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Distress Tolerance


One thing is for sure....when we are having anxiety and or panic attacks we are in distress!


The skill I want to open with today is Distress Tolerance.


Being able to cope with life's challenges and distress will take us along way in being able to face and deal with what is right in front of us. Of course we cannot deal with the future struggles that is called worry!

Yet many have not learned the skills to deal which includes acceptance and it adds tremendously to the stress of daily life. Thinking that everything that comes up is needing 5 alarm attention and action will wear even the most hearty of a person out quickly.

Change begins when we begin to increase our ability to:


Acceptance  - to acknowledge the present situation without judgment or criticism of the situation OR yourself.


Distraction - to shift the focus of your actions and or thinking.

  • shift your thoughts to something pleasurable

  • change your location (even just to another room)

  • do something productive (this is the double winner)

  • count: your breath, coins in your wallet, steps on the way to the train...

  • by using all your senses (just not all at once) :)

    • treat yourself to a beautiful magazine (visual)

    • use beautiful essential oils (smell)

    • listen to music you love (hearing)

    • mindfully eat a piece of ripe fruit (taste)

    • find a fabric, stone or  trinket you like the feel of and carry it with you (touch)


This week I want you to try using Acceptance and or Distraction when you feel distress creeping in (or dropping like a bomb). Keep track of your feelings and emotions and physical symptoms as you try on acceptance and some new ways to distract.


A great way to show yourself a little love is to purchase or make a journal that is specific for this self care journey out of anxiety and panic.


Until next time, be well and aloha🌺




How you possibly got here:

avoidance, worry beliefs, ineffective problem-solving, interpersonal issues, previous trauma, intolerance of uncertainty, negative problem orientation, ineffective coping, emotional hyperarousal, poor understanding of emotions, negative reactions to emotions, maladaptive emotion regulation, avoidance behavior, unchecked stress...


How you clear out of anxiety and panic:

self-monitoring, relaxation techniques, self-control desensitization, gradual stimulus control, worry outcome monitoring, present-moment focus, expectancy-free living, processing of core fears, socialization, discussion and reframing of worry beliefs, distress tolerance skills, experiential exposure, mindfulness and acceptance exercises.


Through these every other week Skills Worksheets we will begin to add new ideas and skills for you to try during the week and to discuss with each other and the coach in the membership facebook group. It is through slowing down, being open to new ideas and by practicing these skills that you will begin to see where you are stuck and where you need more attention to yourself as a whole. The journey will be different for each but similar in many many ways.


One of the greatest gifts of a group is you may hear answers to questions you did not even ask yet. Another is the gift of companionship on the journey. Be kind and compassionate to each other and feel free to reach out if you are in a challenging place...it may take a while but as everyone warms up you will all feel right at home...on, of all places, the internet! :)


The physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety and panic are wide and varied. It is recommended if you have new symptoms that you bring them up to your primary care physician. Having the physician's opinion has reduced the stress of many as they work through the steps to clear their anxiety and panic.


Let’s get started!