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  • Writer's pictureMatthew J Moody

Embracing Half-Smile and Willing Hands: A DBT Perspective by mJmoody

Image by 4355729 from Pixabay


In today's fast-paced world filled with constant stimuli and pressures, finding moments of inner peace and mindfulness can seem like a daunting task. However, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) offers valuable tools and techniques to help individuals cultivate a sense of calm and self-awareness amidst life's challenges. Two such techniques, Half-Smile and Willing Hands, can be particularly powerful in promoting emotional regulation and well-being.




Imagine a situation where you are feeling overwhelmed with stress or anxiety. Your mind is racing, your body is tense, and negative thoughts are consuming your consciousness. In moments like these, the Half-Smile technique can be a game-changer.


A Half-Smile involves gently curving the corners of your mouth into a subtle, soft smile. This physical act, however small it may seem, can have a profound impact on your emotional state. By deliberately engaging the facial muscles associated with smiling, you send signals to your brain that trigger the release of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and endorphins. This can help shift your mood from one of distress to one of calm and contentment.


Practicing Half-Smile in moments of stress or emotional turmoil allows you to create a pause, giving yourself the opportunity to step back, observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment, and respond with greater clarity and wisdom.


Willing Hands:


Another powerful technique in the DBT arsenal is Willing Hands. Often used in conjunction with Half-Smile, Willing Hands involves opening your hands and turning them upward, as if you are ready and willing to accept whatever life presents to you in that moment.


This gesture symbolizes an attitude of acceptance, openness, and willingness to experience all aspects of the present moment, whether pleasant or challenging. By adopting the stance of Willing Hands, you cultivate a mindset of non-resistance and non-judgment, allowing yourself to be fully present and engaged with whatever arises.


Willing Hands can be particularly effective in helping you navigate difficult emotions, such as anger, sadness, or fear. By embracing these emotions with openness and acceptance, rather than trying to push them away or suppress them, you can develop greater emotional resilience and inner strength.


In conclusion, the Half-Smile and Willing Hands techniques offer valuable tools for enhancing emotional regulation, promoting mindfulness, and fostering a deeper sense of self-awareness. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can cultivate a greater sense of peace, balance, and well-being in your life.


Remember, the journey towards emotional healing and self-discovery is a gradual process. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you explore these techniques and discover what works best for you. Embrace the power of Half-Smile and Willing Hands and watch as they transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you.


Matthew Moody is a Holistic Nurse Practitioner serving the planet from New Mexico both online and in Santa Fe at Santa Fe Soul

2905 Rodeo Park Dr E Suite 3, Santa Fe, NM 87505

505 986-1089

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