Emotion Regulation Skills: Opposite Action Worksheet

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Emotion regulation is the ability to exert control over one’s emotional state. It involves rethinking a challenging situation to reduce anger or anxiety or focusing on reasons to feel happy or calm. 

Emotional regulation allows us to use the Wise Mind so that we don’t become emotionally overwhelmed during potentially stressful situations. 

Opposite action is a technique for changing painful emotions. 

What Are The Theories Behind This Worksheet?

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a talking therapy adapted to treat individuals suffering from highly intense emotions. It helps individuals manage their problems by changing how they think and behave. 

Opposite action is a DBT emotion regulation skill that involves doing exactly the opposite of what your emotions tell you to do. 

How Will This Worksheet Help You?

Opposite action is used to help people with distressing emotions by setting into motion an action that is helpful instead of harmful.

How Should You Use This Worksheet?

This worksheet should be used by individuals who struggle to regulate their emotions.

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DBT Self Help. (No Date). Emotion Regulation: Opposite to Emotion Action. Available at: https://dbtselfhelp.com/dbt-skills-list/emotion-regulation/opposite-action/.  [Accessed February 20, 2023]


Sunrise Residential Treatment Program. (© 2023). DBT Skills: Emotion Regulation Through Opposite Action. Available at: https://sunrisertc.com/opposite-action/#emotions. [Accessed February 20, 2023]


The Center for Growth. (© 2023). Opposite Action for Emotion Regulation: A DBT Tip. Available at: https://www.thecenterforgrowth.com/tips/opposite-action-for-emotion-regulation.  [Accessed February 20, 2023]