The TIPP skills are used when you're feeling incredibly intense emotions, specifically when your emotion or stress is so intense that you can't even think straight.
The tip skills work by changing your body chemistry in order to reduce extreme emotions as quickly as possible, so that you can use other skills or proceed effectively. There are four tips skills, temperature, intense exercise, paced, breathing, and paired muscle relaxation. That tea and tip stands for tip the temperature. It involves using cold water to trick your body into thinking that you're actually swimming underwater.
When humans or any mammals swim in cold water, their heart rate decreases in order to increase the likelihood of survival. When we're feeling intense emotions and intense stress, our heart rate is elevated, our sympathetic nervous system is activated.
Tipping the temperature down allows us to decrease our heart rate and activate our parasympathetic nervous system which calms us.
How you tip your temperature is to trick your body into thinking that you're in cold water.
The most effective way to do this is to get a bowl of ice water. Hold your breath plunger face into that bowl of cold water and try to hold it for at least 30 seconds.
If you don't have a bowl of ice water handy an alternative would be to take a Ziploc bag of ice or an ice pack and hold it over your eyes tempo and upper cheeks. If you do this method, you still want to trick your body into thinking that it's underwater. And the way to do that is to hold your breath and tilt your head down to your knees like you're bending over to dive into water.
And again, hold your breath for at least 30 seconds if possible. Just a minor note here. If you have a heart condition or taking medications like a beta blocker, then we encourage you to consult with a health care provider before using this skill.
The I in TIPP stands for intense exercise. The idea here is that when we're feeling extreme emotions or extreme amounts of stress, the body is actually quite revved up. Intense exercise can release some of the stress you're experiencing so that you feel calmer afterwards.
Now in an ideal universe, you're engaging in intense exercise by doing something for 30 minutes or more going out for a run jogging up and down staircases are jumping up and down for long periods of time. But actually intense exercise can still work really well, even when you just have a couple of minutes. For example, get up and do a minute of jumping jacks, high knees or push ups. Anything that gets your heart rate going and gets your physical energy revved up. There are two p skills and tip. The first P stands for paced breathing.
The idea is that if we can pace our breathing in a very particular way, we can slow down our heart rate and decrease the escalation or emotional intensity. Here are a few key points about paced breathing.
First is that you want the breathing to be from your diaphragm or from your belly area, not from your chest. When we're under a lot of stress and we're breathing very quickly, we tend to do more chest breathing, which is not a relaxation kind of breathing. So we want to move our breathing down into our belly area.
Second, we want to slow our pace of inhaling and exhaling. You want to think about it on average of roughly one breath every 10 to 12 seconds, which is likely a much slower pace in your breathing when you're experiencing emotional intensity. The last key point about pace breathing is that you want your out breath to be longer than your in breath. So for example, you want to inhale for about four seconds and exhale for about six seconds. So to summarize, the key points of paced breathing are breathe deeply into your belly area. Make sure that your pace of breathing is considerably slower, and make your exhalation longer than your inhalation. Those three things together are going to help your breathing get to a more relaxed state and therefore calm your emotion intensity pretty quickly.
The last tip skill is the second P which stands for paired muscle relaxation. This skill sometimes referred to as progressive muscle relaxation, in which you practice going through your body muscle group by muscle group.
First tensing the muscles as hard as you can and then releasing. And as you release, say the word relax in your mind and let go of the tension. The idea is that if you first tense your muscles really tightly before relaxing, you actually end up in a more relaxed state than if you just try to relax your muscles without tensing first.
Paired muscle relaxation practices can be brief or can go for as long as 45 minutes so you can slowly go through each muscle group.
All of this will help you feel more relaxed at the end compared to when you started, which will get you out of feeling extreme emotions and more likely to behave skillfully.