Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy that gives individuals the skills to practice mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation. Today, Pinnacle Recovery is going to focus on one specific distress tolerance tip: ACCEPTS. 

To refresh your memory, ACCEPTS stands for Activities, Contributing, Comparisons, Emotions, Push away, Thoughts, and Sensation. You can use the ACCEPTS tip when you are struggling with managing your emotions at the moment and are not able to correct the situation right away. Here are some things you can do with ACCEPTS to help lower your distress at the moment. 


Any healthy activity can be useful in a heated moment. Doing an activity helps to distract you from your thoughts when you cannot resolve the situation right away. It keeps you busy and your mind off of the negative emotions. You can go for a walk, read a book, watch a movie, or do anything else that is healthy and gets your mind off the situation.


Contributing your time and efforts to something or someone else can be an effective way to get your mind off your current situation. You also will end up feeling better if you’ve helped another person with something. 


Instead of comparing yourself to other people, compare what you’re going through to something you’ve dealt with in the past. When we fall off a bike, we get back up. We can apply the same metaphor to our current emotional struggles. You’ve made it through tough times in the past so you can get through this too. 


In a stressful situation, your emotions are probably at an all-time high. If you’re feeling like they are out of control, try to evoke an opposite emotion. If you are sad, try doing something that brings you pure joy. If you are angry, try doing something to calm you down. Doing the opposite of the emotion you’re feeling can be an effective way to de-stress.

Push away

If you have tried these other tips and are still unable to deal with your emotions, you’re allowed to push them away and distract yourself. That’s okay. Just remember to come back to the feelings you’re having and work on them at a time and place that’s better for you. You can’t avoid your feelings forever.


Restructure your thoughts by doing something that will distract you or make you feel the opposite of how you’re feeling. This is an important emotion regulation skill that combines a couple of different aspects.


 Using your five senses to calm your thoughts and ease your mind is a helpful path to go down. Allow yourself to get lost in good emotions and sensory activities. This helps you cope with what’s in front of you when you cannot fix it right away. 

Pinnacle Recovery is here for you if you’re struggling. Call our trained and experienced staff today at 1-866-301-0573. We want to help you today.