Mindfulness Based Stress Management 3

Yesterday’s workshop began with an ice-breaking exercise that got everyone in stitches. Then there was a very short recapitulation of the last session before the facilitator continued with the areas she wasn’t able to cover due to too much time spent on recounting the previous session.

Thoughts, Feelings & Behaviour – Our basic emotions are ‘glad’ (happy, joyful, uplifting), ‘mad’ (angry, irritated, upset), ‘sad’ (disheartened, down, downcast), ‘scared’ (afraid, frightened), ‘numb’ (“bo chup”) & ‘disgust’ (yucky feeling). These emotions and thoughts are intricately related and can be experienced together, but they are distinct. How we think will affect how we feel and how we behave. The SATIR model and ICEBERG metaphor were cited, without explanation nor elaboration; good thing I had attended another course on this so I knew what the trainer was talking about when she said how our self-esteem is at stake, and how it’s when negative and self-defeating thoughts come in (such as ‘I am not good enough’, ‘Why didn’t I do this?’, ‘Nobody likes me’, ‘Nobody cares about me’, ‘I never get it right’, ‘I wish I was someone else’, ‘Musn’t let them down’, ‘Just got to hang in there and endure’, ‘Only me can do this right’). She then briefly mentions the Johari window, a technique used to help people better understand their relationship with themselves and others:

I  Know                   I Don’t Know


You Know                             open *                            blind ***


You Don’t Know                 hidden **                     potential ****


where * is Acceptance

** is Self-disclosure

*** is to be Humble

**** is Self-reflect, meditate & get feedback


What then influences emotions? These are

  • cultural traditions and beliefs that can affect the way a group or an individual expresses emotions
  • genetics which can affect the emotional expression of an individual or famiily &
  • physical conditions which can cause a person’s emotional responses to change dramatically

Can we change our thoughts and emotions? Yes. By

  • altering an external situation
  • shifting our attention &
  • re-appraising a situation

This was introduced through an activity and a small group discussion, leading to the topic of Choices (involving People, Places, Possessions, Positions), which would be further elaborated upon in next week’s session.

The one takeaway from this session is: If you are aware of your thoughts and emotions, you can choose to change them.




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