Taking Hold of Your Mind How Skills


  • See, but don’t evaluate as good or bad. Just the facts.
  • Accept each moment like a blanket spread out on the lawn, accepting both the rain and the
    sun and each leaf that falls upon it.
  • Acknowledge the difference between the helpful and the harmful, the safe and the dangerous,
    but don’t judge them.
  • Acknowledge your values, your wishes, your emotional reactions, but don’t judge them.
  • When you find yourself judging, don’t judge your judging.


  • Rivet yourself to now. Be completely present to this one moment.
  • Do one thing at a time. Notice the desire to be half-present, to be somewhere else, to go somewhere else in your mind, to do something else, to multitask—and then come back to one thing at a time.
    • When you are eating, eat.
    • When you are walking, walk.
    • When you are worrying, worry.
    • When you are planning, plan.
    • When you are remembering, remember.
  • Let go of distractions. If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, go back to what you are doing—again, and again, and again.
  • Concentrate your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop—go back to one thing at a time (the opposite of multitasking!).


  • Be mindful of your goals in the situation, and do what is necessary to achieve them.
  • Focus on what works. (Don’t let emotion mind get in the way of being effective.)
  • Play by the rules.
  • Act as skillfully as you can. Do what is needed for the situation you are in—not the situation you wish you were in; not the one that is fair; not the one that is more comfortable.
  • Let go of willfulness and sitting on your hands.

The content above is adapted from the mindfulness skills module handout #5. From DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan. Copyright 2015 by Marsha M. Linehan. Permission to photocopy this handout is granted to purchasers of DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, and DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition, for personal use and use with individual clients only.