ACT and Horror Stories


Q:  How can I stop my imagination running wild?

A:  Remember it evolved to keep you safe.  Thank it and come back to the present moment.  Be mindful.

We do have wonderful imaginations.  Our imagination is what differentiates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, as far as we know.  Our ability to create word pictures, to project into the future and to conjure up all sorts of scenarios is at once a blessing and a curse.  We can anticipate wonderful events and be filled with joy, we can project into the future and be filled with worry, anxiety and fear.

This is the dual edged sword of our imagination.  We can be excited about the future or we can frighten ourselves to death.  In evolutionary terms our minds have developed to keep us safe.  They are therefore more likely to see danger lurking, they are more likely to err on the side of caution.

ACT reminds of this, and we would do well to remember.  When something happens and triggers a full blown horror story, let us remember this is the mind doing its job.  If we can resist embellishing the tale so much the better.

I wrote “MASTER STORYTELLERS” to remind me of that.


  • How do you cope with your horror stories?
  • How have you learned to resist embellishing them?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.






There’s a story in the offing, even now we feel it stir,

It’s the one forever lurking, waiting only to recur

When our mind picks up a signal there is danger now afoot

And our body starts reacting, on alert it now is put.

It’s the old familiar feeling, oh we recognise it well,

As the chemicals start surging and our hormones start to swell,

This is instinct at the ready, our antennae primed and clear,

So let’s thank our body nicely but check out what danger’s here.

There’s no tiger in the bushes, there’s no enemy at the door,

Life and death aren’t in the balance, it’s a story nothing more,

And we’re learning to distinguish what is really going on,

Yes we’re master story tellers but a story will be gone

Without doing us much damage, save for hormones rushing round,

There’s no rustle in the bushes, just our thoughts making a sound,

Bits of language we’re concocting, spinning into quite a tale,

But if we do not embellish it this tale soon starts to pale.

And so let’s make a bit of distance, watch our thinking mind at work,

But deny it those embellishments that send our Mind berserk,

And then just go about our business and find something good to do

And let our story lose its impact as it simply moves on through.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “MASTER STORYTELLERS” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

Imagination is our ability to mentally move ourselves out of the present moment.  So we can go back to the past or forward to the future, all thanks to our wonderful imagination.

And it is wonderful, or it can be.  But remember, imagination can be both a blessing and a curse.  Wonderful memories must compete with regrets; hope and excitement must battle worry and fear.

If our imaginations are running wild, driving us mad and frightening us to death, what can we do?

ACT reminds us that we can always come back to the present moment.  We don’t need our imagination to experience the present moment.  Why?  Because we are already here.  To experience the present moment we only need awareness.  And that means practicing our mindfulness skills.

It is mindfulness that can stop our imagination running wild.

For some wonderful resources on Mindfulness check out the Treasury of ACT Resources Page.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes


Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

2 thoughts on “ACT and Horror Stories”

  1. Thanks for sharing this Corrine, beautiful as always! Being fully present in each moment is one of my resolutions for this new year as I work every day to get better at. My most recent post is about this as well and some of my favorite books on the subjects, what books would you recommend?


  2. Hi Josiah, I am going to practice mindfulness regularly too, even a few minutes a day helps to keep us in the present moment and stop the imagination running wild. The Mark Williams book, “Finding Peace in a Frantic World” is the first I read on Mindfulness and it is the one that I still return to. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Coming to our Senses” is a huge read and I just picked it up now and think it’s time for a re-read! What about you? Do you have any recommendations? Word of mouth still the best ads for books!


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