Our recent DBSA meeting on August 26th was amazing, with facilitator Becki presenting her topic for the evening “ distress tolerance “. After brief introductions were made from those attending, facilitator Becki started her presentation by having us take part in a two minute breathing exercise, to help calm any anxious feelings we may have been experiencing. I found this breathing exercise to be very helpful, and a great way to open her presentation!
Becki went on to discuss how trauma can affect your window of tolerance. She explained that when you are in your window of tolerance, you usually feel like you can handle whatever is happening in your life. You might feel stressed, but it doesn’t bother you too much. If you are in a hyperarousal mode, you may be anxious, angry or feel overwhelmed. If you are in hypoarousal mode, you may feel spacy, zoned out, or frozen. So most importantly, we want to stay within the window of tolerance if possible.
Becki stressed the importance of being aware of our distress triggers, and went on to present different acronyms to help us cope with our distress. One of the acronyms she mentioned was STOP. S for stop, stay still, T take a step back from the situation, O for observe what is happening, and P for proceed once you are prepared.
Becki also stressed the importance of having our own personal way to de-stress, whether it be listening to music, working on an art project, attending a yoga class, or even going on a long walk. She reminded us to just be mindful if you are feeling stressed, acknowledge your feelings, don’t judge the situation or your feelings and then just move on. I found this topic to be fascinating, and possibly we could have Becki present a part two on this topic at a future meeting! Be sure and join us next Thursday September 2nd, at 7pm, when facilitator Miriam will be presenting the topic “ Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, Part I “