ACT and Childish Thinking

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

Q:  How can I cope better with troublesome thoughts?

A:  Develop a different relationship with them.

Troublesome thoughts can drive us mad, fearful thoughts can paralyse us.  How many times have our thoughts stopped us doing things we wanted to do?  How often have we woken up in a panic, heart pounding, stomach churning, hostage to a mind that is going round in circles?  We have all  been there.  We all know what it is like to be swept away by our thoughts to dark places we would far rather not visit.  What to do?  That is the question.

Well there are many ways that we can deal with our troublesome thoughts but one of the most effective for me is to adopt an ACT strategy.  ACT encourages us to develop a different relationship with our thoughts.  ACT reminds us that we are more than our thoughts, more than our feelings.  We are the thinker, we are the great story teller, we are conjuring up all these images that play out movies in our minds.

Often our automatic thoughts, our immediate reactions spring from things that have happened in childhood.  As powerless little children we developed coping strategies to survive, we internalised core beliefs from our families of origin that may or may not be helpful now.  When we have strong powerful reactions and thoughts to things that happen now, it is helpful to see if some of those reactions are products of past childish thinking that is no-longer relevant.  This means creating some distance and developing a different relationship with our thoughts.  This is helpful.

I wrote “CHILDISH THINKING” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with your troublesome thoughts?
  • Are you willing to develop a new relationship with them?
  • 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

CHILDISH THINKING

 

It maybe hopes have faded, we are jaded, out of sorts,

And we’re troubled more than normal by those pesky little thoughts

That keep swirling round in circles ‘til our head is fit to burst,

We are desperate to do something, but don’t know what to do first.

In this instance, there’s a process we can kick-start straight away,

We can make a bit of distance, watch our pesky thoughts at play,

And remember we’re the thinker, we’re imagining it all,

And this moment of awareness means our thoughts begin to stall.

And we can go one step further, hold our thoughts now to account,

And regard them with some rigour as our fears begin to mount,

We can dig them from their hiding place and hold them to the light,

And demand of them some answers, “Are you wrong, or are you right?”

And it could be very likely that we’ll find they’re fantasy,

Just some phantoms from our past cavorting as reality,

And though we’ll honour and acknowledge them for whence they came and why,

If we’re seekers of the truth, we will not on those thoughts rely.

And then we’re ready for the next step, and it’s one that may seem strange,

As we switch from doom and gloomy thoughts to nice thoughts for a change,

And as we conjure up a picture show of shimmering success

We’re no longer sabotaging the potential we possess.

And it may seem a tall order, after all we’ve long been held

Hostage to our childish thinking, and it is not easy quelled,

But if we recognise its origin, we now have power to say,

“Whilst I thank you for your thoughts, I’m in a different place today.”

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed “CHILDISH THINKING 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 …..

Although not strictly speaking an ACT book, I would like to recommend Lauren Mackler’s book:

Product Details

Today’s poem, “CHILDISH THINKING” was inspired by a process she describes entitled “The Five Steps to Managing Fear”.

Sometimes you come across a book which resonates with you.  It is there at the right time and you are in the right place to appreciate it.  That is how I felt when I opened the first pages of “Solemate”.  Maybe you will enjoy it too.

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

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ACT and Holding Our Values Near

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

Q:  What can I do when my world takes a knock?

A:  Take time to steady and turn to your values.

When unexpected things happen of course we are going to be momentarily shaken, shocked, delighted, horrified, excited etc.  Our emotional reaction will vary according to the event in question.  If we like it expect good reactions, if not, well we know the answer to that one!

The important thing to remember is that although we cannot stop the reaction from arising in the first place we can choose what happens next.  ACT reminds us that although we cannot avoid the first cut, we do not have to make it deeper.  Accepting the first reaction is not always easy.  When we are reeling, when our mind is in turmoil, when every fibre of our being is shouting, “NO!” acceptance may seem a million miles away.

We would be saints if we just rolled over and said, “Yes, Ok, I am fine with this.”  We are not saints, we are human beings, fallible, imperfect, wonderful human beings.  When unexpected things happen, particularly unwelcome unexpected things, this is the time to be kind to ourselves, to exercise the same compassion that we would extend to our very best friend.  This is also the time to turn to our values.  When everything else is in turmoil our values are our lifeline.  They are constant, they will not let us down.

Whilst we are absorbing the shock, whilst we are coming to the terms with the new what is, let’s do ourselves a favour.  In the midst of the mayhem we can find a way out.  Our values will guide us to new beginnings.

I wrote “HOLDING OUR VALUES NEAR” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to turn to your values in times of trouble?
  • Have you revisited your values recently?  Is it time to pay them a visit?
  • 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


HOLDING OUR VALUES NEAR

 

Sometimes our mind’s in turmoil, there is so much going on,

Too much newness to assimilate, or something sudden gone,

An enthusiasm waning, or a disappointment new,

Something close to disappearing, something coming into view.

Yes, for now the landscape’s changing, and that really is the crux,

We may strive for equilibrium but everything’s in flux

And for the moment we must tolerate an unknown what will be,

So, let’s not fix upon an outcome, let us sit it out and see.

For what will happen in the future is not something we can know,

We may give it our best guesstimate, accepting even so

That predictions are notorious for being way off beam,

And even seeming drawbacks are not always what they seem.

And so, if Mind is in a turmoil and things seem for now unclear,

That’s the time to turn to values and to hold them very near,

For then we won’t be in a quandary, Mind rushing round disturbed,

Because when values drive our actions we need not be too perturbed.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “HOLDING OUR VALUES NEAR” 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 …..

When we are struggling with events in our lives, when we have lost touch with our values and are finding it hard to cope, the Six Core Processes of ACT offer us a wealth of choice.  What a tool box we have at our disposal.

If you want a swift reminder of what’s on offer there is a great overview at goodtherapy.org.  I visited today and I was so glad that I did.  It reminded me that even though I turn my back on one core process there are five more waiting in the wings!  Today it was this that resonated with me:

“Accepting one’s emotional experience can be described as the process of learning to experience the range of human emotions with a kind, open, and accepting perspective.”

I was so glad to be reminded of that today.  The first cut really can be the deepest if we don’t keep digging at it!

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 Accepting the Feelings

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

Q:  What should I do when someone hurts me?

A:  Acknowledge it, accept the feelings and move on.

When someone hurts us, especially when someone hurts us unexpectedly, it can be quite a shock to the system.  If we didn’t see it coming then it can leave us reeling, unable for the moment to make sense of what is happening.

At such times it is probably best not to try to analyse too much.  We cannot know what causes someone else to lash out, we are not privy to their inner landscape, we cannot get inside their head.

Of course it would be great if people went around being nice to each other, of course it would be wonderful if everyone took account of everyone else’s feelings, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon.  We are all human, imperfectly human, and we all say and do things we don’t mean and wish we could take back.  Sometimes things do spill out, sometimes the pressure builds and things are said and done to relieve it.

If we are at the receiving end of someone’s unkindness that says more about what is happening to them than it does about us.  ACT reminds us that we are more than our feelings, more than our thoughts.  If we make space we can observe them and let them pass through.

When we are upset by what someone has said or done it helps to remember that we cannot stop the feelings arising but we do not have to hold on to them.  When someone offends us we do not have to take offence.  We have a choice.  We can acknowledge our feelings, accept them and move on.

I wrote “ACCEPTING THE FEEINGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you too quick to take offence?
  • Are you willing to act in your own best interests and let it go?
  • 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

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POEM FOR TODAY

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ACCEPTING THE FEELINGS

 

Sometimes somebody lets us down, or so it sometimes feels,

And we didn’t see it coming, we’re off balance, our world reels,

And it really was surprising when our world view took a knock,

But right now, the shock is over and it’s time for taking stock.

It maybe we were complacent and forgot how things could change

When our world view took a tumble, and began to rearrange,

But it’s time now for acceptance of what’s happened, of what’s gone,

Leaving energy to spare to best decide how to move on.

For a someone who’s surprised us doesn’t have to take account

Of emotional reactions that in us begin to mount,

For our feelings are our business, our responsibility,

So, they’re never down to you my friend, they’re always up to me.

And so, although we may not like it when a someone seems unkind,

Or we find things have moved on and we’ve been somehow left behind,

It will be in our best interests if we simply let it go

And refuse to take offence so that our peace of mind can grow.

And that really is so lovely, when we find a way to say,

“I’m protective of my peace and I don’t give it quick away,

And despite your careless actions I won’t seek to shift the blame,

I may not like the way I feel but I’ll accept it all the same.”

© Corinne Shields, 2017

 

If you enjoyed, “ACCEPTING THE FEELINGS” 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 …..

There is a very interesting article at mindfulnessmuse.com entitled 5 Ways to Let Go of Judgment and Fear.  The 5 Strategies are:

  • Mindfulness
  • Reframe the judgment in terms of consequences
  • Reframe the judgment in terms of goas or gratitude for others
  • Actively look for exceptions and what is going unnoticed
  • Apply validation

The article reminds us that it is possible to let go of judgment and fear.  We can make the choice in this moment to practice a new way of relating to ourselves, others, and the world.

When we realise that taking offence, no matter how justified, hurts us more than choosing not to take it, then it becomes easier to let it go.  The 5 strategies are useful tools to have in our kit-box.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

just-for-today-i-wont-allow-what

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