Vulnerability prevention and mitigation is a basic tool in many counseling approaches including dialectical behavior therapy. By making sure your body and mind are functioning their best you will have the energy and resources to more effectively manage emotions and deal with life on life's terms. This article will help you learn some of the most basic principles to start living, and helping others live, a happier life.

Vulnerabilities are those things or conditions which make you more likely to respond in a strong, unhelpful way to situations which exhausts your energy reserves and negatively impacts multiple areas of life.  Some of the most basic vulnerabilities include pain, illness, lack of sleep, poor nutrition and lack of relaxation.  Any of these can make it harder to deal with life on life's terms.

  • Sleep is when your body rebalances and restores itself.
  • Food provides your body the building blocks to repair and make the hormones and brain chemicals needed for happiness.
  • Relaxation helps you balance the stress chemicals with positive chemicals and adds a sense of purpose and reward.

All of these are essential to happiness.  Think about it, how happy are you if you get up, eat, go to work, come home, eat, go to bed and repeat for weeks on end without time for realizing the benefits of your hard work? What things can you do to prevent some of these stressors?

Unfortunately, all vulnerabilities cannot be prevented.  Some days you will be sick, stressed or have missed lunch and have low blood sugar.  In these situations it is important to remain mindful of how you are feeling and minimize any stressors in the moment to prevent getting further depleted.  On those days you are not on your “a” game, or something stressful happens and knocks you off your game, how can you be compassionate to yourself?  What can you let go of so you don't feel as overwhelmed?

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