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 next three exercises are designed to help you with being aware of the present moment. You don’t have to do all the exercises – start with whichever one you like and explore the others if and when you want to.
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.
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:
ACT MySelf isn’t going anywhere. You can come back whenever the time is right for you.
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.
This exercise has been reproduced with kind permission from NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
Adapted from: NHS Ayrshire & Arran. 2019. Mindfulness Audio Tracks. Available at: https://www.nhsaaa.net/pain-management-service/mindfulness-audio-tracks/ (Last accessed: May 2020).
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.
This exercise is the first in a series of 4 mindfulness programmes, which can be found on Cleo™, a health and wellbeing app for people living with MS. More information about Cleo™ can be found here.
This simple exercise can be a helpful way of pressing pause when you feel like your thoughts or emotions are taking control.
Adapted from: Harris, R. 2009. The Complete Set of Client Handouts and Worksheets from ACT Books. Available at: https://thehappinesstrap.com/ upimages/Complete_Worksheets_2014.pdf (Last accessed: May 2020)