ACT and Shocks!

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q:  I’m in shock!  What can I do?

A:  Use it wisely.   Take stock and reaffirm your values.

I suppose some shocks are pleasant, of course they are, the surprise present, the unexpected encounter, the lucky break, but generally speaking shocks have a more sinister implication.

In my book a shock is more likely to be unpleasant and unwelcome, something that comes out of the blue to shake my complacency and shunt me out of my comfort zone.

If you are the same then you probably view shocks in the same way, unwelcome occurrences that rock your world, at least for a while.  Unless we are pretty extraordinary human beings, and there are some of those around, first reactions to shock are pretty standard.  They may include some or all of the following:

disbelief, fear, anxiety, denial, irritability, nightmares, flashbacks, numbness, detachment, guilt, shame, helplessness, the list goes on!

All of these feelings are unpleasant, none of them are feelings we would want to encourage, but nonetheless in ACT terms, “if we have them they are already here.”  Struggling against them just increases our emotional pain.  Accepting what we cannot change is a tall order, especially in the first after math of a shock, but when we are willing to do so then we are on the road to something different.

That something different can include using a shock in a more constructive way, as a chance to take stock and reaffirm our values.

I wrote “SHOCKS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with shocks?
  • Are you able to use them constructively, as a way to reaffirm your values?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

sometimes-a-something

POEM FOR TODAY

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

SHOCKS

 

Sometimes a something shakes us and it comes as such a shock

That we’re reminded we are overdue some time for taking stock,

And that because we’ve been too busy, too complacent or too low

We haven’t reassessed if where we are is where we want to go.

Maybe life’s become so crowded we forget what we once knew

That when we settle in the stillness values tell us what to do,

And that a little readjustment can a lot of difference make,

And when we let our values lead us then a surer step we take.

It’s a shame this sense of knowing isn’t with us constantly,

How that it often takes a shock to wake us from our reverie,

But although a shock’s unwelcome it can serve us very well

If we allow it to speak to us and we heed its warning bell.

And so if we are still astounded, still dumbfounded or amazed,

Let us use this shock occurrence as a chance to reappraise

If the route that we are choosing is the same route that we chose

When we let our values lead us, long before this shock arose.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “SHOCKS” 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 …..

In ACT terms leading a meaningful life means discovering or rediscovering our values and then taking actions which are in line with them.  This can be easier said than done!  Sometimes we have strayed so far from our values that we cannot easily remember what they are.  Sometimes we are so goal orientated that we mix up values and goals.  Doing this leads to a very different experience of life.

If we want to discover or re-discover our values there is a very good article at Working with Act.  It is entitled “Finding True North:  How to Clarify Values” and it includes some helpful exercises for “finding true north.”  I loved it!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

just-for-today-ill-treat

 

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

Corinne

Advertisements

ACT and Delusion and Defusion

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q:  How can I resist the siren songs?

A:  Don´t believe everything you hear.

Image result for inspirational picture quotes don't believe everything you think

Just because we think something doesn’t mean that it’s right; just because we think something repeatedly doesn’t mean that it’s true.  In fact there is a good case for saying that anything that we think automatically, habitually, we would do well to treat with scepticism.

Research shows that about 80% of our thoughts are automatic and, unfortunately, negatively automatic!  There is a good evolutionary reason for this.  Thinking automatically frees us up to scan our environment for threats, for dangers.  The human organism has evolved with a default position for survival and hooray for that!  It has ensured the survival of the species, but let’s not fall into the trap of believing that everything we think is true.  Automatic thoughts are automatic because we have thought them so often that we have hard wired our brains to produce them.  That doesn’t make them true, it just makes them automatic.

If we have automatic thoughts that are unhelpful let’s remember that ACT has a strategy to help us to deal with them more skilfully.   It’s called Defusion.

I wrote “SIREN SONGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with your siren songs?
  • Are you able to create distance, to treat them with scepticism?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

old-town

SIREN SONGS

 

Maybe we have a story we have told ourselves so long

That we’ve forgotten how it hurts us when we heed its siren song,

And how when we fall for its treachery, its seeming to be true,

We are deafened to the real truth that’s what siren songs will do.

They will whisper in the small hours when we may be feeling low,

Feed our tender insecurities, take pleasure as they grow,

And when we are at our weakest they urge us to action take,

And drown out the voice of reason in decisions that we make.

For a siren song is powerful, it lures us constantly

As it pretends to be a friendly port in an unfriendly sea,

And although it’s much frequented, that won’t mean that it must last,

For there’ll come a time when siren songs are best left in the past.

And although it won’t be easy to resist the siren call,

If we turn to our awareness then the siren call can stall,

And if we tune in to our values, and change course despite our fears,

Then the siren song’s receding and it’s falling on deaf ears.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SIREN SONGS” 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 …..

Defusion is the key to unlock us from our automatic thoughts, our habitual stories.  Awareness of what is happening and making contact with our Self as Context is our path to freedom.  Creating a different relationship with our thoughts and seeing ourself as The Thinker and not the thought can empower us hugely.

When we understand that evolution has conspired to ensure our survival and that automatic negative thinking is an important part of that process maybe that will help us to take our thoughts less seriously.

For more on all of this, Delusion and Defusion, there are some great Defusion techniques at getselfhelp.co.uk.  Check them out; I found them really useful.

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

Corinne

ACT and Letting Go Again!

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q: What’s the best way to deal with insults?

A:  Don’t trade them, dissolve them.

Image result for inspirational picture quotes letting go of hurt

When someone hurts us the natural reaction is to retaliate; when someone insults us the normal response is to have a go back.  But natural and normal are not always the most effective, the most skilful ways to behave.  And ACT is all about being skilful, not for the benefit of others, but for our own benefit.  In this way ACT could be said to be a selfish therapy!  But it isn’t, not really.  The fact is that by helping ourselves we are more able to help others.  When we feel good inside then we have something good to give away.

One of the greatest gifts that we can give to ourselves is compassion.  We can always choose to be kind to ourselves, even when others are not.  And being kind means protecting our equilibrium, keeping an even keel.  If insults come our way we can choose not to engage with them, not to make things worse; if someone is mean to us we can opt not to get defensive, not to go on the offensive, we can choose to let the hurt go.

I wrote “BRICKBATS AND FLOWERS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you react when people hurt you?
  • Do you think you could respond more skilfully?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

IMG_20150322_092137

 

BRICKBATS AND FLOWERS

 

Sometimes it’s best to wait a bit and let life just work through,

Sometimes it’s doing nothing is the best thing we can do,

And sometimes when people hurt us or they irk us in some way,

It is better to remember things won’t always look this way.

With a little bit of distance then a larger view we see,

So, when people disappoint us we don’t take it personally,

We can sense that their agenda may be different to ours,

So, whilst they are hurling brickbats we can hand them back some flowers.

It’s a lovely little feeling when we realise it’s gone,

All the bile that was arising has dissolved and we’ve moved on,

And we’re glad we kept our counsel, and we gave ourselves some space

Until the story we were stirring simply vanished without trace.

And it’s certainly not easy should a slight or two occur

To resist the urge to have our say, to give that pot a stir,

But if we can just stay silent whilst emotion swirls about,

Then it’s likely we will find in time it simply fizzles out.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “BRICKBATS AND FLOWERS” 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 …..

Compassion is a commodity that is sadly lacking in today’s world, and yet compassion has wonderful healing properties.  Who doesn’t feel better after a kind word, a comforting gesture, a helping hand?

Moreover, in ACT terms, compassion focused exercises have been shown to greatly increase the psychological flexibility that is at the heart of ACT.

The next book on my reading list is:

The ACT Practitioner's Guide to the Science of Compassion: Tools for Fostering Psychological Flexibility by [Tirch, Dennis, Schoendorff, Benjamin, Silberstein, Laura R.]

I love the way that ACT mixes Science with Soul.   I want to find out more about Compassion.  I want to learn about these wonderful tools for fostering Psychological Flexibility.

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

Corinne