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Just because you have a thought or feeling doesn't make it true.

Not listening to our thoughts and feelings as the sole assessment of ourselves can be a valuable skill for maintaining emotional well-being and perspective. Here are some strategies to help you achieve this:

1. Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness involves observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It helps you become more aware of your mental and emotional processes without getting overly entangled in them.

2. Identify Cognitive Distortions:

Learn to recognize cognitive distortions, such as black-and-white thinking, catastrophising, or personalisation. Understanding these distortions can help you challenge and reframe negative thoughts.

3. Externalise Thoughts and Feelings:

Instead of saying "I am anxious," try saying "I am experiencing anxiety." This small shift in language can help you distance yourself from your thoughts and feelings, recognising that they are not your entire identity.

4. Use Third-Person Perspective:

Visualise yourself from a third-person perspective. Imagine observing yourself as if you were a friend, offering a more objective view of your thoughts and feelings.

5. Journaling:

Write down your thoughts and emotions. This externalises them and can help you gain clarity and perspective on what you're experiencing.

6.Limit Rumination:

Set aside a specific time for reflection, but avoid excessive rumination. Dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings can lead to over-identifying with them.

7. Challenge Negative Self-Talk:

When negative self-talk arises, ask yourself if there is evidence to support these thoughts. Challenge them with more balanced and realistic statements.

8. Focus on Actions and Values:

Shift your attention from how you feel to what you can do and what aligns with your values. Actions often have a more significant impact on our lives than momentary emotions.

9. Embrace Self-Compassion:

Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a friend facing similar thoughts and feelings.

10. Engage in Healthy Activities:

Engage in activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, creative pursuits, or spending time with loved ones. These activities can shift your focus away from rumination.

Remember that detaching from thoughts and feelings doesn't mean ignoring or suppressing them. It means developing a healthier relationship with them and recognising that they are not the sole determinants of your identity or worth.

The great news is that patterns of thinking are habitual and can be changed into more useful and accurate ways of self assessing!

It takes practice, and it's okay to seek help if you find it challenging to manage on your own.

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