DBT Skill of the Day: Paced Breathing (ft Marsha Linehan’s Example!)


Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

In the Distress Tolerance module of DBT, there is an acronym called ‘TIPP‘. It stands for the following –

  • Temperature
  • Intense Physical Exercise
  • Paced Breathing
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation

In a few weeks I will be learning about TIPP again in the DBT Skills Group I attend, when I will go into more detail. For the time being, I would like to focus this post on Paced Breathing, which is something I have been finding helpful in dealing with intense emotions – most significantly with anxiety.

Briefly, Paced Breathing is the name given to a specific type of slow, deep, mindful breathing. I will outline briefly how and why it can be so effective to use as a Distress Tolerance exercise, below:

When you breathe in, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. This leads to the heart rate speeding up amongst other physiological changes…

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