ACT and Mind Games

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

Q: How can I cope when Mind starts playing Mind Games?

A:  Defuse!

Our Mind is a wonderful thing.  It plans for us, analyses and makes judgements for us, alerts us to threats and dangers and, for much of the time, is an all-round good egg.  Where would we be without it?  Well I guess we would be like the cows munching in the field.  Quite happily enjoying the moment, not worrying where the next blade of grass is coming from.

So far so good.  However, our Mind also has the capacity to cause us much distress.  With its incredible imaginative powers this is where our wonderful Mind ensures that we part company from the cows!  Because we do worry where the next blade of grass is coming from, and more, much more.

Our wonderful Mind seldom rests.  Even when we are asleep it is still busy whirring away.  Mind is always at it.  When it is not planning and analysing and passing judgement, it is imagining, forecasting and projecting.  Unfortunately, due to the way it has evolved to keep us safe, Mind often looks on the black side, errs on the side of caution, and conjures up horror stories just to make sure we are paying attention.

In ACT we learn to look on our Mind with a bit of scepticism.  We learn that just because it thinks things that doesn’t mean they are true.  We learn that we are more than our thoughts, more than our feelings.  We learn that we are the Thinker, we are not the thought.  We learn about defusion.

When Mind starts conjuring up horror stories we can stop it in its tracks when we remember to defuse.  Mind loves to play mind games, but we do not have to fall for them.

I wrote “HAUNTINGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • What do you do when Mind starts playing mind games?
  • Do you remember to defuse?
  • 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

HAUNTINGS

 

Some things come back to haunt us with alarming regularity,

We look back and see a re-run of the same old same story,

And we thought we’d got it beaten, but ‘twas only lying low,

Now it’s back with teeth to bite us, if we chew on it ‘twill grow.

Of a sudden it’s inflaming, stirring feelings we don’t like,

All those bodily sensations even now begin to strike,

As our Mind starts telling stories and a crisis re-enacts,

It was such a small occurrence, but Mind’s careless of the facts.

And if we are in Mind’s orbit without making a safe space,

We’re in danger of colliding with reactions out of place

Which eclipse a swift appraisal of what’s really going on,

For there’s little room for logic when for now all logic’s gone.

And so, although it isn’t easy when we’re caught out in this way,

When a something back to haunt us springs a comeback in today,

And we didn’t see it coming, and mistakenly believed

We’d consigned it into history, but how we were deceived.

But it’s not a real disaster, a catastrophe, or worse,

We can choose to treat this haunting as a blessing or a curse

If we remember it’s a story, just our latest mental ruse,

And it will melt away the moment we decide that we’ll defuse.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “HAUNTINGS” 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 …..

One of the greatest gifts of ACT is defusion.  How wonderful to know that when Mind starts playing its tricks we do have a powerful antidote at hand.  We can stop Mind in its tracks.  We can create some distance and look at the games it is playing without getting embroiled in the downward spiral.

If you need a reminder of some defusion techniques head over to getselfhelp.co.uk.  The article “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” is one I return to often!!

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 Failure and Success

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

Q:  How can I cope with failure?

A:  View it as a necessary precursor to success!

Image result for inspirational picture quotes eddison

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was, “too stupid to learn anything.”  He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.”  As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.  When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times.  The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”  What a wonderful attitude!

No wonder Edison went on to become one of the greatest inventors of all time.  He didn’t look on failure as a problem.  He viewed it as a necessary pre-cursor to success!

Would that we all could do the same.  What a difference that would make in our lives.  Instead of running away from the risk of failure we would be able to welcome it with open arms, to look on it with anticipation as an opportunity for a lovely learning curve.

Unfortunately, if you are like me then you are no Thomas Edison.  Rather than regarding failure as a welcome guest you more likely grew up, as I did, regarding it as a dirty word.  For me failure has always been flooded with negativity, something to be avoided at all costs.  Rather than being prepared to try and fail, too often I haven’t dared to try at all.  With this attitude there is no room for the lovely learning curves that failure offers.  Our lives become smaller as a result.  What a shame.

ACT encourages us to be careful with language.  “Failure” is only a word, a series of letters, a sound.  It is we who imbue it with meaning.  My reaction to the word “failure” is completely different to that of Edison.  We are literally poles apart!  But when we invest too much meaning into words we can hurt ourselves.  This is where Defusion can help.  When we remember that words are just sounds, thoughts are just strings of words that we make up, we can start to take them less seriously.  We can become more flexible.  This is a good thing!

I wrote “LOVELY LEARNING CURVES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you able to see the difference between a word and the meaning you give it?
  • Are you aware of the messages that you send yourself?
  • 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

LOVELY LEARNING CURVES

 

Let us have a new beginning, let us make a brand-new start,

Let’s approach a fresh whatever with a quickening of the heart,

And let’s send ourselves sweet messages of encouragement and good cheer,

Tell ourselves that we are for us now whatever happens here.

Let’s prepare ourselves for pitfalls, yes there’ll be the odd time when

We’ll revert to negativity, but we can rise again

Reinforced by lovely learning curves that each new failure brings

When we’re willing to look for the treasures hidden in these things.

For a failure’s not a failure when we view it in this way,

It is just another thing we’ve learned that didn’t work today,

But it’s on the back of failure that success comes finally

And if we stick around for long enough success we’ll surely see.

And so, let’s have a new beginning, let us make that brand-new start,

And let us not retreat defeated, let’s be stout and strong of heart,

Because we’re braver than our gravest fears, great things can still be ours

When we remember, we are human beings, with unimagined powers.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “LOVELY LEARNING CURVES” 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 I first came to ACT I remember being very impressed by the importance that it attached to language.  In fact, I remember reading alot about the difficulties that language can create for human beings.  Although it is one of our greatest gifts, our use of language also has the capacity to do us much harm.  Somewhere along the way I have forgotten alot of what I learned back then.  So I thought it was high time to take a refresher, to remind myself of what I once knew!

Amongst other interesting articles, I came across a piece written by Rob Archer entitled, you’ve guessed it, “The Dangers of Language“.  Just what I was looking for!  Rob reminds us of:

“one of the most powerful lessons within contextual behavioural science; that part of our lives (or ‘context’) is shaped by the words that we use to describe it.”

I found the article really helpful, a great reminder that:

“if we get it wrong, language has the capacity to sell us a version of life that is not particularly accurate or helpful and which may leave us feeling shortchanged.”

I have a feeling I shall be reading more of Rob’s stuff in the days to come!

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 Honouring our Feelings

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

Q: What should I do with uncomfortable feelings?

A:  Honour them.  Pay attention to the messages they send.

We all love lovely feelings.  Of course we do.  They make us feel good, flood us with a sense of well-being, and make us feel glad to be alive.  It’s great when our whole system is in harmony.  We feel like we are on top of the world and that’s where we want to stay.

Unfortunately, feelings aren’t like that.  They are fleeting, they come and go,  often appearing out of nowhere and leaving just as suddenly.  That’s the nature of feelings.  We can no more hang on to our good feelings than demand that our bad feelings either don’t come at all, or if they must, then they don’t hang around for too long.

We can spend a long time battling with our feelings, trying to change the ones we don’t like and trying to keep the ones we do.  It is an energy sapping, largely fruitless exercise.  ACT suggests another approach.  ACT suggests that we practice acceptance.  When we practice acceptance of our feelings, good, bad and indifferent we are able to conserve our energy for other more fruitful activities.

ACT also encourages us to develop a different relationship with our feelings. This is where “Honouring our Feelings” comes in.  Our feelings are powerful clues to things we may need to be aware of in our lives.  Gut reactions are nature’s way of alerting us to things we may need to pay attention to.  Our feelings are there to help us, our evolutionary friend.  When we view them in this way, rather than doing battle with them, we can learn to honour them, listen to them, and then decide whether they are relevant or not.

I wrote “HONOURING OUR FEELINGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with your uncomfortable feelings?
  • Are you learning that accepting and honouring them might be a more useful strategy?
  • 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

HONOURING OUR FEELINGS

 

Let’s learn to honour our feelings, even when they agitate,

And let’s look on them with kindness, even when they angst create,

For they’re with us for a reason, they are trying to keep us safe,

And so, let’s give them space sufficient even when they jar and chafe.

There are times when feelings flood us with sensations of alarm,

When our heart starts pounding madly ‘til we feel ‘twill do us harm,

But it’s just our evolution sending messages so slick

That we forget it’s just a wondrous part of all that makes us tick.

And we’d wish that it were other, that we’d always feel just fine,

But our system is much wiser, it is able to define

Situations masquerading as a danger or a threat,

It won’t leave us unprotected, it will situations vet.

And this may bring some discomfort, but how fortunate are we

To possess our own antennae of such sensitivity

That they work on automatic, even when our mind’s elsewhere,

They are always working for us, always scanning everywhere.

And at times it can be wearing, we may wish they’d take a break,

Let us be a while oblivious to the fuss that they create,

But in the end, we know their value is immeasurable, and so

Even though they cause discomfort, we’ll just let them come and go.

 

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “HONOURING OUR 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 …..

I have been away for a while.  For the last few weeks I have not had instant access to the internet and, being out of the loop, so to speak, I have had more time for reading and writing, more time for reflection.  It has been a great time, rather like being on a retreat.

During that time though, things happened that I had not been expecting, things that upset me and caused alot of uncomfortable feelings.  This poem is one consequence of those feelings.  Something that has really helped me with ACT is learning to use the power that strong emotions generate in a creative way.

The last few weeks have been very productive creatively.  When we are forced out of our normal routines, when we are cut off from the instant communications that the internet offers, there is room for other stuff to come in.  ACT has helped me alot during this time out.  I needed it and it did not fail.  I hope that it will do the same for you 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