ACT and Mindfulness in Action

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I stop chasing my tail?

A:  Try a little Mindfulness!

Mindfulness is a real buzz word these days.  In an external world of increasing busyness it can be hard to find a place of peace.  In an internal world of spinning thoughts and constant conjecture it can be difficult to switch off.

The fact that Mindfulness is finding such popularity nowadays speaks for itself.  In such a hectic world more and more of us are looking for a way to slacken off the pace.  Mindfulness seems to offer an answer.  It is simple but it is not easy; it is relatively quick to learn and its benefits are relatively quickly felt; it is always at hand, as near as our next breath.

When we are going round in circles, both in the external and the internal world, Mindfulness can help us to find a way out.

I wrote “MINDFULNESS IN ACTION” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you use Mindfulness in your life?
  • When do you find it most useful?
  • 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

and-lets-feel-the-life

POEM FOR TODAY

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MINDFULNESS IN ACTION

 

If Mind is busy wandering let’s bring it back to base,

Pay attention to our breathing and let’s slacken off the pace,

And let’s feel the life force fill us, energising everywhere,

This is Mindfulness in action, taking time to be aware.

Every moment it is possible, this being here and now,

When we notice Mind’s hijacking us, but now we won’t kowtow

To its constant little stories or its subtle siren calls,

We have skills we now can draw upon and so the hijack stalls.

And when we are in position, pure awareness kicking in,

Let’s explore what now is happening, outside us and within,

And let’s tune in to our senses, give them leave to roam around,

Let us sharpen our antennae, feel a touch, enjoy a sound.

There is so much we are missing when we’re hostage to our Mind,

When we disregard our senses which, too often left behind

May become a little deadened, dampened down through lack of use,

It maybe we’ll have to woo them back, take time to them seduce.

And so if we have been neglectful of our senses let us say

That we’ll take some time for Mindfulness, a little every day,

And then in time we’ll come to realise what can be hard to see,

That though a thinking Mind’s a marvel, it’s not all there is to me.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “MINDFULNESS IN ACTION” 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 really like the idea that Mindfulness is:

“simple but not easy.”

It makes you think that it is accessible, and it is.  It make you think that it is for all of us, not just the clever dicks, and it is.  It makes you think that if you put some effort into it then you can achieve results, and you can.

Christopher Bergland at Psychology Today has written a great article entitled “Mindfulness Made Simple”.  I really enjoyed it.  I’ll quote the opening paragraph to give you a flavour:

“Mindfulness has become a buzzword that is often misinterpreted.  What is mindfulness?  How can it benefit you?

Mindfulness is much more basic than most people realize.  In fact, I’ve isolated 3 easy steps to kick-start a state of mindfulness in a few seconds.  To kick-start a state of mindfulness all you have to do is:

STOP.  BREATHE.   THINK ABOUT YOUR THINKING.  Anybody can use this simple mindfulness technique throughout the day to stay calm, focused, optimistic and kind.”

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

just-for-today-i-will-tune-in

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 Self as Context

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I cope with turbulent events?

A:  See them from the viewpoint of Self as Context

awareness

The concept of “Self as Context” can be difficult to understand.  We are so used to thinking of ourselves as just who we think we are, a composite of complicated thoughts and feelings, that trying to get a handle of ourselves as something bigger, something more, is really challenging.

And yet we are something more.  There is more to us than our thoughts and our feelings.  Thoughts and feelings come and go but we are still here.  We were here at the beginning and we will be there at the end.  There is a part of us that is nothing to do with the thinking mind, there is a part of us that is pure awareness. The more time we spend with that part of us the more expanded we become, and not in the physical sense!

How do we do that?  Well we do have a key.  The key that opens the door to Self as Context is Mindfulness. Mindfulness is integral to ACT and ACT is integral to Mindfulness. The more we develop our Mindfulness Skills the more adept we will become in the developing the psychological flexibility that lies at the heart of ACT.  The two go together.

I wrote “SELF AS CONTEXT” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you making Mindfulness a part of your life?
  • Are you able to get a sense of yourself as “Self as Context“?
  • 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

self as context

POEM FOR TODAY

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SELF AS CONTEXT

 

At times of great upheaval when we’re feeling turned and tossed

It is hard to be accepting of a something that we’ve lost,

And when the world outside our window seems a strange and foreign place

Then these times of great upheaval can be difficult to face.

It may be at such a moment we should strive to solace find,

Maybe focus on the breath to give some respite to the mind,

And begin to stretch awareness, bring our senses into play,

We are more than just our thoughts so let’s explore that more today.

Let us see our Self as Context, like the ocean, like the sky,

View these turbulent events as waves and clouds just passing by,

Whilst we’ll still be here tomorrow, as we were just yesterday,

Such a focus isn’t easy but it can be ours today

If we see our Self as constant, the I am who will remain

When the storm has done its worst and we’ve survived the hurricane,

For though events may come to shake us they are only temporary,

And if we see our Self as Context, they’re just waves whilst we’re the sea.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SELF AS CONTEXT” 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 …..

For a very clear overview of ACT and Mindfulness you might like to head over to getselfhelp.co.uk.

There is a very good section on Mindfulness of Emotions which I found particularly helpful.  It reminds us that:

“We often start to learn mindfulness skills by focusing our attention on our breath, our bodies, the environment or activities.  We can practice being mindful, and eventually, we can learn to start being mindful of emotions.

Being mindful of emotions helps us to stand back from the emotion, understand it, accept it, not to fear it or struggle against it, and it can have the added benefit of reducing the distress (although the aim is to learn to accept the experience, rather than lessen the distress.”

What follows is a suggestion for how to explore emotions mindfully.

Turbulent events trigger turbulent emotions.  Learning to deal with them more skilfully can only be a good thing.  Mindfulness offers us that alternative.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

thinking mind

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 Imagination

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What can I do when I get lost in my imaginings?

A:  Shake yourself awake!

Imagination!  Both a blessing and a curse.  It seems we cannot have one without the other.  Imagination‘s wonderful when we are using it to conjure up lovely memories, make exciting plans, get lost amongst our daydreams.  On the other hand imagination can keep us awake at night, create anxiety and worry and frighten us to death.

ACT helps us to recognise when imagination is getting out of hand.  It helps us to call a halt and differentiate between fact and fiction.  ACT helps us to develop awareness.  ACT helps us to “shake ourselves awake.”  ACT helps us to make more helpful choices.

I wrote “SHAKING OURSELVES AWAKE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you recognise when you are getting carried away by imagination?
  • How do you “shake yourself awake”?
  • 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

When-our-mind-begins-to

POEM FOR TODAY

Great Spangled Frittilary

SHAKING OURSELVES AWAKE

We cannot know what’s coming, nor else know how we would cope,

We may think we’re up for struggle and then find we drop the rope,

Or we might conjure up a nightmare which then simply fades away,

So let’s not live out our tomorrows ‘til tomorrow’s our today.

Oh imagination’s wonderful, so vivid and so real,

We can get lost amongst our day-dreams, as we think so shall we feel,

And though no part of it has substance, it’s just fancy flitting free,

It can be difficult to see our dreams are not reality.

And so we need to build awareness, this is dreaming, this is not,

And if we’re slipping into fantasy that fantasy to spot,

So when our mind begins to spiral and our peace of mind’s at stake

We can then call on our awareness, we can shake ourselves awake.

And when we’re back to where we started ‘ere the spiralling began,

Within the precious, present moment, we find there within its span

That we are free to choose an action, find a something good to do,

Which sees imaginings diminish as we let them move on through.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SHAKING OURSELVES AWAKE” 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 things that ACT highlights is the thinking process and our relationship to it.  Learning to distance ourselves from our thoughts, to see ourselves as separate from our wonderful imaginations helps us to create distance and gain objectivity.  This makes us less susceptible, less vulnerable and reduces the potency of unhelpful thoughts.

There is an interesting article at getselfhelp.co.uk which reminds us about a very useful key skill to help us to defuse.

STOPP

Stop

Just pause for a moment

Take a Breath

Notice your breathing as you breathe in and out

Observe

  • what thoughts are going through your mind right now?
  • what is your focus of attention?
  • what are you reacting to?
  • what sensations do you notice in your body?

Pull Back – Put in some perspective

  • what’s the  bigger picture?

Practice what works – Proceed

  • what is the best thing to do right now?

For a more detailed explanation read the article.  I enjoyed it!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Ill-be aware

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 MINDFULNESS

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q: My mind is driving me mad.  What can I do about it?

A: Try a little mindfulness.

One of the things I love about ACT is the way it helps us to develop a different relationship with our mind.

If we have been inclined to be bossed about by our mind, which I certainly have, then it is really liberating to discover that there is another way of living with our mind, a different way of responding to it.

One of the pillar-stones of ACT is Thought Defusion.  Thought Defusion is a way of separating ourselves from our thoughts, learning how to defuse from them in order to observe them. It is a very helpful skill, enabling us to see the mind as a word machine, a creator of thoughts. We come to see that our mind is a part of us, but not the whole of us. When we see mind from this perspective it can help us to make different choices. We can choose not to be bossed about by it for a start!

Another pillar-stone of ACT is Mindfulness. ACT loves Mindfulness and Mindfulness loves ACT, and I love both!

Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment, of being here now. It is the antidote to the busy mind that loves to be here, there and everywhere.

Mindfulness is another way to develop a different relationship with our mind. It helps us to live more fully in the present moment, the only place where we can actually live our life.  Mindfulness springs the traps of the future-past.  It can, quite literally, help us to “come to our senses.”

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with your “bossy mind”?
  • Does Mindfulness play a part in your life?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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

 POEM FOR TODAY

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COMING TO OUR SENSES

The past is but a memory, the future just a fantasy,

The present is the only place where we can lead our life,

It is full of possibility, a place to live creatively,

But all this is forsaken if our mind is running rife.

For our mind is such a strumpet, it just loves to gad about,

Loves to poke around the past, discover what it can dig out,

All those hidden old resentments, those regrets, that long lost pain,

Oh the present is no match for frequent trips down memory lane.

And the future is a magnet, how mind loves to fantasize,

All those lovely little worries it can’t wait to fertilize,

And imagination’s busy spinning horror stories so

Once again the present’s surrendered to a magic lantern show.

And we could live out a lifetime in the future and the past,

If we let mind have its way it would forever shadows cast

On each precious present moment, where our living must be done,

But it’s we must call a halt, tell mind it’s time is over-run

And we’re wresting back the present, and we’re doing it right now,

We are coming to our senses, for we realise that’s how

We experience the present, and we’re mindful from now on

That as soon as mind goes gadding off, the present moment’s gone.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed “COMING TO OUR SENSES”, please pass it on, and do please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT ……….

I found Mindfulness before I found ACT. In fact, I had been practicing Mindfulness for a few years before I came into contact with ACT. I stumbled upon ACT by chance, and I had no idea that Mindfulness was one of its pillar-stones. Mindfulness though, was different. I sought it out.

Mindfulness was not what I expected. I knew that it had its roots in Buddhist Meditation practices and, as such, I expected it to be very exotic, very eastern, very different and very difficult. It was none of those things.

Mindfulness devotees like to say of it:

Mindfulness is simple, but it isn’t easy

 

That is a very good way to describe it.

Mindfulness is simple. All it means is “Be Here Now!”

Mindfulness is not easy. Our busy mind wants to be here, there and everywhere. Staying in the present moment, being here now, is a constant challenge.

If you want to learn more about Mindfulness then I would recommend the book that I first read when I sought Mindfulness out.  Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s book “Mindfulness – Finding Peace in a Frantic World” is a comprehensive and marvellous read.  Enjoy!

Product Details

Which leads us to the …….

ACTivation POINT!

SO …………………………………….

just for today

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