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  • Sarah Hooff CHN, CSNC

6 Weeks of Wellness, CBT Week 3: Emotional Well-being

Hello everyone. I hope this week finds you all well. For this week's CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) discussion I thought I'd talk a little on what I've been learning about Emotional Well-being. Big subject, right? Goodness, we probably spend most of our lives learning how to regulate our emotions and pace ourselves.

Some situations of course do demand more from us, a lot more. And goodness knows, any transition season even more so! Well goodness that said, growth can be incredibly uncomfortable. I suppose though, this too is a mindset. Still, it's always good to give ourselves a little slack.

Emotions are without a doubt one of the most powerful forces on earth, however we do need to be sure to use this force wisely. In CBT it is taught that we have a rational mind, an emotional mind and that sweet spot in the middle known as the wise mind. The wise mind perspective demands understanding. This will in time bring us peace. As always balance is the key.

For this week I thought I'd discuss three pretty powerful strategies or perspectives. The STOPP Strategy, Circle of Concern vs of Circle of Control and Feeling better vs Being better. These strategies will help us focus our energy and bring about positive outcomes. I also thought these three concepts would help cover a good variety of different emotional states. STOPP Strategy for fiery circumstances, Circle of Concern vs Circle of Control (reactive vs proactive mindsets) for the 'busy' mind and Feeling Better vs Being Better to help direct some of that energy in helpful way.

Before we get into it though I just want to say or rather, scream it from a rooftop, you are not alone. Life is complicated and beautiful. We all matter. We are all connected. You have reason for your emotions and they are important. Sometimes 'this too shall pass' and sometimes bucket loads of faith will be required. Look for as much perspective as possible and understanding will follow. It is said that to be loving is to be patient. So please go slow and be patient with yourself. When you need to move, do that too. In these times though , whatever you chose to do, go with care.

STOPP Strategy

Ok, so first up STOPP. Love or hate your acronyms, I gotta say this one is a good one. Triggered? Hold up. Check this out. 5 steps, don't let the situation get the best of you. You got this.

Empowerment comes visa Responsibility

STOP. Don't act impulsively. Wait.

TAKE A BREATH. Inhale and exhale a few times slowly.

OBSERVE. What am I focusing on? What am I thinking about? What is it that I am reacting to? What am I feeling in my body?

PERSPECTIVE. Consider the bigger picture. Is this fact or opinion? Could there be another way of looking at this? Consider what someone else might say? How does this affect other people? What advice would I offer a friend if in the same situation? How important is this situation right now? Step back.

PRACTICE WHAT WORKS. Consider the consequences. What is the best thing to do? DO whatever will help the most!

Circle of Concern vs Circle of Control

Oooh this one is so cool! This one was a light bulb moment for me. So, aside from those fiery emotions I thought this was a very helpful subject. Its pretty damn hard to regulate our emotions if we run ourselves ragged worrying or fretting over things outside of our control. It also wastes precious energy that could be used for focusing on what we can control.

This is a great way to organize and take a good look at things. The Circle of Control is really the only things we actually do get a say on in life. Focus on that and you will spare yourself a whole lot of frustration. Anything on this list disturb you? I had to think about the family bit on the Circle of Concern Column. As hard as that is, it is true. Some things are out of our hands and all we can do really is strive to live our best possible life. I tell ya its inspiring when we do and you'll be surprised by the effects!

Circle of Concern                          vs                              Circle of Control

(How reactive people live)                                        (How proactive people live)

the news                                                                      what you believe

the weather                                                                  your attitude

the economy                                                                what you like and dislike

family                                                                            what you read and write

what others think of me                                              what you buy

threats                                                                           where you live

war and terror                                                               what you do for work      

fashion                                                                           places you visit

celebrities                                                                     what you pioneer

Feeling Better vs Being Better

Ok, so I might sound a little harsh here to some, but isn't this a much better approach!? Being Better.... I tell ya, it's a damn good approach! Many, many people in life are mostly concerned with feeling better. So many people spend their entire lives chasing this notion, wanting to feel better, needing comfort, and looking to outside measures to give them just that. And don't get me wrong we all need down time but in order to really feel great about the lives we are leading we have to DO better! I'm not sure about you but when I do get my ducks in a line so to speak and rise to the occasion, aka work my butt off while working towards achieving my goal, I feel amazing! Whether it's just going for a run or batch cooking, or those big ones like completing a course or writing a book. You can't beat that sort of rush! Don't get caught in the comfort zone for too long, precious time is a wasting!

So, to wrap this discussion up (for now) I just want to say if your mental or emotional state has grown a little shaky as of late, I'd like to encourage you to direct some of that nervous energy. Set a goal perhaps? Tackle that big life project you've put on the back burner, start today. Sure you might need additional resources but take it from me there is so much out there to help you get started, usually right at your finger tips! Hey, it is something you've been wanting to do a long while now am I right? I'm sure you've gathered a few tools to help you get started : )

I'm sure there are many other strategies and tips out there to help one feel emotionally settled (Nutrition, please do message me!) but I do believe with all of my heart that it takes movement. Sitting alone with your thoughts for too long can cause stress for sure. Try and expel some of that energy in a positive way. You'll see what I mean in no time. I really like the Body, Mind, Spirit phrase here. When one pillar is a little weak feel free to lean on another. For me physical health is always a great place to start. Nothing like a good workout to clear the cobwebs out! That's just me though, perhaps for you its artwork or meditation, follow your heart here.

Ok, that's all for this week. Next week we'll be talking about Healthy Communication. 

Much love and talk soon!


Oh, and last but not least, I have a really great paper on nourishing the nervous system, its regarding nutrients and foods for combating stress. If you would like me to send it on feel free to message me. 

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