Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills You Can Use in Your Everyday Life

Woman consulting a psychiatrist

Woman consulting a psychiatristDialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based cognitive treatment that helps deal with a borderline personality disorder as well as other mental health disorders, such as eating disorders, substance dependence, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and depression. People who undergo dialectical behavior therapy learn skills that minimize harmful behaviors and help navigate specific life challenges. These skills, however, are not exclusive to individuals with mental health conditions. Everyone can use these skills to make their lives healthier and happier.

Here are the DBT skills you can incorporate into your life.

Reality Acceptance

This skill is about accepting your daily experiences and working to accept past painful events. Instead of fighting reality, accept it so that you don’t intensify your suffering. Instead of getting frustrated or angry about a situation you can’t fix, take a deep breath and remind yourself that there are things in life that are simply beyond your control.

Nonjudgmental Stance

It is the nature of human beings to cast judgment. People judge others, the world, and themselves, which is perfectly normal and natural. When you make negative judgments, however, you tend to increase your emotional pain. If you want to apply the skill of nonjudgmental stance, start to notice when you judge things. When you’re frustrated, irritated, or angry, focus on the judgment you’re making, and then replace that with a fact and the emotion you’re currently feeling. Although being less judgmental doesn’t get rid of the emotional pain, it does reduce negative emotions, such as anger. Additionally, you’re able to think more wisely and clearly.


Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment. You become aware of your feelings, reactions, thoughts, and actions. You can apply mindfulness while you’re walking or jogging. Feel your body as you walk or jog and observe what it needs to do to move each muscle. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the present moment.

Reality acceptance, nonjudgmental stance, and mindfulness are skills that you can use in your day-to-day life. Remember that you can apply these skills anytime, anywhere.