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TIPP - Distress Tolerance


TIPP Skills can be used in times where emotion is overwhelming and you are unsure how to manage or get through it. Typically when big emotions occur our ability to reason or think logically gets impacted. Using these skills can help to calm the emotion to a level that may feel more manageable.


T: Temperature

Cold temperatures have an ability to calm the body down. Using temperature can be done by soaking a face cloth in cold water and holding it over your face for approximately 10-15 seconds. You may have to do this multiple times. Another option is holding an ice cube and rubbing it up and down your arm, on your face, etc. it will help to calm the body and emotion while also providing a different sensation to focus on.


I: Intense Exercise

During an overwhelming emotion, the body revs up and creates lots energy. To expend the energy with a goal of reducing the overwhelming emotion, it's suggested to engage in cardio exercises. Some options include, go for a run around the block, do jumping jacks in your room, go outside and walk fast. You can also try jumping rope, dancing or lifting weights (if you already have them). Do this for 10-15 minutes but don't overdo it. When you spend that conserved energy you will feel more tired and your overwhelming emotions will become more balanced.


P: Paced Breathing

When we experience big emotions, our body can experience physical sensations such as dry mouth, increased heart rate, sweating and a flushed face. To help calm the emotions, it can be helpful to engage in paced breathing of inhale for 4, exhale for 6.


P: Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Distressful or overwhelming emotions often come with tense muscles. When our muscles are tense it sends signals to our body and brain we need to be ready for survival (fight/flight/freeze). It also sends signals for the brain to continue producing cortisol (our stress hormone) and adrenaline which keeps us in our survival response. Using progressive muscle relaxation, you are going to want to find something to sit or lay on. Following, one muscle group at a time you are going to squeeze for 5-10 seconds and then release and continue to the next body part. This is also working on mind-body connection as you should be tuning into your muscles and how they feel before, during and after this skill.


Hope this helps!

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