This is a fascinating book by Russ Harris. It’s a programme based on ACT: a mindfulness-based approach to overcoming anxiety and stress. He uses great day to day analogies we can all relate to with lots of practical quizzes, worksheets and exercises too.
The central idea is that it’s more effective to observe any unhelpful thoughts or feelings rather than try to control them or fight them. And then to ensure that you act on your values.
I’m finding the ideas helpful for me and for the leaders I coach. Try them out for your next presentation, big meeting or challenging conversation.
Here are some simple tips from the first part of the book to help you de-fuse those frustrations or anxious thoughts:
- Notice the thought or feeling is there
- Observe it, don’t fight it or challenge it
- Say ‘thanks mind’ or ‘thanks for sharing’. Notice what happens, or
- Pick a favourite cartoon character or movie character like Brian’s mum in ‘The Life of Brian’, (my favourite!), bring it to mind and ‘hear’ the thought in that voice. Notice what happens.
You can use these ideas yourself for day to day worries. The ACT programme is also used by counsellors to help with depression. Buy ‘The Happiness Trap’ by Russ Harris on Amazon here.
KineticFuture is a leadership coaching company specialising in communications. We coach one to one and in groups. Contact Karen Moyse if you’d like to discuss this on Karen@kineticfuture.com