ACT and Thought Processes


Q:  How can I stop fretting about the future?

A:  Stay in the present moment and defuse.

When change is in the offing mind does what it is programmed to do.  It starts planning, analysing and organising if we are lucky.  If we are not so lucky it will start worrying and fretting.  If we are really unlucky it will start conjuring up all sorts of horror stories to frighten us half to death!

It is no good getting all upset and trying to stop it in its tracks.  Once mind is on a mission, mind is on a mission!

What we can do though is to take a step back and watch it at its work.  If we have been practicing mindfulness we should be getting quite good at this by now.  If we have been using our defusion techniques regularly then we should be getting quite adept at taking the sting out of our imagination’s worst excesses.

This is what we are learning with ACT.  It is not so much about challenging our thoughts as developing a different relationship with them.  We can learn to observe our mind at work without becoming entangled in the thoughts that it produces.  Amazing really!

I wrote “SOMETHING LOVELY AND DIVINE” to remind me of that.


  • Are you learning to observe your thought processes?
  • Can you stand back without getting embroiled in your thoughts?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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


With-one-foot-in-the future




A change is in the offing and already mind’s at work

Fabricating its projections, here’s a downside, here’s a perk,

And with one foot in the future we’re already miles away

From the beauty that’s on offer if we just stayed in today.

Oh our mind’s already plotting how to minimise the pain,

How to organise the what’s to come and maximise the gain

Without a nod to what’s occurring in the lovely here and now,

There’s a sunset all resplendent and we’re missing it somehow.

And here’s a chance to lend a listening ear, a comfort to bestow,

But we are only here half-hearted for our mind’s running the show,

Stealing moments from the present for a maybe never-land

But can awareness weave its magic, and help us to understand

That our life’s made up of moments, how we spend them that’s the thing,

Can we learn to love the present, and accept what it will bring

With its myriad little nuances, can we say, “It’s all fine,

Because I’ll find within its precincts something lovely and divine.”

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “SOMETHING LOVELY AND DIVINE” 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 …..

If you are interested in finding out more about ACT and CBT, what they share and how they differ, there is a very good article at the ACBS website entitled:

“Comparing ACT and CBT”

What really interests me is how they differ in relation to thoughts, particularly difficult thoughts, and how to deal with them.

According to the article,

“ACT has moved away from the traditional CBT emphasis on changing or correcting one’s thoughts in order to alleviate suffering.  Instead, ACT aims to alter the functions of our private experiences (thoughts, feelings, memories, bodily reactions), so they no longer entangle us. Said another way, ACT aims to change our relationship with these private events so we can become free from their grip, and free from the patterns that bind us and prevent us from living a flexible, meaningful, and enjoyable life.  In the service of these aims, ACT incorporates acceptance strategies, mindfulness techniques, and a wide range of behavioural approaches already known to be effective from CBT.

I came from CBT to ACT.  For me it was a natural and welcome progression.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Im-going monkey

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.

10 thoughts on “ACT and Thought Processes”

    1. The first book I read on ACT without realising it was about ACT at the time was Russ Harris’ “The Happiness Trap”. That is held to be an ACT classic and I really enjoyed it. His follow up books, “The Reality Slap” and “The Confidence Gap” are equally good. I would try “The Happiness Trap” to start. I hope you are at the beginning of a real ACT adventure!

      Liked by 1 person

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