Wise Mind

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“Wise Mind” is a concept from DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT is a skills training course that is primarily used to treat borderline personality disorder, but helps with anyone, really, that has intense emotions, anxiety or has a bit of issue with what their brain wants//tells them versus what is objectively true.

DBT itself is based off the concept of mindfulness, which was brought into therapy by John Kabat-Zinn, for the reduction of stress and anxiety. (Read Full Catastrophe Living!), fun discovery – handling your stress and emotions better leads to better physical health.

One of the best lessons from DBT, personally, is the truism that emotions do not last and are not reality. They aren’t bad, necessarily, but decisions should not be based on them, and disengaging from intense and conflicting emotions is generally a good plan.

So let’s see how we’re supposed to do this correctly, eh?

Let’s explore the DBT brain map.

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Reasonable Mind: The part of your brain that deals more with numbers, what is factual about the situation, history of the relationship, probable outcomes, planning out behavior. It’s a cool, calm, collected state of mind. You know the phrase “play that tape through” – meaning think of the results of your behavior before you engage? That’s rational mind.

Emotional Mind: Here’s where all the fun and agony lies. This is the “part” of your brain that is excited by impulsive behavior, how people make you feel, sudden changes, puppies, love, and risk. This is the zone of bad ideas, lol. Really, being human is having emotions, really, sure they work out well for a lot of folk. :p

Wise Mind: This state of mind combines the objective reality of the situation- is this a good risk? what are the likely outcomes? is the time/energy/risk associated with the thing worth it? is it constructive? How does it play into your long term goals?

So now with this information gathered, we get to move to the fun part- actually doing the thing and communicating with others. When you do this correctly, you feel as if you are acting on intution, and is a feeling of calmness rather than cool detachment or emotional heat. It seeks to bring the right and the left brain together.

Used to be on the other end of this, now my issue is that by the time I bring things up, I am done, or 80% of the way there, and I think I can come off as completely emotionless.

I’m fun. :p

DBT skills are like a lot of things in life – you need to use them consistently and brush up on your technique at times…

 

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L is for Learned Helplessness and Locus of Control

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Learned helplessness is a psychological state that is brought about by an external locus of control and trauma. If you’ve not watched the videos (bad reader!), a person with a internal locus of control believes that they are largely in control of their circumstances and actions, a person with an external locus of control believes more in fate and allows themselves to be controlled by others.

Learned helplessness, then is a result of being in a situation where one has little to no control of the outcome. Even after resolutions are possible, the person has developed a reduced problem-solving capability and a sense of hopelessness. It’s believed that learned helplessness may be a contributing factor in depression, and is often behind a victim mentality.

So I will  raise my hand and admit that learned helplessness is a thing for me. While I could totally go into why, the end result is that actually being in control of my life is deeply, deeply dysphoric and I tend to traditionally seek out situations and people that just remove the burden of choice from me, generally to an unhealthy degree, and ADDITIONALLY I BEGIN TO RESENT THIS.

Or I guess I could just eternally seek the person/thing/chemical/idea that controls me in the right way, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahapleaseendme.

Oy.

Life right now is really about enhancing my comfort in making my own decisions and being independent without running to some source of control.

Oh! The horse. That horse, as a colt, was tethered to an unmovable object. It has learned that when it is tethered, there is no escape. This is why we see a thousand lb animal stymied by a lawn chair.

Don’t be the lawn chair horse.