Resilient Traveling

Cognitive Defusion

Cognitive Defusion

Also termed thought distancing, cognitive defusion focuses on recognizing thoughts and emotions as internal constructs that should be acknowledged, but should not be the basis for behavior.

Cognitive Defusion fosters awareness, regulation, and flexibility. It encourages the acceptance of thoughts as mental activity and challenging the errors present in our ways of thought which impact our emotions and behaviors.

Short Practices

Step 1

Sit in a comfortable position and either close your eyes or rest them gently on a fixed spot in the room. Bring your awareness to your breathing and use your breath as an anchor of focus.

Step 2

Bring your attention to your thoughts; what are you thinking about now, feeling? Visualize your thoughts in words and when you read them, remind yourself; "I'm having the thought that..." "I notice the feeling of..."

Step 3

Continue to notice, accept and acknowledge your thoughts and feelings; but remind yourself that they are not facts and they are not causal events.

Step 4

Imagine your thoughts as leaves floating down a stream, or clouds passing the sky.They are there, but they do have to change the setting around them; they also change from moment to moment.

Step 5

Simply because you're feeling or thinking about something stressful, does not dictate your behaviors; just as one cloud does not change the whole sky; and one leaf does not change the stream's direction

Step 6

Re-attune your focus to your deep breathing again. When these thoughts become less powerful ask yourself if they are helpful? Accurate? Are you filtering out another viewpoint? Predicting the future? Worrying about the worst case scenario?