I mentioned in the previous Blog how I had taken to seeing a psychologist as a means of support to get me through some challenges. Generally, I can work through things myself but sometimes you just need that back up. This is one of those times for me and it has turned out to be the best thing I have done of late.
So during the initial consultation, I was given some homework as a means of collecting information which could later be analysed to shed light on what was going on for me.
Well, I just can not explain how this one little task has helped me. The task is a diary. What is so great about that? I was already gaining insight by keeping a journal. Who would have thought just a little tweak of this journaling would be so effective? The diary practice I was given is divided into three columns. The first column is for painful thought/feeling/urge/sensation/memory. The second column is for Things you did that lead to vitality. The final column is for Things you did that lead to suffering.
I love that it is not as comprehensive as writing out the details of what might be going on in a traditional journal session. I love that I can just jot down the basics of what is going on which prompts either my own insights or a discussion with my psychologist for the more complex concepts.
This practice has helped me in a number of ways. The first is that it is obviously highlighting what I am doing to aid in my own vitality and suffering. It clearly indicates that whatever is going on, how you react to it is down to you. I was pretty good at taking responsibility for my own stuff but I like the obviousness in how it is laid out. As much as I know these days, I still need reminders to keep me on the right track.
Another way it helps is that it makes you think about both sides of the continuum. I have found this leaves no room for buying into stories, as after a week or so you can see a pattern and more often than not the vitality column outweighs the suffering one. If it doesn’t, that just means that you are having a hard time right now and you should be extra kind to yourself.
A bonus benefit for me has been that it has replaced the unhealthy habit I had of comfort eating. Man, I tried so many things to put a stop to this habit. I hated how it never actually brought comfort, so I don’t know why they call it comfort eating. Anyway, at some point along the line, I realised that I just wasn’t needing to reach for the fridge, the very act of grabbing the diary, identifying what was going on and writing it out took the sting out of it and it was business as usual.
There was a point where I thought I was getting too dependent on this practice, but I let that concern go. I mean, seriously, be kind to yourself, if I am leaning on this practice at the moment then great, beats the older unhealthy habits I had going on. I have no doubt that things will even out. It is almost like the more you face your stuff, the more stuff comes up to be faced.
Try this practice for yourself. It is great, you will learn so much about yourself. Remember not to focus on the suffering, shit happens and you will do things that will lead to your suffering, acknowledge it and make note for future reference, then move on. I have found that beating yourself up over things is perfectly pointless. It doesn’t make you feel good; it doesn’t do anything to fix the situation so really what is the point? Live and learn.
Inner Health with Neuro-Training
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