Counseling Tip: Finding Balance When You Are Totally Stressed Out

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Life can certainly throw us curve balls. On the other hand, if life were static, it would get boring because we would have nothing to compare anything else too.

However, I think one of the greatest lessons we can learn, and one of the greatest ways we can manage our distress, anxiety, and depression, is to look to nature not only for solutions but as a model. And what does Nature teach us? It teaches us that everything requires balance.

But balance can become difficult to find, when we have so many things coming at us at once..

One of the greatest tools of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is something called the Wise Mind. It’s a skill I also refer to as a balanced mind.

If we were to live life solely from our rational minds where we’re just looking at everything through - facts and figures, black-and-white, yes or no, with no shades of gray - you can imagine how much of life we would be missing. We would fail to take into any other considerations that might help enrich our lives or help us make more well-rounded decisions.

On the other hand, if we were to live life solely through our emotional minds, you can see where our decisions and thoughts might become impulsive, without any reasoning, and also without taking any factual information into consideration.

When we’re in our Wise Mind, we balance the rational with the emotional. It’s a skill we often practice with our counseling clients - and use it ourselves!

The Wise Mind helps us live life very intuitively and in a very grounded at the same time. When we practice the skill in our counseling sessions, we help you work through the entire process.

Basically, the Wise Mind looks at the rational AND the emotional.

On a piece of paper, you can list an important decision or issue you’re facing at the top. Make two columns and on left label it “Rational” and on the right, “Emotional”". In the left-hand column, list all the facts related to that decision or issue. Be very careful not to list any feelings. If something starts with “I feel” or “I think”, it doesn’t fit in that column. On the right -hand side, this is the place where you’ll write all of your feelings regarding the situation, including your thoughts.

At the bottom of the paper, answer where these two may meet? It’s in the intersection where they come together we find the “Wise Mind”. How do the facts influence the feelings and how can your feelings help you with the facts?

If you need help with this, please just contact us for more details.

Wishing you peace, Beth