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  • Sara Mann

Coping Skill: Scripture!

Over the past year and a half I have learned many coping skills that are amazing! I would like to start dedicating some blogs to sharing these coping skills! They range from how to challenge my thoughts, to how to confront someone about an issue in a healthy way. Some help me turn anxiety into calm and others help me validate and stick to the facts. It’s important to have a LOT of coping skills because they all don’t work in every situation and sometimes life is as bad as it was for me this week and you need to funnel through them one after another.

I’m not gunna lie, its been “one of those weeks.” You know, the ones where you pinch yourself at the end of it and say, “yep, still alive!” For a person recovering from an Eating Disorder, weeks this bad are pretty detrimental. It’s difficult to eat. Anxiety is raging. Stress is through the roof and if I don’t stay on top of it, the desire to restrict to feel better creeps in and takes over. I’m not going to get into why the week was bad but I will share one of the coping skills I use to deal with it.

The coping skill I want to talk about this blog is...SCRIPTURE!! The good old Word of God! Scripture has the ability to calm anxiety, relieve stress, give hope, create peace, validate hurt, encourage, guide, teach and speak truth into the days that I am overwhelmed with lies.

It might be hard to believe that scripture is a coping skill, but I’m telling you, it works! I think because it is alive and straight from God it has the ability to speak directly to our hearts in the way we need. The Bible is really big and, in my opinion, sometimes hard to know where to start or where to go to find what I'm looking for. Nothing is worse then feeling hopeless and trying to turn to scripture for some hope and the only thing you can do is look up the word hope in the back of the Bible, and go to the three verses that are listed that are pretty generic. It's also difficult because most therapists and treatment centers are not faith centered so as a Christian woman, who wants to pair my therapy with my faith, it can be difficult. So, throughout life, and during treatment I have gathered my own personal arsenal of scripture to turn to for a variety of different problems. Recently a friend gave me a huge list of scripture to turn to while recovering and my therapist even gave me a list of scriptures that correlate with different DBT (1) skills. So, I’m going to share them all with you! The first list is the DBT correlations and the second is a list of my personal faves!!

DBT Scriptural Correlations

This list has gives the DBT skill, a description of the skill, the verse that correlates with the skill and why!

WISE MIND MINDFULNESS SKILL Emotion mind and reasonable mind – Prov. 14:33 Understanding – intuition Wisdom is ..... – James 3:17 Fruits of the Spirit

NON JUDGMENTAL STANCE MINDFULNESS SKILL Be aware don’t evaluate – James 4:12 God is the judge Acknowledge but don’t judge – Luke 6:37 Prevents being judged Sort opinions from facts – Romans 14:1 Opinions, do not fight over

Accept each moment – Hebrews 12:6 Accept good and bad – receive love

Suffer for right and wrong – I Peter 3:14 Better to suffer for both

OBSERVE MINDFULNESS SKILL Watch thoughts come and go – Matthew 26:38 Watch distressing situation

Be alert – Proverbs 4:20 Attend to words and behavior Notice – Ezekiel 33:7 Be a watchman, see and warn

DESCRIBE MINDFULNESS SKILL Put words on experience – II Timothy 4:2 Instructions to speak, teach

Put experiences into words – Matthew 13:13 Describe in parables

EFFECTIVENESS MINDFULNESS SKILL Do what works – Philippians 3:13 Forget the past, Press for goal Play by the rules – Philippians 3:16 Walk by the same rule Be skillful – I Corinthians 3:10 I am as a wise builder Let go of vengeance – Romans 12:19 Vengeance is God’s Let go of self-righteousness – Philippians 2:3

No conceit – be humble Let go of useless anger – Proverbs 29:11 Don’t vent anger

ONE-MINDFULLY: IN THE MOMENT MINDFULNESS SKILL One thing at a time – James 5:13 – 18 Elijah prayed earnestly Come back to the moment – Isaiah 30: 15 Rest and return Attend to words and behavior – Proverbs 4: 20 – 27 Have mindful behavior


Short-term – I Peter 3:11 Seek and pursue peace, do good

Long-term – II Peter 3:14 Be diligent, be long-suffering Seek positive experiences – Psalm 8:3 Look at God’s world

Strengthen relationships – I Peter 3:7 Minister to spouse

BUILD MASTERY EMOTION REGULATION SKILL Master emotions and tasks – Titus 1: 8 – 9 Be holy, blameless, just

Master your gifts – I Corinthians 12:28 Develop your gift each day


Fear – 1 John 4:18 Love actions cast out fear Guilt – 1 Samuel 20:8 Know yo ur guilt as real or perhaps unreal

Repair – Psalms 25:11 Confess to God and the other

Commit to avoid mistake – Luke 19:8 Zacchaeus made amends, let go

Sadness – Col. 3:23 Be active heartily as to the Lord Anger – James 1:9 Be slow to anger


Treat physical illness – John 9:10 – 17 Healing of man born blind Balance eating with good nutrition – I Kings 19: 4 – 8 Elijah’s suicide Avoid drugs and drink – Proverbs 20:1 Admonition to not drink

Balance sleep – I Kings 19: 5 – 6 Elijah’s suicide Get exercise – Ecclesiastes 10:17 Instructions in strength and diligence


Gentle – Matthew 11:29 Be gentle and meek move without impulse Interested – Psalm 130:2 Be interested in God and others Validate – Matthew 6:26 Validate others as God does us Easy Manner – Matthew 11:28 Cast your cares on Jesus – He gives rest


Describe – Acts 12:17 Describe the situation effectively Express – Psalms 40:1 Tell your feelings appropriately - tell opinions Assert – Exodus 7:2 Speak out strongly what you have to say Reinforce – 1 Corinthians 9:18 Reinforce others’ words Mindfully focus on objectives – Ephesians 5:8 Walk in the light Appear confident – Hebrews 4:16 – Confidently approach tough situations

Negotiate – Mark 9:33 Negotiate for what you want


Fair – Colossians 4:1 Treat others fairly no Apologetic talk – Ephesians 3:12 Be bold and confident in your words

Stick to own values – Philippians 3:3 Be strong in what you value

Truthful – Romans 9:1 Speak the truth in tough situations

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILL Accept – Hebrews 6:15 Endure through acceptance, do not condone

Endure – Luke 21:19 Endurance gives you life Persevere – Romans 5:3 Suffering produces endurance

DISTRACT DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILL Emotions – Mark 6:6 Others’ disbelief is not a hindrance

Activities – Luke 24:13 In crisis walk or be active

Contribute – Romans 15:26 Give time, money, and interest

Compare – Matthew 11:16 Compare to similar Biblical stories

Push Away – Proverbs 27:12 Shield and protect yourself

Thoughts – Psalms 18:6 Change thoughts, turn to God

Sensation – Luke 22:51 Jesus touches to heal

SELF SOOTHE DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILL Vision – Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds for self-comfort

Hearing – Genesis 3:8 Adam and Eve hearing the sounds of God

Taste – Matthew 26:26-27 Taste fully, God’s food Smell – Matthew 27:7 Fragrant oil poured out Touch – Matthew 13:5 Jesus washes disciples’ feet


Pro – Hebrews 2:10 Think of the positive reasons for persevering

Con – Proverbs 13:18 Distain correction and receive poverty and shame

Reward – James 1:2 Trials develop into Joy


Imagery - Acts 2:17 Visions, looking for God in nature

Meaning – Romans 8:28 Meaning and purpose found first in Jesus Prayer – Matthew 26:36 Pray and watch Relaxation – John 2:2 Jesus went to weddings, walked, relaxed One thing in the moment – John 6:4 – 14 Feeds the five thousand Vacation – John 6:3 Jesus goes to mountain with disciples Encouragement – Hebrews 10:25 Encourage yourself while encouraging others

My Personal Faves!!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that FAR outweighs them all.”

Luke 21:19 - “Stand FIRM and you will WIN LIFE!”

Exodus 14:13-14 “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

Philippians 1:6 “He who started a good work in you will carry it to completion.”

Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable - if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise - dwell on these things”

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 43:1-3 “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you are mine. When you go through deep waters. I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty. You will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression. You will not be burned up. The flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God.”

2 Corinthian 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Psalm 118:8 “It’s better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Kings 20:5 “…I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.”

Isaiah 58:11 “Where God guides, HE provides.”

Zechariah 4:6 “Not by my strength, but His.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to week and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm , strengthen, and establish you.”

Psalm 16:8 “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who LOVE Him.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothes with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor sorrow nor pain. For the former things have passed away.”

Psalm 62:6 “Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

2 Corinthian 5:7 “I will walk by faith even when I can not see.”

Hebrews 6:15 “And so it was…that she, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised.”

Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray; Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Ok, If I keep going I might blog the entire Bible! These truths, promises and wise words have gotten me through my deepest and darkest valleys. Sometimes I meditate on them as I do yoga or walk. Sometimes I pray them. Sometimes I journal them. Sometimes I read them over and over until I feel peace, and sometimes I color them on a sheet with markers! I hope they bring you as much hope, peace, encouragement and trust as they have me! If you have a verse you think would be great to add to my list, please share it below!!


- Sara -

1 - Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns and pushes for positive behavioral changes. DBT may be used to treat suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors.

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