DBT Skills: Mindfulness brings your inner caveman into the 21st century.

DBT Skills: Mindfulness brings your inner caveman into the 21st century.

Monkey on the Mind: How your inner caveman struggles with modern life

Every get angry by that off comment or poor tasting joke at your expense?

Ever get annoyed by something that bothers you all day?

Ever get insecure about yourself?

The problem is that deep down under all the clothes, makeup, hairstyles, cars and smartphones of today we are all essentially apes. We have inbuilt natural defences and urges which would have been incredibly useful years ago.

Picture the scene: You’re in the wilds with nothing but a loincloth and a spear, when suddenly a wolf comes charging at you! A rush of adrenaline and energy would have meant the difference between life and death. It in this scenario you use the boost to slay the beast or to run away quickly. In fact, those without this response probably for the most part died out.

However, in the modern age where the biggest threat to the day might be a snarky comment or upcoming work deadlines, this is more of a hindrance than anything else.

What might originally be considered as something reserved for those who struggle with anxiety, stress or related conditions, in fact those with relatively healthy and level heads could utilise the practise to improve their mental state even more.

To remedy an instantaneous stimulus-to-reaction thought process, DBT skills can help you break this apart and give yourself a chance to have some personal input.

DBT and mindfulness practise teaches you to notice your thoughts and feelings in a non-objective way. You are effectively adding another stage into your thought process which allows for objective realisation of thoughts.

The aim of the exercise may be something like this for example:

  • Someone makes a joke about your hairstyle.
  • Rush of adrenaline
  • Feeling of shame/embarrassment
  • Thinking my hairstyle looks bad
  • Feeling inadequate and bad about yourself
  • Overwhelmed and immediately respond unfavourably.

Could become this

  • Someone makes a joke about your hairstyle.
  • Noticing rush of adrenaline at negative comment aimed at you
  • Noticing thoughts of self-doubt
  • Recognising this is just a defence against attack
  • Realising that it was just a joke, and that the person who made the joke shouldn’t be taken to heart.
  • Laughing off the joke, and then change the subject


See the difference in potential outcomes of the same situations can be altered with just a simple change in thought process?

If you’re interested in DBT skills then there are so many different resources available to make a start, explore videos, read books or find a practitioner to help you learn this for yourself.

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