Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Helping our patients understand and regulate their thoughts and feelings better with the Sat Nav analogy

When we see something and it’s crooked or unpleasant, and we “fused” or judge that as crooked, not right, or annoying, there may be an urge or compulsion to act on that thought or feeling. That action may then be helpful or not helpful depending on the context.

Same with hearing something, smelling something, tasting something, touching something, or “feel” or sense something in the external world, or perceived in our own mind from our memories or imagination. It can also be a complex narrative inside our mind based on the all of above.

When we are able to be more present, mindful, defused, and notice these thoughts, feelings, and perceptions as simply data or information, we may be in a better position to differentiate good data from the bad, gain more clarity, and take more appropriate action.

We may choose to use that data, ignore that data, cross reference it with other data for better accuracy, or park it there for a while for later reference perhaps.

We don’t always to have act on them straight away. They are like our Sat Nav giving us information and guiding us. Sometimes very useful. Sometimes simply terrible. We don’t have to act on everything our Sat Nav is telling us. Just follow the useful ones ideally. This is extremely difficult of course because our Sat Nav is not very well programmed, and the driver is not always “conscious”. The car may be on auto drive.

In the long term, we may have to try and update our Sat Nav with more current maps of values and beliefs. It’s definitely not easy because there’s no simple upload button, delete button, or reset button. Wish there were.

For now, we simply have to do it the long way through counseling and coaching. 

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