Here I sit - on the edge of a new adventure.
Tomorrow is my Induction Day at City University for my MSc in Organsational Psychology. I've done some reading, not as much as I'd hoped but a good foundation.
I'm looking forward to meeting the lecturers and my fellow students and I'm ready to learn.
It set me thinking about a topic called Cognitive Fusion, which I was discussing with a coaching client last week.
We rely very heavily on words in our lives. Think about how a good book can create powerful emotions and have a profound impact on your life. What about the scenario when a there is a dramatic global event and the different way it is reported through different media. Some channels will be accused of misleading the public or creating a false account. In fact, all stories about the event are just that, stories. We weren't present at the event so we must rely on the words of others.
When an event happens in our lives we also create stories. Cognitive Fusion is what happens when the story and the event are merged. We then react to our stories as though they are absolute truths. When we are in complete Cognitive Fusion our thoughts hold enormous power. Imagine the jolt when your hero in the novel is in mortal danger. We react similarly to thoughts like "I'm rubbish it'll never work" as if they are important, wise truths.
Here's a simple technique for Congnitive Defusion, from the great book by Dr Russ Harris, The Happiness Trap.
First – bring to mind a thought in the form of 'I am X'.
For example, 'I am stupid'. Preferably one that recurs frequently and upsets you when it does. Now hold that thought in your mind and believe it. Focus on it for several seconds. Notice how it affects you.
Now take that thought , and in front of it, insert the phrase “I'm having the thought that I am X.” Notice what happens.
People often find that this thought gives them some distance from the thought and it helps them step back.
This isn't a one time only exercise. You need to keep practising it.
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