TIPP Skill for Emotion Regulation

When we feel stressed out emotionally, our body feels it physically too. This distress tolerance skill will help you relax and destress.

T – Temperature

-By changing our body temperature, we can quickly decrease the intensity of an emotion.

-Dip your face in cold water (not less than 50 degrees) and hold your breath. Try to hold it there for 30 to 60 seconds. (Do not attempt this TIPP skill if you have cardiac problems.)

-You could also use an ice pack!

I – Intense Exercise

-Engaged in intense cardio/aerobic exercise

-we engage our physical body in a way that calms down strong emotions and release them

-try 20 or more minutes or whatever you can fit in at that moment

Write down your level of emotional intensity (from 0 to 100) before and after using this skill

P – Paced Breathing

-Try to slow your breathing down to 5 or 6 breaths per minute. This means that your inbreath and outbreath put together should take 10 to 12 seconds.

-To help you do this, a timer or app can be very helpful.

-Try using a breathing app on your phone.

P – Progressive Muscle Relaxation

-Practice tensing your muscles as you breathe in for 5-6 seconds. Notice that feeling.

-Then relax them as you breathe out, paying attention to how that feels as you do it. Notice the difference between the feeling of tension and the feeling of relaxation.

-Go through each muscle group in the body (list can be found below) and tense then relax each one. As you relax a muscle group, say to yourself, “relax.”

  • hands (make fists)
  • arms (make fists and tense your forearms, biceps and triceps)
  • shoulders (raise shoulders up as high as possible)
  • forehead (wrinkle your forehead, lowering eyebrows)
  • eyelids (shut them tightly)
  • face (scrunch up nose and raise lips and cheeks)
  • tongue and mouth (distort muscles around mouth, push tongue against roof of mouth)
  • neck (push chin down toward chest)
  • chest (take deep breath and hold it)
  • back (arch your back)
  • stomach (tense abdominal muscles)
  • buttocks/glutes (squeeze together)
  • thighs (tense quads and hamstrings)
  • calves (point toes downward)
  • ankles and feet (curl toes, heels out)

Remember: These skills take time and practice to work automatically. Keep at it to see the best results!

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