Thought-Feeling Balance Exercise

This week’s therapy session took a deep turn. A few days prior, I fell into a funk of sorts. Feeling overwhelmed by illness, work, and family stuff compounded on top of one another. By the time therapy rolled around, I pretty much pulled myself out of it.

This funk though sparked a different conversation though. I iterated my own personal strength in being able to think rationally and how this line of thinking keeps me even keel. However, when my feelings run rampant, my emotional reasoning takes over. In turn, it clouds my judgment and decision making. After a certain point, I find it hard to fall back on my rational thinking.

I mentioned to my therapist how I want to be able to hold onto that reasoning to balance out my feelings and keep them in check. I know that my feelings will fluctuate. That part is normal. Being realistic, I just don’t want my voice of reason to be silenced when my emotions shouted at the top of their lungs.

My therapist and I concluded that it might not hurt for me to go back to the basics.

When I first started taking therapy and my well-being seriously, I developed an easy exercise to develop my awareness. I set three alarms each day (morning, midday, and bedtime) to check in with myself. During these check-ins, I recorded my current feeling, why I felt that way, and what I was doing. After four or five weeks, I felt a significant difference in being able to capture those automatic thoughts and feelings in the moment. That aspect has only strengthened over time.

My therapist suggested trying this again but with a twist. We decided to do this exercise again with those same three parts. In addition to those, I would need to write either a short mantra, a compliment to myself, or a reframed thought/statement. This way I could bring awareness to these thoughts but also use my thoughts to communicate with my feelings.

Let’s see how this goes!

-The Caring Counselor

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