How awareness can help you when you are about to do something you would regret

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Sometimes you might find yourself acting in ways that you would rather not. It might be angrily shouting at someone you love. It may be checking your phone for messages repeatedly and feeling compelled to respond to every one. It may be eating things that you don't want or need. There are many, many patterns that clients have explored with me in the past, and each of them has been unique. The common experience that they are examples of is the sense of a lack of choice, of having to, and of acting against better judgement.

So what can you do if you find yourself repeatedly acting out? 

The first thing that is useful is to develop awareness of what is happening for you, right in the moment when you are at risk of repeating your old pattern. 

Become a detective, and in the moment ask yourself:
-  what emotion am I feeling right now?
-  what sensations are there in my body?
-  what thoughts are in my mind?
-  what images are coming up for me?
-  what do I need right now to avoid repeating the old pattern?

Doing this once will give you useful information that you can act on.  It may be that you can argue with irrational thoughts that you notice. You might want to breathe into intense sensations. Or you may need to speak softly and kindly to yourself and physically soothe difficult emotions.  

If you do this exercise several times, you may well notice patterns in the thoughts, feelings, sensations or images.  If you are not able to diffuse your experience using the kinds of techniques mentioned above, then you may want to talk to a psychotherapist to explore more deeply what is happening and what you would like to have happen.

Thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behaviours are all changeable.  Nothing lasts forever. The key is finding a way to work that fits for you.  If you think that may be working with me, then get in touch.

Go to the profile of Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited, BACP Registered, and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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