Negative thoughts and feelings suck! Many of us try to avoid them by pushing them down, hoping they’ll just go away (which if you’ve tried this like me, you’ll know doesn’t work very well). Our Registered Social Worker Katarina Schmidt shares a favorite metaphor of mine to give you some insight into dealing with these uncomfortable feelings.
Ball in a Pool Metaphor
Have you ever tried to control your distressing thoughts and feelings? Were you successful, or did it leave you frustrated and exhausted?
The truth is, we cannot exactly control our thoughts and feelings.
We have thousands of thoughts a day and feelings to follow.
I have a metaphor that comes from a training course I took, instructed by Russ Harris, called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
The metaphor is called “Ball in a Pool”.
Have you ever tried to submerge a ball under water in a pool or at the beach?
It’s very labor intensive to continually hold the ball there under water. Your arms may eventually become exhausted from forcing the ball to stay under the water and the next thing you know; the ball comes flying out from under the water.
Now your arms are free, and so is the beach ball. You are able to participate in whatever else is going on around you.
If we think of the beach ball as our unpleasant thoughts and emotions with us trying to control them, push them away, or somehow get rid of them – we can see where this is going.
Eventually it becomes far too difficult and consuming for our minds, and up comes these thoughts and emotions.
Instead of putting in endless energy trying to keep the thoughts and emotions pushed down, what if we let go and accepted that our thoughts and emotions will always be there?
This would be far less energy zapping and would allow us to put our energy elsewhere into more meaningful and fulfilling places.
-Katarina Schmidt MSW, RSW
Love this, Kat! Thanks.
Kat has her Masters degree and is a Registered Social Worker. She specializes in the following areas:
– Panic Attacks
– Self Confidence
– Self Esteem
– Self Compassion
– Complex Trauma
– Bipolar Disorder
– ADHD (Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder)
– ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
– FASD (Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders)
– Mental Health Issues
– Communication Issues
– And More!
Kat offers Individual sessions for Adults.
Cheers to leaving beach balls at the beach 🙂