Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Follow your energy

Example: The repairman was curt to me because I did something wrong. Should and must statements Example: It's terrible that I made a mistake. I should always do my best. Tunnel vision Example: My son's teacher can't do anything right. He's critical and insensitive and lousy at teaching. Thought Record, side 1. It relieves stress and also optimizes the immune system. By choosing a diet that is full of the foods above, you will be taking a step in the right direction to reducing your stress. All of these foods are full of the vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and chemicals you need to properly decompress. Choose Your Decompression Methods Wisely When you start on the journey of personal stress management, it makes sense that you use methods that suit your lifestyle and personality. If a certain method makes you feel worse rather than better, it's probably not the ideal technique for you. The effects of practicing de-stress exercises generally give swift if not instant relief, so if that's not the case with you, don't panic or feel like a failure, just adapt the method or select another one. For example, you might enjoy exercising to clear your head but have a difficult time with meditation. You can't sit still, and you fidget your way through the breathing activities, and before relaxation can kick in, you're up and gone. Don't give in so quickly, though. Whatever action you take, do it immediately. The moment you hear gun shots, run!

Drop your stuff--your purse, shopping bags, anything you're carrying--and head to the nearest exit. You become less of a target the further away you are. If you are close enough to be seen by the shooter, make yourself into a smaller target. Crouch down as you run and get out of his line of sight. Don't stop running until you reach safety. Once you are out of harm's way, call 9-1-1. If you can't escape by running away, hiding is the next best thing. Find cover behind a large solid object like a tree, a planter, a bench, or an ATM machine. I'm now going to take you through a whole stack of different defusion techniques (the first three all come from Steven Hayes' first ACT textarticle, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An experiential approach to behaviour change) so you can discover which ones best help you to unhook. Some of them may seem a bit weird or wacky, but please give them a go and see what happens. In each case, I'll ask you first to fuse with the thought (ie buy into it, give it all your attention, believe it as much as you can), so you can get yourself well and truly hooked. Then I'll help you to unhook again. Before we embark, a word of caution: there's no technique in the whole of psychology that always achieves the desired result. While most people find these techniques help them to detach, separate, or get some distance from their thoughts, occasionally the opposite may occur: you may find that the thought starts reeling you in! So adopt an attitude of curiosity towards these exercises; Notice whether the technique helps you to separate from the thought (defusion) or whether it seems to draw you in even closer (fusion). I'm just warning you about it on the off-chance that it does. If it does, please regard it as a learning opportunity: a chance for you to notice what it's like to get hooked. Copyright (c) 2018 CBT Worksheet Packet. Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Automatic thought(s) Adaptive response What event (external or internal) is associated with the unpleasant emotion? Or what unhelpful behavior did you just engage in? What thought(s) and/or image(s) went through your mind (before, during, or after the event or unhelpful behavior)? How much did you believe the thought(s)? What emotion(s) (sad/anxious/angry, etc) did you feel (before, during, or after the event or unhelpful behavior)? How intense (0%-100%) was the emotion? Deep breathing is an important part of de-stressing, so first, consider how you can modify the method to make it work for you, and then you can test a few options. Perhaps, you'll enjoy meditating in the garden or on the beach rather than trying to focus indoors. Maybe, you'll prefer quiet self-reflection at a different time of the day, possibly just before you go to bed rather than first thing in the morning. Try playing music in the background or lighting a few candles for a tranquil atmosphere. Do whatever it takes to make the activity your own, and you're guaranteed to enjoy the process and look forward to doing it every day. We're all different, and you should embrace your unique needs and abilities and not compare your de-stress needs with others. Your stress-relief methods are your key to calm, so make them an enjoyable part of your life. Visualize Your Strategy One way you can select the best decompression methods for yourself is by visualizing your strategy. Imagining your future can be exciting and motivating, but when you're overwhelmed with stress, the present can seem like such an agonizing battle that any thought of the future simply fades from your mind. The best place to hide is a room with a locking door. Get inside and do what you can to secure the room to keep the shooter out of your hiding place.

Shut the lights, lock and barricade the door with furniture. If there's a window, close the blinds. Most importantly, be absolutely silent. Fighting should be your last option. If you can't run away or hide, you will have no other choice but fight. Fight with everything you have and with any improvised weapon you can find. If you are with other people, you may be more successful if you attempt a coordinated attack. If you carry a gun, you probably have already imagined what you would do in an active shooter situation. Then move on to the next exercise. For each exercise, read the instructions through first, then give it a go. And if a particular technique does not work for you, or you simply can't do it, then move on to the next. Exercise 1: I'm having the thought that . Bring to mind a thought that readily hooks you, and pulls you away from the life you want to live. Ideally, for this exercise pick a negative self-judgement that plays a key role in the `I can't do it' story - eg `I'm not smart enough', or `I don't have what it takes' or `I'm a loser. Silently say this thought to yourself, believing it as much as you can, and notice the effect it has on you. Now replay that thought in your head, with this short phrase inserted immediately before it: `I'm having the thought that . Now replay that thought once more, but this time the phrase to insert is: `I notice I'm having the thought that . So what happened? Use questions below to compose a response to the automatic thought(s). How much do you believe each response?

How much do you now believe each automatic thought? What emotion(s) do you feel now? How intense (0%-100%) is the emotion? What would be good to do? Thinking about the job interview I'll be so nervous, I won't know what to say, and then I won't get the job. Anxious (75%) I'm nervous now, but I can practice more with [my therapist]. With stress management, you get a chance to imagine your future again, because there's finally a glimmer of hope in knowing that stress-reducing strategies will work if you just put your mind to it. By visualizing, recording, and writing down your stress management plan, you can create the right stepping stones that lead to your success. You can then alter your plan any way you see fit when one exercise or technique isn't working for you. You can use this visualization as your roadmap for what types of decompression exercises fit in your life, which ones you want to try, and how you can implement them. Here's an example of a visualized decompression strategy: My Stress Management Vision I need a life with less stress. I can't change a lot of the things that stress me out, but I can change the way I feel and deal with my stressful situations. I know I need to manage my stress, and this is how I visualize my strategy: Breathe - Deep breathing helps me calm down. If your plan is to take down the shooter, security experts advise against it. While you may be thinking you can't stand by and watch innocent people get killed, do you have the training, tactical skills and experience to engage the shooter in such an extreme situation?

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