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DBT Series 4 - Mindfulness of Current Emotions

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Welcome back! Let’s keep moving along in our exploration of DBT Mindfulness skills. Quick recap: the goal of Mindfulness in DBT “is to reduce suffering and increase happiness … and to experience reality as it is” (1).

Today, we are going to explore Mindfulness of Current Emotions.

Mindfulness of Current Emotions skills help you experience difficult and strong emotions in the moment without acting out from the emotions. The skills include:

     1. Observe

     2. Be Curious

     3. Love Your Emotion

Similarly to the Mindfulness What skill, Observe encourages one to notice the sensations and thoughts that ebb and flow when an emotion is present.

Be Curious encourages you to step into a space of wonder about or acknowledgement of the emotion. This will allow the spotlight to hang out on the emotion you’re experiencing and will actually allow the emotion to move along faster.

Love your Emotion allows for you to step into a space to allow yourself to feel the emotion. Sometimes, it feels too hard to love an emotion you’re experiencing. I encourage my clients to reframe this as “Make Room for your Emotion” or “Acknowledge your Emotion.”

Ways to Practice Mindfulness of Current Emotion Skills

  • Notice the physical sensations in your body that go along with the emotion you are experiencing.
  • Remind yourself that you have experienced this emotion before and that it won’t last forever.
  • Imagine yourself riding a boat along the waves of the emotion. The feelings and sensations may increase or crest just like a wave, and it will eventually fall back down.

Want to hear more about DBT Mindfulness of Current Emotions skills? Check out this free video from DBT-RU to hear more! (2)


(1) Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Manual (2nd ed., p. 161). The Guilford Press.

(2) [@DBTRU]. (2020, December 8). Mindfulness of Current Emotions  [Video]. YouTube.

Reminder: these blog posts are meant to be purely educational and/or entertainment tools and do NOT replace psychotherapy and/or other medically necessary treatments.

Are you ready to take the first step?