On this website, I make regular comments about ‘how would you like it to be different….?’ In addition, I ask you to consider how that might be done bit-by-bit (this strategy can be termed ‘graded exposure’). This is particularly important way to work in the face of small defeats. Setting out on the scenic route means I have to step outside my Window of Tolerance (WOT). This enables me to set out on a journey, but I do not know what will happen on the way.
When I take that risk and just do it, it is easy to lose confidence and over-react to the unanticipated events. This can prompt me to adopt an extreme response such as catastrophising, rather than the Think, Judge and Act position.
A SAFE EXPERIMENT: to identify our ‘favourite’ beliefs and the preferred feelings we experience – often without noticing them!
Take a look at the picture right at the bottom of this page. It can represent your face. If it will not print off, find your own face picture or simply draw your own!
Makes brief notes arising from this small, safe experiment.
What do you believe about yourself; from this list, what messages stick out?
Write down just 2 or 3 key beliefs – positive or negative – on the face illustration contained below.
After that, consider, what ‘favourite’ feelings you may experience? Here are a few that might ring a bell. Again, chose just 2 or 3 feelings that chime with you and write them on the ‘face’ diagram, below.
Finally, consider the sensations that you feel most often. Here are some examples:
Heat: boiling, warm, cool, cold etc.
Touch: light, heavy. clammy
Heaviness in some body parts, e.g. legs
Lightness or ‘emptiness’
Movement: vibration, shaking, wobbling, bubbling, rippling etc.
Itching: e.g. nose quivers and/or itches.
Make a note of 2 or 3 sensations that are current or common for you.
When the list is completed, take a short time to explore whether your lists surprise you, or are they much as you expected.
FURTHER EXPERIMENT: Take a break from your note-taking. Later, when you return to the picture, consider:
… do I still view these notes the same? If not, what has changed?
Is there anything I did that seems connected to the changes I now observe?
Is there anything I would like to change now; if so, how might I go about that?
How would I prefer things to be?
What might stop me doing …….
What’s the something just a little bit different I can do?
It may be difficult to identify small enough actions. Some feasible ‘lines’ might be to explore:
- your communication with others.
- your ‘favourite’ feeling and thoughts and how to record them briefly, and systematically.
- a familiar sensation, and how controlled breathing and relaxation can impact on it.
If necessary, you can tell me something about it and/or ask a question ……