Cognitive Fusion & Defusion skills

Cognitive Fusion happens when we get so wrapped up in our thinking that it dictates our behavior. I’m a fan of Rachel Hollis and in her book “Girl Wash Your Face”, she refers to each chapter as a lie our mind tells us that keeps us from living a vital life. In the book “The Thriving Adolescent” by Louis L. Hayes, PhD. & Joseph Ciarrochi, Phd, this is referred to as our “Advisor.” I will refer to this as the “bogus stories” our mind tells us. Some of my top stories are: The terrible mom; failure; and disappointment stories. Common example. My husband is away on business. The boys are signed up for many after school activities. One has practice during the same time as the other’s cub scout meeting, and they are on opposite sides of town. This leads to me doing the mad dash from work, to school, to practices/meetings, and ends with a negative reaction from me (usually yelling, crying, or accusing them of not caring about all the great lengths I go to for them). These reactions typically occur when my mind starts down the “not worthy of respect” story. Yelling at my family does not work in making me feel any better or gaining respect from them. I am working on rehearsing the responses that I value as a mother. “When I get stressed, screamed at by my kids, cut off in traffic, got them there late, made aware that I forgot something, missed a play, etc., I will take a deep breath. When my mind goes into disappointment mode, I will breathe, thank it, then be gentle with myself. Because if we made it to the field and are all alive, I have done my job very well.

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