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– if we think negatively for example, we can feel overly irritable and gloomy, become tired physically, and behave in a withdrawn and unsociable way, with the unwanted consequences this can bring.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, it’s likely that the thought will lose some of its impact, and we can detach from and get some distance from it.