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 Horror Stories

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I stop my imagination running wild?

A:  Remember it evolved to keep you safe.  Thank it and come back to the present moment.  Be mindful.

We do have wonderful imaginations.  Our imagination is what differentiates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, as far as we know.  Our ability to create word pictures, to project into the future and to conjure up all sorts of scenarios is at once a blessing and a curse.  We can anticipate wonderful events and be filled with joy, we can project into the future and be filled with worry, anxiety and fear.

This is the dual edged sword of our imagination.  We can be excited about the future or we can frighten ourselves to death.  In evolutionary terms our minds have developed to keep us safe.  They are therefore more likely to see danger lurking, they are more likely to err on the side of caution.

ACT reminds of this, and we would do well to remember.  When something happens and triggers a full blown horror story, let us remember this is the mind doing its job.  If we can resist embellishing the tale so much the better.

I wrote “MASTER STORYTELLERS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with your horror stories?
  • How have you learned to resist embellishing 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

IMG_20150621_214410

MASTER STORY TELLERS

There’s a story in the offing, even now we feel it stir,

It’s the one forever lurking, waiting only to recur

When our mind picks up a signal there is danger now afoot

And our body starts reacting, on alert it now is put.

It’s the old familiar feeling, oh we recognise it well,

As the chemicals start surging and our hormones start to swell,

This is instinct at the ready, our antennae primed and clear,

So let’s thank our body nicely but check out what danger’s here.

There’s no tiger in the bushes, there’s no enemy at the door,

Life and death aren’t in the balance, it’s a story nothing more,

And we’re learning to distinguish what is really going on,

Yes we’re master story tellers but a story will be gone

Without doing us much damage, save for hormones rushing round,

There’s no rustle in the bushes, just our thoughts making a sound,

Bits of language we’re concocting, spinning into quite a tale,

But if we do not embellish it this tale soon starts to pale.

And so let’s make a bit of distance, watch our thinking mind at work,

But deny it those embellishments that send our Mind berserk,

And then just go about our business and find something good to do

And let our story lose its impact as it simply moves on through.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “MASTER STORYTELLERS” 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 …..

Imagination is our ability to mentally move ourselves out of the present moment.  So we can go back to the past or forward to the future, all thanks to our wonderful imagination.

And it is wonderful, or it can be.  But remember, imagination can be both a blessing and a curse.  Wonderful memories must compete with regrets; hope and excitement must battle worry and fear.

If our imaginations are running wild, driving us mad and frightening us to death, what can we do?

ACT reminds us that we can always come back to the present moment.  We don’t need our imagination to experience the present moment.  Why?  Because we are already here.  To experience the present moment we only need awareness.  And that means practicing our mindfulness skills.

It is mindfulness that can stop our imagination running wild.

For some wonderful resources on Mindfulness check out the Treasury of ACT Resources Page.

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