The Coping Kete

No. 79: Using the Pause to Explore

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

… I will practice using the pause points from strategy No. 78 to reflect on what my automatic tendency is at the moment and brainstorm alternative responses. This week is about building and tapping into my awareness of the many response options that are really available to me from moment to moment.

When I notice shifts in my thoughts or mood, I will pause myself to breathe as I did with strategy 78 and then ask myself two questions:

  1. What is my instinctive response in this moment? i.e. Right now I want to…(argue, scream, run away, hide, drink, hurt myself)
  2. What are the available alternatives? i.e. Think of a kind of expression, support, distraction, engagement/problem-solving or self-soothing.

This week, I am going to become aware of the unhelpful responses I want to change and the kinds of alternatives I could possibly learn. As I do this, I will be strengthening the habit of pausing as a first response to distressing emotion as well as learning the practice of considering a wide range of strategies. Often it is the sense that we do not have many or any options available to us that causes distress. So this week, I will be practicing the art of expanding my perception of the options available to me.

It will probably help to use a notebook to record my reflections in, because after some time I will be able to look back on what my consistent instinctive responses have been, get a really good picture of what it is that I am working to change and expand my perspective of how many options are available to me in each moment.

If I am finding it difficult to think of alternative response options on my own, I will practice referring to The Coping Kete or my own Personal Coping Kete to reflect on different options.

If ever I find my self-talk becoming critical about my way of being in the world, I will be able to soothe myself by reminding myself of how I am evolving myself and feel satisfied that I am taking positive steps in my life.

Once I am used to pausing to explore my thoughts, I will add this to my Personal Coping Kete as something to do during moments of distress.


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