Passive, Aggressive, and Assertive Communication: Most of us use each of these styles of communication throughout our lives and in different relationships in our lives. Assertive communication is characterized by respect, confidence, firmness, fairness, and a relaxed demeanor. Review the table below to learn more about each of these communication styles. Reflect on which situations and which relationships you use each of these communication styles.
Our minds and bodies are in constant communication, and our breathing patterns are one example of this. When we feel stressed, we often take shallow, quick breaths from our chest. When we feel safe and relaxed, we take longer, deeper breaths from our stomachs. Experiment with changing your breathing patterns and notice what happens in your body and mind. This can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety.
Reducing vulnerability to unpleasant emotions: While all emotions serve a function and have meaning, sometimes it can be helpful to find ways to protect ourselves from “spiraling” and feeling overwhelmed. The following acronym from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is used to help us remember ways to reduce our vulnerability to “spiraling:”
This exercise guides the client in attending to pleasant sensation, then unpleasant, then back to pleasant, and then trying to perceive both at once. It is a good practice of shifting attention to not ruminate on pain or troubles.
Accepting our own vulnerability is made easier when give ourselves compassion. Use this self-compassion break with clients in session or encourage them to use it on their own when working with difficult or vulnerable emotions.
This is a guided walking meditation.
Help clients experience the steadiness and continuity of their mind that is underneath mental events like emotions.
Use the following activity to explore a strategy to manage feelings of anxiety by tapping on your body: (click on “Basic Tapping Sequence for Anxiety)
The following strategies from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can help clients get through moments of distress by improving the moment:
In this video Dr. Russ Harris, a therapist who uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), explores three common myths related to happiness that frequently hold people back from feeling like they are living meaningful lives.