The Coping Kete

Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Coping Kete Update: Changes to Email Subscriptions

Engage Aotearoa is moving from Feedburner to MailChimp to manage the way email updates from The Coping Kete are sent out.

This means that if you are currently signed up to receive email updates from The Coping Kete you need to update your subscription by registering with the new Coping Kete Mailing List below. Along with a more compact look and feel, you can now also select to receive updates to your mobile phone.

Simply click here to subscribe to the New Coping Kete Mailing List.

Once you’ve Subscribed to the New Mailing List, you will want to unsubscribe from the old email list. Click here to Unsubscribe from the old Feedburner Mailing List.

Engage Aotearoa will be closing the current Email Subscriber list on the 30th of December 2012 and anyone who has not updated their subscription will no longer receive email updates directly to their inbox until they have done so.

Here is a link to the New Coping Kete Mailing List again

People subscribed to the Mental Health News and Events Blog mailing list will also need to update their subscription details. Click here for more information about News and Events subscriptions.

No. 120: Reserve Judgement

This week, to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing…

…I will practice reserving judgement about what the future might bring. Each day, when I find myself moving into a new task or situation, I will take a couple of seconds to say to myself “Lets just see what happens, whatever happens, I’ll handle it. For now I reserve judgement.” Then I will move on to the next part of my day with an open mind.

When I am comfortable saying this to myself in ordinary, everyday situations and moving forward with an open mind, I will add this strategy to my Personal Coping Kete as a way of improving my mood during times of stress and distress. When I find myself stressed or distressed about what I think might happen in the future, I will take a moment to reserve judgement and trust myself to handle whatever comes my way. This might help me balance out my fears and worries, when they seem overwhelming.

No. 119: Talk About Solutions

This week, to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing…

…I will practice positive communication as a way of expressing myself. This week, I will practice talking to people about solutions, rather than identifying things I am unhappy about. Whenever I feel like complaining or raising an issue with someone, I will practice flipping it on its head and talking about what I want to see instead. For example, instead of saying “I don’t like it when you spill food on the carpet,” this week I would say “I’d really like you to have a plate.”

First off, I will need to take a moment to think about what I would like to see in the situation so I can express it to those around me. I’ll use simple, positive language to let the people around me know what I want to happen. In this way, throughout the week I will get used to identifying solutions to problems and negative feelings and expressing them to the people around me.

Once I am comfortable talking about solutions to everyday problems to the people around me, I will add the strategy to my Personal Coping Kete as a way of dealing with distressing situations with other people. If I find myself upset or stressed about something, I will be able to think about the possible solutions to the problems and talk to the person about those solutions and how we could put them into action together.

No. 118: Declare a Peace Treaty with the Moment

This week, to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing …

… I will practice mindful distraction and self-soothing by regularly pausing and declaring a peace treaty with the current moment. When I declare a peace treaty with a moment, that means I am committing to spend a moment in peace before moving on to my next experience of the day. I will surrender whatever is on my mind for a moment and peacefully engage my attention in my surroundings.

This week, when I am in between tasks, I will practice saying to myself either silently or out loud “I declare a peace treaty with this moment.” I will then take a minute or more to ground myself peacefully in the current moment before I move on to the next task before me. Declaring a peace treaty with a moment means that for this moment I will interact with myself and my surroundings in a kind, calm way.

I will take 10 slow, deep breaths while I stop and mindfully observe my current surroundings. As I notice thoughts about the past or the future surfacing, I will remind myself of my peace treaty with this moment and turn my attention back to my peaceful breathing and the space around me in this current moment.

In accordance with my peace treaty, if I notice critical or judgemental thoughts, I will say something kind or accepting to myself to soothe them. I will then bring my attention back to my breathing and observing my current surroundings.

In this way, I will practice giving myself times of relaxation and release from worrying or critical self-talk. By practicing breathing at the same time, I will be able to return to the next task of the day with a clearer mind and calmer mood.

Each time I find myself in between tasks, I will stop and practice declaring a peace treaty with the moment again. Throughout the week I will experiment with different ways of doing it until I find what works well for me. I will keep a record of the things that make it tricky and how to respond to them differently next time, so I can start to build a good list of what a Peace Treaty with the Moment looks like and involves for me.

Once I have become familiar with the practice of declaring a peace treaty with a moment and taking some time to be present and kind to myself in between ordinary, daily tasks, I will add it to my Personal Coping Kete for times when I find myself struggling against stress and distress. I will be able to declare a peace treaty with the difficult moment, disengage from feelings of conflict and take some time out to send myself some mindful messages of calm and compassion before I respond.

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Acknowledgement: This mindfulness strategy was inspired by Thich Naht Hanh’s Peace Treaty method for communication during conflict. Thich Naht Hanh is known for creating the Engaged Buddhism movement  and popularising mindfulness in the Western world.