Blog Archives

TRIGGERS AND ACTION PLANNING

This is the week everything has started to come together for me and I 100% feel I actually have been doing something that will help me in so many different situations in my life. Yet again I am so grateful to have been given this ‘gift’

Following on from identifying triggers’. Today we looked at a specific example of a trigger and we started looking at how we could get an  Action plan together of how we would deal with this trigger. Remember that triggers can affect anyone/multiple senses- sight, smell, taste, touch, sound. We are all human and flawed.

Time to allow me to be vulnerable to demonstrate the power of our thoughts.

There is a lot of stuff in our world that we can’t control: how other people behave or certain events that may happen. What a person can do is to decide how he/she will respond to the triggers. I say respond because it implies some thought behind it. As humans, we do have the tendency to react to uncomfortable people and situations and events which is more impulsive.

Here is a vast list of triggers that can tip a person into feeling like crap. There is a lot on this list that I would never have thought of as a trigger, so it is worth having a look. Below this list is a brief look at how a person can Action plan. The whole point of an Action plan is to keep you from getting unwell or feeling worse. What’s the saying? ‘Hindsight is a bitch’.  – there’s a few quotes like this. Well, it doesn’t have to be any more because we have got a plan. Okay, so today I ‘dug’ real deep and I exposed a huge fear/trigger for me. Before we get going, one of the group co-facilitators explained a vivid metaphor/analogy of what is likely to happen if we ignore our triggers.

Referring back to the butterfly metaphor I spoke of on my Action planning, Unfortunately, I  couldn’t come across the exact version our group facilitator told us today. However, I am not one to give up so easily and I have found something just as good that explains the concept in the same kind of context- i.e. don’t ignore and hide away from life events and how you respond to them. Respond to them in a way that empowers you!  This is the gem I found;

Imagine two caterpillars looking on As a beautiful butterfly floats on by

One turns saying after it is gone,“Not ever me as a butterfly that high!”Push away Resistance and be open for Change.

STOP and be more than just a caterpillar, ho-hum. Start by envisioning ideas beyond your range gain The Answer to what you can become.

As with the Caterpillar, it could be a gooey mess But you’ll improve and gain self-esteem, for sure Change is about letting go, trusting the process

Of becoming more than you are with things you were. The caterpillar was quite resistant and content; Causing him to ignore what the change involved. He thought his answer would stop the event–His Mother is a moth—his problem was solved!

Can we all learn from this? What can we try? Fight it as we might, Change will come our wayThe caterpillar’s colours are in and on the butterflyWe, too, can transform with our colours still in play

Source: Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly – A poem about a Work in Progress | Performance Management Company Blog

ADDITIONAL TRIGGERS LIST

  • TO IMPRESS A PARTNER
  • SITUATION WITH A ‘FRIEND’ WHO HAS A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON ME
  • BEING STEREOTYPED/ PUT IN A ‘BOX’
  • BEING JUDGED AND HOW A PERSON RESPONDS. I TEND TO CATASTROPHIZE.
  • SAYING NO
  • CAR RAGE/ISSUES –SOMEONE PARKING IN A DISABLED SPACE AND WHO IS NOT DISABLED
  • PARTNERS MOOD SWINGS
  • ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
  • INTIMACY WITH A PARTNER
  • BEING OVER-TIRED
  • TRAUMATIC NEWS-HIGH EXPRESSED EMOTION– POSSIBLY FROM FAMILY MEMBERS
  • TRAVELLING TO AN UNFAMILIAR PLACE/ABROAD/DELAYS
  • EX-WIFE/HUSBAND CONFRONTATION IN RELATION TO CHILDREN
  • PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN
  • FAMILY DYNAMICS INCLUDING THOSE WITH CHILDREN INVOLVED
  • TRYING
  • SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ALONE
  • FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
  • BENEFITS /SOCIAL SECURITY BEING QUESTIONED OR DENIED

so once you have identified all your triggers, we need to do something positive with it, right? What you need is a plan to stop your triggers having too much power over you and your feelings. It is about stripping these triggers down-  some of you who have come across CBT and DBT will be familiar with this way of action planning but this is the more awesome way of doing it. TRUST ME!

This is my moment. Here is where I make myself vulnerable to demonstrate that this plan can work for you if you put in the work.  From  the above list, the trigger that holds so much power over me is:

BEING JUDGED AND HOW I  RESPOND. I TEND TO CATASTROPHIZE EVERYTHING RELATED TO MY TEETH.

What is going on in my head? what am I thinking? PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT MY TEETH, IAM GOING TO FAIL, I AM GOING TO BLOW MY ONE CHANCE TO SUCCEED. I CAN’T COPE. I’m SCARED MY THOUGHTS WILL STOP AND I WILL FORGET WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. I NEED TO GET AWAY FROM THIS PERSON/SITUATION.

I can see that this is all negative chatter. I want it to stop so I need to think really hard about how I am going to deal with these thoughts when they arise. It was a really tough thing for me to do. Brainstorm ways that I can help myself? What? Never!  But I forced my self to think. I went back all the way to week two. I have a wellness toolbox- link. The problem with this specific trigger is that it catches me off guard when I’m already in the thick of it. Part of my plan needs to address this and I do. 

Before I can do this I need to find a way to get into a zone of thinking that quietens down the negative thoughts. 

HERE IS MY ACTION PLAN
  1. I CAN TAKE ‘MY THOUGHTS TO COURT’ –  The link for this is at the end of my list.
  2. I CAN SIT WITH THE FEELINGS UNTIL THEY PASS- A TOUGH ONE FOR ME TO DO
  3. I CAN MAKE A PROS AND CONS LIST OF ALL THE THINGS I WILL GET OUT OF ME NOT OVERTHINKING AND JUDGING MY APPEARANCE OR WHAT I THINK ALL PEOPLE ARE THINKING. I’m NOT A MIND READER BUT I TEND TO THINK I AM IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION
  4. I CAN USE WISE MIND/ PRACTICE MINDFULNESS – SORRY ABOUT ALL THE JARGON -IF YOU WANT TO EXPLORE DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES THEN DO. IF YOU DON’T -THEN DON’T  –  LINK – the link can be found at the end of this list.
  5. MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE ONE IS WHEN I AM ALREADY IN THAT SITUATION WITH A PERSON AND THE THOUGHT TAKES OVER MY MIND I FEEL COMFORTABLE ENOUGH SAYING: SORRY, IF I APPEAR TO BE ACTING STRANGELY ( SOMETIMES I’M NOT BOTHERED BY MY TEETH) I HAVE A FEW ISSUES WITH MY TEETH’.  I BELIEVE THIS IS SUCH A POWERFUL TECHNIQUE AND A BRAVE ONE BECAUSE I LAY IT OUT AND I VERBALISE IT AND THEN THE THOUGHT IS OUT OF MY MIND. I HAVE MADE THE PERSON AWARE OF WHAT IS MAKING ME NOT ENGAGE LIKE I USUALLY DO AND THE POWER COMES BACK TO ME. I HAVE MORE SPACE TO THINK AND TALK ABOUT WHATEVER IT IS THAT I WANT TO REALLY TALK ABOUT. 

TAKE MY THOUGHTS TO COURT LINK -If you would like me to do an example please let me know. It can be one of your triggers or one on the lists.

IF YOU ARE RUSHED FOR TIME THIS YOUTUBE CLICK IS PRETTY COOL. IT IS AN ORIGINAL TAKE ON EXPLAIN WISE-MIND- you can access it anywhere- in your car wherever and listen to it. I love it! 

CLICK ON THIS WISE-MIND LINK– I like it because I find it helps me understand the wise mind – I find a mix of images and dialogue easier to understand.

WRAP – Life and Values

Another Wednesday already! 4 weeks down and 8 to go.  Today’s session was to focus on ‘the homework’ I was given last week- I’m a naughty student and didn’t do mine for various reasons. Anyway , the most important thing is we all did it as a group today. YAY!
So, if you are ready type or write this heading down
  • WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN MY LIFE AND GIVES IT VALUE

Before I  list mine -publicly -I would like to remind you that these are personal to you and you may not want to share them and that is cool. The point of this exercise is to get your thoughts focused on what matters to you. What makes you sit up and go ‘I can go on for another day’.

What gives you that sense of purpose?

Again these exercises may appear elementary but once you have it in a form you can read it gives a more concrete meaning to what makes you feel alive in this world. This list should be in a place you can access it. I laminated mine and I  also have it on my blog. I know when I feel like shit and can’t make sense of my purpose in life, or I sense I am losing my way in life. I can get my list out

 and go through it to remind me what matters when I am well and in a good place. 

Right, so here is a list of mine;

  • My Family
  • the need to feel on top of things
  • finances in order
  • organising my wedding (short term goal)
  • affectionate and love hugs
  • Writing
  • Learning new things
  • My mental well-being
  • Maintaining a BMI that is safe and that I can live with the least amount of risk of relapsing
  • Feeling needed and important to others
  • Gaining and having peoples respect (while maintaining my own self-respect)
  • My cat -Tatiana
  • Planning/ Goals
  • My morning caffeine fix
  • Making an effort with my appearance -dressing fashionably -wearing makeup
  • Getting my hair, eyebrows and nails done regularly
  • Having an uncluttered and organised home
  • Reading time at night with my daughter
  • My daughter telling me she loves me- love, in general, is important to me 
  • Me time
  • Being acknowledged as a person 
Finally, I don’t want to bombard anyone with information overload, so I have decided to do an end of the week mini WRAP exercise that we covered with this exercise. So keep an eye out for updates. The content is about what you need to do DAILY to maintain wellness.

Wellness Recovery Action Program part 1 follow up

I hope some of you have been able to put down some of the things that make you happy and keep you well and in a good place- mentally and healthily. To find out how to prepare your own ‘wellness toolbox then please click on this link. In the video, I refer to letting me or another blogger challenge you to do something good for yourself.
This weeks session we had a guest speaker who originally did the WRAP course 5 years ago and still credits her wellbeing to this plan. What I did today was think about how  I FEEL when I am well. What I DO when I am well ie; how I behave. I realise for some people this will be a hard thing to try and think about especially if a person has been unwell or has a complicated situation that needs addressing. You don’t need to make a huge list.
If you put one thing down then that is cool. Be as simple or creative as you want. The whole point is to get it down in a place that you can access it easily. One reason to get this out your head and crystallised is to say for example you are having the worst day imaginable and all you can think about is how shit you are and how you have nothing going. Get this piece of paper out to remind yourself that what you may be thinking at a stressful time in your life is not the truth. Get a piece of paper or type in WORD these headings: 
 WHAT I AM LIKE WHEN I AM WELL.
HOW I FEEL:
WHAT I DO:
HOW OTHER PEOPLE WOULD DESCRIBE ME   (I found this the hardest of the 3 to do but as I say in my video update, once you have done this exercise ask someone who knows you well how they would describe you when you are well.  This is a powerful reinforcer of who you are as a person especially when you need a boost and a reminder
EXAMPLES OF HOW I FEEL WHEN I AM WELL

EXAMPLES OF HOW I FEEL WHEN I AM WELL

WHAT I DO WHEN I FEEL WELL

WHAT I DO WHEN I FEEL WELL

HOW OTHER PEOPLE WOULD DESCRIBE ME AND HOW I THINK PEOPLE WOULD DESCRIBE ME WHEN I AM WELL

HOW OTHER PEOPLE WOULD DESCRIBE ME AND HOW I THINK PEOPLE WOULD DESCRIBE ME WHEN I AM WELL