The art of defusion (part 1): Dropping anchor in a storm
Dropping anchor in the emotional storm: A follow-along exercise for overwhelming thoughts and feelings
Below I have included an audio file of a guided "dropping anchor" defusion practice that we often use with clients. I hope you might also find it useful: https://soundcloud.com/user.../dropping-anchor_6-mins_a
We sometimes like to describe the feeling of being overwhelmed by powerful and difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions as an emotional storm. This metaphor can help us to take note of what we are feeling, be aware of it, and begin to defuse (de-fuse, detach or create space) from it.
It is easy for us all to turn away from such feelings, and distract or hide ourselves, or try and change or fight them, and this can perpetuate our ongoing attachment (or "fusion") to those challenges. Instead, defusion does not seek to change the thought or feeling itself, only the way in which we relate to it.
When we are fused to our thoughts and feelings we might feel for example,
"I am useless"
but through the practice of defusion and similar exercises, we are more able to understand that you and the issue are not joined, you are not the same entity, and so, it is rather more of a case of
"I am aware I am having the thought of being useless again"
This starts to create more psychological distance and flexibility and helps alleviate the suffering that results from the thought or feeling.
Dropping anchor is one example of a way we can instead turn into these difficult experiences, and be mindful of them with openness and curiosity as a route to defusion. It involves bringing our awareness back to the here and now, and reinforcing our control over our physical actions in these moments.
Dropping our anchor does not make the storm go away, but it holds our boat steady, and the storm will pass.
If you are interested in learning more about cognitive defusion as a tool to enhance your psychological flexibility then please get in touch for a no obligation phone consultation.