Making Self Care a Lifestyle: Leaves on a Stream

Check back every Monday morning for the newest skill of the week. This weekly blog series offers a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques that can reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals.

Mitra Lebastchi“We so often get caught up in our thoughts and aren’t aware of what we are thinking or how our thoughts affect us. This exercise provides the opportunity to relax while sitting and watching our thoughts as they happen.”          ~ Mitra Lebatschi, M.A.

Leaves on a Stream

This exercise is a powerful tool for those moments when busy thoughts pull you away from the present. To prepare for this technique sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes or gaze at a specific point in the distance. You may want to set a timer for the desired length of time you would like to participate in this exercise, such as 5 or 10 minutes.

Picture yourself sitting along a gently flowing stream with several leaves floating along the surface, passing you by. Now as a thought enters your mind, place it on a leaf and watch it float away. Do this with every thought as it enters your mind. Thoughts may be pleasurable, painful or neutral. Place them on a leaf and watch them float away. Allow the stream and the leaves to flow at their own pace, there is no need to rush.

You may find yourself having thoughts such as, “I am not doing this right,” “This is dumb,” “This isn’t helping anything.” Place all thoughts, including thoughts like those on a leaf and watch them float away. Difficult or painful feelings may arise, just notice your thoughts and place them on a leaf. From time to time you may get distracted. This is normal. Simply bring yourself back by placing your next thought on a leaf.

 

ABOUT AUTHOR

Joey Tadie

Dr. Joey Tadie is a talented psychologist with a gift for connecting with people and helping them to transform their lives. It's like he can see who you could be, and helps you get in touch with that part of you and grow into it. Dr. Tadie has a genuine spirit and a deep and abiding faith in our capacity to grow and heal. An expert in psychological assessment, Dr. Tadie is an integral part of the assessment team at The Catalyst Center. He works from the perspective the assessment can and should be used as a way to create meaningful change in your life. Using the principles of Collaborative Therapeutic Assessment he analyzes the assessment data to discover what has been getting in the way of living the life you desire, and works collaboratively with you using his extensive expertise to create a road map of how to get there from here. Dr. Tadie utilizes his extensive training and experience as a psychologist to help you move past your challenges and live your life to the fullest. His disarming nature is well-balanced by his scholarly side; he is a passionate student of research, theory, and technique with several publications to his name. People love how he is both down to earth and deeply knowledgable about what works to help you create a your best life.