The LifeUp Mindfulness Challenge: Day 7

Allowing thoughts and emotions

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

A is for ALLOW any thoughts and emotions

Education

We should not struggle to eliminate unhelpful thoughts.  At times they will go away quickly, and at times they won’t. If you start expecting them to go, you are setting yourself up for disappointment or frustration as you battle against them.

You may or may not be able to fully accept a situation but you can at least accept that you are having unhelpful thoughts and emotions about the situation.

Don't try to change or fight them. By allowing them just to be, we do not further fuel them. If we try to fight and resist them they consume our attention and will only grow in strength.

By positively asserting our acceptance of unhelpful thoughts we help ourselves to actually allow them to be.

This approach may seem a little over-engineered at first but remember thoughts drive behaviour and behaviour drives thoughts.

By positively asserting that we allow the unhelpful thoughts 'to be' it drives a behaviour of acceptance and actually further depersonalises and dissipates unhelpful thoughts as they are not fuelled by our attention.


Activity

Use your thought snap from the previous day (or take another) and try out any one of these linguistic allowance techniques.

  • ‘I accept I am having unhelpful thoughts and emotions about...'
  • Or just label it 'thinking...'
  • Thanking your mind.  State (internally)  'Thanks, mind!' or 'Thanks, mind for your amazing storytelling ability!' Say it with warmth and humour and with a genuine appreciation for the mind.  Just recognise it’s only a story!

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


Take away

By positively asserting that we allow the unhelpful thoughts 'to be' it drives a behaviour of acceptance and actually further depersonalises and dissipates unhelpful thoughts as they are not fuelled by our attention.