Continued from Step 2
Use the Self Help mp3 downloads to strengthen therapy or as a stand-alone
The documents linked from the
bottom of each page are intended to be an integral part of this course, and
should not be omitted - the worksheet documents are included in the downloadable
Steps linked above.
Changing what we normally do
can greatly affect they way we feel and think.
When you look at your 'Vicious
Cycle' form where you wrote down your thoughts, feelings (emotions and physical
sensations) and behaviours, notice particularly what you wrote for 'behaviours'.
Very often we react automatically, without considering our actions or the
consequences of them.
- What helped you cope and get through
- What didn’t I do or what did I avoid
- What automatic reactions did I have?
- What would other people have seen me
- What were the consequences of what I
did? What happened later because of it? Did it affect the way I
Now ask yourself, what could I
have done differently?
- What would someone else have
done in that situation? (it might help to think about particular
people that you know, and what they might have done differently)
- Have there been times in the
past when I would have done something else?
- If I had paused, and taken a
breath, what would I have done?
Write down several options that
you might have done differently if it had occurred to you, then ask yourself:
- If I had tried that, how
would the situation have been different?
- How would it have affected
what I felt?
- How would it have affected
what I thought?
- Would it have been more
helpful or effective for me, another person or for the situation?
- What would the consequences
have been of doing something differently?
Learn to face your fears by using graded exposure to
FACE Fear and Avoidance - VIDEO
Dealing with Distressing
Practice and learn to
and take a breath before considering what action to take. Just
simply pausing and taking a breath when feeling distressed can help us to see
the situation more clearly, and help us decide what action to take.
Choose to do what works!
considering your options, ask yourself:
be effective and appropriate?
Is it in
proportion to the event?
Is it in
keeping with my values and principles?
will be the consequences of my action?
best for me and most helpful for this situation?
Some suggestions for coping
with crises and distressing emotions:
Pause, take a breath
- Do something different (to what you
your attention fully on another activity -
- Relaxation techniques
- try lots and find one that works for you
- Put on
some music - sing and dance along, or just listen attentively - use music
that is likely to help you feel your desired emotion (no sad songs if you're
- Be with
others - contact a friend, visit family
- Talk to
- Grounding techniques - look around you, what do you see, hear, smell, sense?
Hold a comforting object.
Get a balance of energising and draining
exercise - walk, swim, go to the gym, cycle
in a hobby or other interest - if you don't have one, find one! What
have you enjoyed in the past? What have you sometimes thought
about doing but not got around to?
down your thoughts and feelings - get them out of your head
take one step at a time - don't plan too far ahead
yourself - do something you really enjoy, or do something relaxing
self-talk - encourage yourself, tell yourself: I can do this, I am
strong and capable - find an affirmation that works for you (even if you don't
believe it at first!). Write it down and memorise it for when you need
something creative - make a box of items that remind you to use the
techniques that help, or put photos on paper, or write and decorate a
- Learn to
Notice the Positives
- Use Safe
yourself: "This will pass, it's only temporary". "I've got through
this before, I can do it now". When we're going through a tunnel and
become fearful of being trapped, there's no point in stopping - we just have
to carry on in order to reach the end of the tunnel. That light is
there, and waiting!
Activity & Physical Exercise
- Makes us feel better
- Makes us feel less tired
- Motivates us to do more
- Improves our ability to
think more clearly
- Uses up the adrenaline
resources created by anxiety and anger
- Increases motivation
- Makes us generally more
When we're depressed, we can
feel particularly tired and lack any motivation to do anything. Just
increasing our activity and exercise levels can make an enormous impact on our
mood as it stimulates the body to produce natural anti-depressants.
Use ACE to
Achieve, Connect with Others and Enjoy,
ACE Activity - video
Do more Energising and less Draining activity
The Battery - LIFT vs DROP activities
The Battery: LIFT vs DROP activities - video
Use either or both of these sheets to
record what you do and how it affects your mood.
Use this sheet for helping you to set
Use the Treatment Plan to help you plan
what you need to do more of or start, or what you can do less of or stop:
Breathing and Relaxation helps to
combat the body's adrenaline fight & flight
that occurs in Anxiety and Anger, and the agitation and ruminating thoughts of
Depression. Try different relaxation techniques - some will work better
for you than others.
More information here:
Purposeful Activity - video
the Self Help mp3 downloads
strengthen therapy or as a stand-alone technique