Doing the Opposite of your Emotional Urges

Today I participated in a tool kit session of my Eating Disorder program.

“Emotions love themselves that’s why it is so difficult to change.”

That statement hit me hard!

We watched a video with Marsha Linehan on the topic above. She explained some of the following:

1. Every emotion has an action.

2. Change the emotion and you will change the emotions action.

3. Doesn’t always work.

She also said if you are going to use Opposite Action honestly, you have to use it all the way. Doing something half way is pointless.

A couple of examples we worked with were Fear and Anger.

Fear: Is it Justified?

1. Is it a threat to your life, your health, or your total well being.

The Opposite Action?

Approach the fear (i.e. going to a social event)

Do it all the way.  (go to the social event, meet people, stand tall).

The second one we worked with is Anger.

Anger: Is it Justified?

Is the anger helpful (is it something you want to be feeling?)


1. Is a goal being blocked?

2. Is there pain (you would feel a lot of it)

The Opposite Action?

1. Gently avoid the situation.

2. Be decent all the way (so instead of attacking, be civil).

Remember this includes your thoughts. You must be empathetic otherwise you aren’t been 100% authentic.

I will be practicing this while I am away this week. I am seeing my husband’s family and friends. There are bound to be moments where I am going to feel incredibly challenged.