The four areas are of course linked, and one area can lead to another – if we think negatively for example, we can feel overly irritable and gloomy, become tired physically, and behave in a withdrawn and unsociable way, with the unwanted consequences this can bring.  The different elements feed off each other, and represent a vicious cycle. It’s bad for us, and for others too.

The good news though is that as it’s a cycle, making an improvement in one area is likely to lead to improvements in the other areas, in a virtuous cycle.

A thought – a (negative) word or an image – can often be the first stage of the ‘stress cycle’: how we respond to, interpret and react to what happens to us/other thoughts we may be having.

Exercise: Unhook from your thoughts

👉 Pick an unhelpful thought, and repeat it silently, putting these words in front of it: ‘‘I’m having the thought that ….’’

👉 Now try it again with the phrase: ‘’I notice I’m having the thought that….’’

If we can use this simple defusion technique – unhooking – defusing – from our thoughts – it’s likely that the thought will lose some of its impact, and we can detach from and get some distance from it.  

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