Example Coping-Plan

Once you’ve got a clear idea of your revised coping plan, it’s helpful to write it down in a reasonably concise form, which you should review each day, and attempt to improve, where possible.  You might want to write this down on a small card and keep it in your pocket, or save it on a notepad in a mobile device.  Here’s an example of how you might lay this out concisely.  The gaps are filled in using an example of someone who wants to control their temper, especially in conversations with their partner…

Example Coping-Plan

From now on, whenever I notice these early-warning signs…
[Clenching my teeth, frowning, tensing my shoulders, starting to raise my voice.]
…especially in situations like these…
[Arguments beginning with my partner, worrying about things at work.]
…instead of responding by thinking this…
[“I can’t handle this”, “I don’t know what to do”, “What’s the point!”.]
…and doing this…
[Dwelling on things and worrying about the worst-case scenario, criticising other people unnecessarily, staying awake late at night worrying, getting into arguments, shouting.]
…I will practice telling myself…
[“I’m not in the right frame of mind to deal with this; I’ll come back to it later once my feelings have settled down”; “I can deal with this if I take things slowly; I’ve got through plenty of similar things in the past”; “It’s not this situation that’s upsetting me, it’s my value-judgements, and placing too much importance on things outside of my direct control”]
…and doing this…
[Pausing, viewing my upsetting thoughts in a detached way, and postponing problem-solving until my feelings have calmed down; accepting my thoughts and feelings without struggling against them; viewing my thoughts with detached mindfulness; explaining to my partner that I can sense I’m becoming tense and that I need to take time to clear my thoughts properly before responding.]

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