I need to understand that emotionally aroused individuals may learn to use “opposite actions.” They behave in a manner that results in new ways of thinking and feeling.
- “Instead of avoiding situations, reminders, suppressing thoughts, I can talk to a supportive person.”
- “Instead of withdrawing or drinking or taking drugs, I can engage in a pleasurable, healthy activity like exercise.”
- “Instead of having harmful addictions, I can develop a positive addiction.”
- “Instead of attacking someone because of my anger, I can take a time out and talk about it later when I cool down.”
- “Instead of trying to control my emotions, I can learn to accept them and let them just run their course.”
- “Instead of reacting and avoiding my distressing thoughts and feelings, I can acknowledge, label, tolerate and embrace them.
- “Instead of letting these trauma events keep control of my feelings, behaviors and decisions, I will gain the upper hand and start to control how I think.
- “Instead of inhibiting my emotions, I can have an emotional release and have a good cry or get it off my chest.”
- “Instead of stuffing my feelings and trying to keep them out of sight, I can understand them better, name them, and share them with trusted others.”
- “Instead of becoming self-absorbed with the past or the future, I can focus my attention on moment-to-moment experiences that are constantly occurring in the present.”
- “Instead of dwelling on the past, I can come to terms with my history, and perhaps even grow beyond it.”
- “Instead of putting myself and others down, I can free myself from the judgmental aspects of my story-telling.”
- “Instead of being defensive, I can be more open and accepting of experiences.”
- “Instead of getting uptight, I can contain my emotions in order to get the job done, remaining calm and focused.”
- “Instead of focusing on over learned childhood-era criticism and accompanying self-talk, I can explicitly disagree with such thoughts and view them as “old tapes,” rather than as accurate perceptions.”
- “Instead of feeling that I do not deserve happiness and a good quality of life, I can engage life, have fun and enjoy the moment.”
- “Instead of choosing denial and avoidance, blocking awareness (‘letting sleeping dogs lie’), I can choose a braver choice and confront my memories and accompanying distress and integrate them into the fabric of my life story.”
“I can learn to change my emotions by acting opposite to my current emotions. I can learn that acting like I feel good can make it so.”
Engaging in opposite actions means changing what I do and how I do it. It involves changing how I think, my body posture, facial expressions, what I say and how I say it.