In DBT, one of the first lessons involves the three states of mind: emotion mind, rational mind, and wise mind. You can imagine these three as a Venn diagram. Emotion mind on the left, rational mind on the right, and the intersected area is wise mind.
As is possibly obvious, when you’re in emotion mind, you’re more emotionally charged and more likely to be impulsive with words and actions. Rational mind is objective logic and fact. Sometimes in emotion mind, thoughts feel like fact, but they’re based on subjective thoughts. Wise mind is a combination of the two, and it’s a good way to balance out the two and regulate the thoughts with feelings and vice versa.
Wise mind is not always the goal. It’s okay to be in emotion mind or rational mind, and neither of them are enemies or inherently bad. It’s more about which mind is most appropriate to handle a given situation.
I am currently in a situation where emotion mind is more destructive than helpful, where wise mind is the best place to be because it is emotional, but that emotion needs to be tempered by the logic of rational mind.
My current homework for DBT is to pay attention to and recognize which state of mind I’m in, which one I’m usually in, how they affect me. I also need to focus on what “my life worth living” is, which is the ultimate goal of DBT.
Another key point in DBT is to remove the thoughts of “should” or “shouldn’t” because those two words are accusatory and judgmental. The goal is to do things that help more, and to do things that don’t help less. The thing you want to move toward is “my life worth living”, which you should make as specific as possible. The more concrete of an idea you have that you want, the easier it is to convince your brain to go toward it.
I hope that DBT will benefit me personally, and I hope that keeping this in my blog posts will help me as well as anyone else who reads this.