Chapter 2

Making room for my emotions,
learning to be present

In the first chapter we talked about how struggling with your thoughts and feelings can be unhelpful. Remember the tugging of the rope and how focusing on this experience can make it difficult to recognise what is happening at that moment in time in other areas of your life.

This chapter is designed to help you with being in the present moment. This may help you to truly notice what is happening around you and/or what is happening internally, such as noticing thoughts and feelings. This will help you to make room for your thoughts and emotions, or be more ‘mindful’ of them.


These exercises are designed to help you with being aware of the present moment.

You can repeat these exercises as often as you like and tap into them whenever you want to take a pause and check in with your thoughts and feelings. These exercises involve new skills which will take time to develop, so you may benefit from dedicating a small amount of time each day to practice.

Exercise 1: Notice 5 things

This simple exercise can be a helpful way of pressing pause when you feel like your thoughts or emotions are taking control.

Let’s begin
Exercise 2: Breathing for mindfulness video

This short video will guide you through a simple breathing technique that can help you to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings. It can also help you to feel calmer or more energised.

Let’s begin
Exercise 3: Leaves on a stream

This short audio recording will guide you through an exercise that uses an image of leaves floating down a stream to help you to notice and acknowledge your thoughts without struggling with them.

Let’s begin

Well done!

Chapter complete

How are you doing?

If you have already completed an exercise today, think about whether you want to move onto the next chapter straight away. Would it be better to take a break? If you haven’t been able to complete the chapter or exercise you intended, that’s okay but try to discover why:

  • Was I unrealistic about how much time I had to commit to this today?
  • Was I honest with myself about how my physical wellbeing today would impact my ability to complete this?
  • Did my thoughts distract me?
  • I would like to take more time to explore the chapters and exercises at my own pace.

ACT MySelf isn’t going anywhere. You can come back whenever the time is right for you.