top of page

DBT ABC PLEASE Skills of Emotion Regulation (Part Two)

Updated March 2022

House of Happiness

Remember, you are a builder. A builder of your emotional resilience. Learning the DBT skills, you are a journeyman learning how to be a skilled builder, and creating your personal House of Happiness.

The DBT skills are all about proactive self-care, to reduce your vulnerability to strong emotions.

The Mindfulness skills are your foundation. Consciously using Mindfulness skills in everyday life have many known evidence-based benefits, all supported by alot of recent research. The relaxation response invoked by a daily habit of mindfulness will benefit your physiology and psychology – your mindbody.

The ABC PLEASE skills are the first floor in the house of happiness. Think of the ABC PLEASE skills as extreme self-care, to help you manage your emotions. The PLEASE skills are all about managing in advance and recognizing if you are experiencing HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely Tired. If you are suffering from any of the HALT – you are most likely going to be emotionally vulnerable.

The benefits of consciously applying the positive psychology of the ABC PLEASE skills in your everyday life is also supported by alot of recent research. Training yourself to develop habits of joy and contentment will help stabilize the storm of agitated, painful emotion.

Mindfulness skills are the solid foundation.

Emotional Regulation skills are the first floor, complete with a smooth, strong, tiled floor and high impact doors and windows for weathering emotional hurricanes.

ABC is the nice stable, tiled first floor, solid and smooth, enabling emotional stability and resilience. In Part One, you learned about developing solid ABC first floor.

PLEASE skills are the high impact window and doors, giving you the strength to stand in your own power.

The PLEASE skills are all about pro-active self care. Care for your mind and your body.

Another important aspect of weathering the storms of high emotion? Make sure you are physically well. Consciously make an effort to maintain your physical health. If your body is well, you have high-impact windows up to help you feel better. If you treat your body poorly, it will affect you physically and emotionally. You won’t feel well, and it’s harder to manage the blues.

PL Treat PhysicaL Illness

If you are not feeling well, listen to your body. Rest, drink fluids, see the doctor if you are ill. Get your vaccinations, keep updated with your checkups and screenings, go to the dentist, get physical therapy if you need it. Health is precious. Care for your body.

E Balance Eating

Eat balanced and nutritious foods. Eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods, with the correct servings of grains, vegetables, fruits and proteins. If you are not sure what eating whole foods means, go to a nutritionist for guidance. And there are many great cookbooks written by reputable doctors and nutritionists you can browse. If you think you have food sensitivities or allergies, pay attention to how you feel when you eat certain foods. 65% of the human population has a reduced capability to digest lactose. If you feel sick in the morning after you have a large iced coffee, maybe get checked by a doctor. I had undiagnosed lactose intolerance for my entire life, until I was 62, and it significantly affected my emotional well being.

A Avoid Mood Altering Drugs

Do not take medications that are not prescribed to you by a doctor. Drinking alcohol recreationally can slide into a lifestyle of using alcohol to cope. The same thing can happen with marijuana. Alcohol and marijuana, when used daily, can have addictive qualities. Addictive behaviors can also affect your mood, such as shopping and gaming. Any type of addiction has an effect on your emotions and psychology and how you interact with people and your work.

S Balance Sleep

You may be undervaluing the importance of getting enough sleep. The amount of sleep people need varies, but check your mood. If you are feeling tired and irritable, and there’s no underlying physical cause, you may be shorting yourself on sleep. If you have chronic insomnia, go to your doctor to rule out sleep apnea or another physical cause. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is an evidence-based method for gently interrupting the depression-anxiety-insomnia cycle.

E Get Exercise

Studies show that even moderate exercise releases mood-enhancing neurochemicals and endorphins that act as natural anti-depressants and help reduce anxiety. If you are embarking on an exercise program after man-years of being sedentary, see your doctor first for guidance. Keeping active helps regulate mood. The body and mind are one.

Useful DBT Skills Training articles:


bottom of page