The LifeUp Mindfulness Challenge: Day 6

Separate yourself from your thoughts (the break up!)

DISARM: Discover, Identify, Separate, Allow, Recover, Master

S is for SEPARATE yourself from your thoughts

Education

The aim of separation is not to get rid of unpleasant thoughts, but rather to see them for what they are – just unspoken words, and not reality.

You’re not trying to deny your thoughts, push them away or drown them out with positivity. Separation techniques use language, which is closely coupled with thought, to reposition the thought and to show you that the thought is separate from you.

With practice you can expect to separate from your thoughts very quickly, without the need for specific techniques.


Activity

Use your thought snap from the previous day and try out any one of these separation techniques.

Noticing. If you have a thought that upsets, state internally, ‘I notice I’m having the thought that…’ This creates distance between you and the unhelpful thoughts.

Naming. Identify your mind’s favourite stories, then give them names. Recognise the common script that plays on repeat. For example, you could say to yourself, ‘That’s just the “I'm unattractive” story again.’ Or you might say, ‘Not that unhelpful thought again, am I really still giving it my attention?’

TV channel. Imagine your thought being aired on a television - simply leave it to play in the background, whilst you focus on something more important.

Journaling. Write down your thoughts, This helps to quiet the mind as the thoughts have an outlet and can be noticed and consciously expressed.

Once you’ve done the task, give yourself a ‘mini high five’!


Take away

By using separation techniques, unhelpful thoughts decrease in validity and you are less likely to consider them absolute truth or an accurate representation of reality.