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 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.






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


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.

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