What is PLEASE Mastery, and how can it help me?
PLEASE Mastery is a tool that is often taught in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). To find out more about DBT in general, click here to visit Mind’s website.
This tool looks at reducing your physical vulnerabilities in order to protect your mental health. If these physical things are out of whack, your mental health is more likely to be vulnerable to emotional or stressful situations. It has been found that maintaining these physical aspects of your life can help you feel more robust in dealing with the emotional stuff.
I personally hate the PLEASE Mastery acronym itself; not because I don’t agree with the steps, but because the letters are taken from the middle of words or sentences – it’s not a proper acronym. But I’m just being picky.
Anyway, PLEASE Mastery stands for:
- Treat Physical ILlnesses
- Balanced Eating
- Avoid Mood-Altering Drugs
- Balanced Sleep
- Get Exercise
- Achieve Mastery
Treat Physical Illnesses
If you’re feeling unwell, it’s important to make yourself a doctor’s appointment and get the right treatment as soon as possible. It is also important to make sure that you are taking all prescribed medication as directed by your doctor. When we feel unwell, we are more vulnerable to our emotions, so the quicker we return to physical health, the stronger we will feel when facing intense emotions.
I’m not talking about going on a diet or trying to lose weight here; balanced eating is just about eating enough (not too much, not too little) and trying to vary what you eat so you get the right nutrition that you need. Obviously, you don’t need to go out and overhaul your entire diet, but maybe try adding in a piece of fruit here and there; little changes can soon make a huge difference. If we’re feeling hungry, or if we’re stuffed from overeating, this can affect our mood negatively.
Avoid Mood-Altering Drugs
It’s a good idea to avoid taking any mood-altering drugs that have not been prescribed to you by a doctor. This can include alcohol as well. Drugs and alcohol lower our ability to cope with emotional situations and put us more at risk of coming to harm.
It’s so important for us to be getting the right amount of sleep for our bodies. For some people, this is the standard eight hours, but for others, this may be more or less. If we don’t get enough sleep, or even if we sleep too much, we can become irritable and easily frustrated by stressful situations.
If possible, it’s a good idea to try to get some form of exercise each day. This doesn’t mean you need to immediately go out and get a gym membership and spend hours in the gym each day, but if you can start with a 5-10 minute walk around the block, then build it up from there, this can help us to feel stronger and more robust when dealing with intense emotions.
This one is about doing something each day that makes you feel good and makes you feel like you’ve learned something. If you feel good about yourself and feel like you’re achieving something, this can give us a real boost and help us feel more able to deal with emotional situations.
Which elements of PLEASE Mastery do you do well? Which parts do you struggle with? Let me know in the comments.