Can we change our our feelings by taking action without our thoughts changing first?


In DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), there is some thing called “opposite action” where you are supposed to act the opposite of how you feel in order to change your Feeling State.

This can be an effective way to change your feelings through your actions so you are not actually changing your thoughts to change your feelings.  By taking action that is in opposition to your feelings , you are able to effectively change your feelings and you bypass your thinking.

For example, say I am feeling sad and lonely and my usual action would be to sit at home alone feeling sad, but instead I take the opposite action and pick up the phone and call a friend to see if they want to go for a walk.  After I get off the phone, I find myself feeling better therefore I change my feelings not by changing my thoughts but by taking action.

Can you explain if this strategy contradicts Brooke’s idea that thoughts always precede feelings?