The core model of distress tolerance is to improve an emotional situation through positive distraction. ACCEPTS, an acronym, consists of a set of various activities that steer our mental mechanisms away from negative emotions and responses. It is designed to navigate an emotional crisis with individual activities, each related to various aspects that determine a situation. ACCEPTS Skill motivates us to perform activities that are fulfilling and emotionally satisfying, distracting us from responding to an emotional situation in ways that could make it worse.


Instead of focusing on the current negative situation, do something else, like watching a movie, house cleaning, exercising, or maybe going for a walk.


There is joy in giving, which is why doing something for others can fill you with positivity and make you feel good. You could help a family member or friend, donate, or volunteer at an NGO or animal shelter.


Compare your situation with positive moments of your own when you felt differently, or make comparisons with people in more challenging situations. Comparisons help us realize how it might be easier for us to get through a moment of anxiety or mental suffering.


Emotions in ACCEPTS involve filling your mind with a variety of emotions to neutralize the importance of negative emotions. Watch different types of movies, such as scary ones, romances, comedies, and action thrillers. Try reading emotional books or listening to music that fills you with emotion.

Pushing Away

Pushing away refers to taking a break from your mental situation, but it should only be used in situations that cannot be resolved. Block the negative thoughts out of your mind, and scream “No” to yourself if necessary.


Again, distract yourself by immersing yourself in activities such as reading or doing a puzzle to move away from your thoughts. Try counting to 10 until the negative moment subsides.


A distraction method using a variety of sensations such as squeezing something, using ice cube or a hot pack, taking a hot or cold bath, walking in the rain, or listening to loud music