ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!

Q: How can I stop myself going round in circles and hurting myself?

A: Use some defusion techniques

We’ve all done it, haven’t we? We’ve caught a glimpse of something, overheard a snippet of conversation, thought someone was talking about us behind our backs, and there we go, or rather there our mind goes, making a mountain out of a molehill.

We can’t possibly know exactly what is happening, after all we only caught a glimpse, heard a few words, saw a brief gesture, but it is enough for our mind to be up and running. Within no time, our mind, our marvellous mind, has concocted a story, interpreted a situation, filled in all the blanks and then some. Before long we are hostage to our thoughts, our troublesome thoughts, to our stories, our horror stories, and we can’t shake them off. The more we try the worse they get, the stickier they become. Once we are caught up in the downward spiral who knows where it will lead.

This is all very painful. Many a sleepless night has been suffered as a result of just a glance, just a snippet. Logic goes out of the window once we are in thrall to our run-away mind. Sometimes we keep it to ourselves, sometimes the pain spills over and out until we are offloading it onto others. Harsh words are spoken, accusations are made, friendships are broken, family rifts are instigated, all on the strength of just a glance, just a snippet.

This is awful. Damage to ourselves, damage to others. Hurt to ourselves, hurt to others. Misunderstandings spiral out of control. Once the genie is out of the bottle it may be impossible to stuff it back in.

Better far that it never escapes at all. But this is easier said than done, especially when we are in so much pain inside. So what to do? In Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) happily there are plenty of practical strategies we can use to reduce the pain without needing to inflict it on others. Thought Defusion Techniques like labelling our stories, repeating the titles in silly voices, really can reduce the sting. Bleaching the colour out of the glance, the glimpse, can also help. When we keep playing the image in technicolour on our mental screen that keeps it alive. When we can reduce it to a blurry black and white that can do wonders.

These strategies may sound simplistic but just because they are simple it doesn’t mean that they don’t work. Far from it. It is because they are simple that we can reach for them and use them. It doesn’t take a genius to think up a title, to say it repeatedly in a silly voice or to make a mental image fuzzy and dreary. It just takes commitment. So let’s do it. Let’s be kind to ourselves and do what we can to help ourselves. We have nothing to lose but our pain.

I wrote “IT WAS JUST A GLANCE” to remind me of that.


  • How do you stop yourself going round in circles?
  • Are you willing to give these strategies a go?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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




When we wake up in the morning it is possible that we

Are flooded through with thoughts and feelings we don’t like essentially,

As maybe worry starts to spiral or resentment hooks us in

And we get beaten up by stories that our mind begins to spin.

It maybe by chance we caught a glance of something we’ve construed

As a hostile act against us, and now it won’t be subdued

And it has taken hold within us, it’s an image we can’t shift,

It keeps popping up repeatedly, but it is in our gift

To deal with it more effectively, we have the tools at hand,

To employ our mind to understand a glance we can withstand

If we will treat it with a kindliness, oh here it comes again,

It is the glance I caught by chance but now that glance I’ll re-explain.

I will give it now a title, “It was just a glance,” will do,

And I will say it in a funny voice each time it passes through,

And I’ll remind myself it’s just a flash upon my mental screen,

And it is me who keeps it going ‘stead of wiping the screen clean.

And maybe ‘twill take a little while this image to downgrade,

But every time I use a silly voice, I’ll feel its impact fade

Until it’s just another storyline which currently is here,

And given a silly voice and title pretty soon ‘twill disappear.

© Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed “IT WAS JUST A GLANCE” 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, and its best friend COMPASSION ……..

Defusion is one of the major tenets of ACT. It is a God-send when thoughts are spiralling out of control, when we are going round in circles and can’t get a certain image out of our mind.

For more information about Defusion techniques check out the website at

The ones I have mentioned here, the labelling, the funny voices and the bleaching of the technicolour to monochrome, work for me, but there are many others. Remember, you have nothing to lose but your pain, so why not give them a go?

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life? What can YOU do just for today to add some Compassion, some Kindness, into your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you? Is Compassion part of your life?

I am a student of ACT, I am learning about Compassion.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes