This is what winning feels like.
Recently, as most of you know, I started Dialectical Behaviorial Therapy. I’m two weeks into the program, and I cannot believe how much sense it makes. It’s like finally I have answers for all of the questions I’ve had as to why I have felt a certain way, or why I chose to make bad decisions. It’s like I have an explanation for all of the messiness in my life. Not only do I have explanations, but I have tools to help me succeed. They help me change the way I think, act, and respond to situations. It is providing me with a guide of how to restructure my brain. I would like to share some things I’ve learned so far.
We have three minds. Yes!! We have three different minds we use to make decisions, and respond to outside stimuli. The first brain we have is our emotional brain. Typically, our ‘feeling brain’ offers short-term benefits, but long-term consequences. You never want to use your emotional brain to govern all decision making. The second mind is our intelligent mind. This is our logical and rational mind. This mind is not strongly influenced by emotion. You never want to only use your intelligent mind when making decisions either. It’s important to know that your intelligent mind dismisses human connection and emotion so that it can logically assess the facts. Suppressing our emotions in favor of rationality, disregards the attention that our emotions deserve. The final mind is our wise mind. It is the part of you that can discover truth. Some people may think of it as like a gut feeling or intuition. This is the mind where you thrive. This is where the magic happens; however, it does take a lot of hard work to tap in to that resource and utilize it in a positive way.
Try this: think of a choice you’re about to make. Now grab a piece of paper, and make three columns. In the first column. You want to write down all of your observations and conclusions you’ve drawn with your intelligent mind. In the second column, describe your emotions and what your emotional mind is telling you. After you make the first two lists, compare what you have written, then compile a list from the first two using your wise mind. Your wise mind should show you the best possible evidence. This is called making a wise- minded decision.
When you made your wise decision, did it feel good? Did you feel like you used both feeling and logic? Slowing down and resisting the urge to be impulsive is very hard, and it definitely takes practice, but it is achievable. And you can change how you think about past situations, present ones, and those in the future. You just have to practice.
I really hope this will help someone understand their mind and thought processes better, because it has given me so much clarity about my own. Please check out the links below for DBT resources and just other things that I love and use in my life daily.
- The DBT Skills Workbook for Teens A Fun Guide to Manage Anxiety and Stress Understand Your Emotions and Learn Effective Communication Skills Life
- DBT Skills Building Card Deck for Clients and Therapists 101 MORE Mindful Practices to Manage Distress Regulate Emotions and Build Better Relationships
- The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness Interpersonal Effectiveness Emotion Regulation
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