Life Skill 4 - Checking Yourself!
Slows you down!
What is Checking Yourself? It is making sure that you are aware of using all of the 4 Big Skills. It’s about managing emotions, using moderate behaviour and am I thinking flexibly. It’s useful to check yourself if you are in the middle of discussing problems or you feel yourself getting stressed or you are in an upsetting situation.
The final piece of the puzzle is checking yourself. Tying all of the skills together. If you check in with yourself and make sure that you are managing your emotions, using moderate behaviour, and thinking flexibly, you are more likely to have success with your situation than if you just react without checking yourself.
Are you going to be a reactive person or a proactive person?
Are you going to be someone who plans ahead, someone who prepares to avoid situations that are potentially going to be volatile or stressful.
Checking yourself before you send a text: Am I using moderate behaviour when responding or sending a text? Am I using Extreme behaviour and will the situation get worse. Am I adding ‘fuel to the fire’? By checking yourself you could potentially diffuse an all out brawl of verbal abuse.
How do I check myself:
The Think check:
When we are in stressful situations or we are letting our defensive right hemisphere take over, we often lose focus and our thinking becomes rigid and inflexible. Sometimes we will react inappropriately to situations due to our inflexible thinking. Checking your thinking involves not seeing things as completely one way. Eg – It’s all your fault. It also involves being aware that you may become emotionally unreasonable and assume facts from how we feel – eg I feel stupid, therefore I am stupid. We also need to realise that we grossly distort reality when our emotions are off the ‘richter’ scale. In this instance we minimise the positive and maximise the negative. This makes you feel like a victim. It also involves checking for overgeneralisations – not having the correct facts and drawing on false and unproven conclusions from minor events. We also need to think: am I taking this personally when the event is completely unrelated or beyond my control. We also need to think: Are we making assumptions based on little information.
The emotional check: When you are reacting to a situation or issue, be conscious of your emotional responses. It does take practice to monitor and adjust your emotions. Especially when you have been used to reacting in a certain way when stressful times come up. Just like in the skill of flexible thinking – once you’re aware of your emotional response you could say to yourself that you are going to try very hard to check in with your emotions and change the way you react next time.
You could ask yourself “Did I raise my voice?”, “Did I say something that I shouldn’t of?” “Did I upset the other person?”, “Did my anger get in the way of what I was trying to say?”
The behaviour check: Ok, so you’re feeling really angry and your emotions are running high. Moderating your behaviour is so important. We are not just talking about physical behaviour but verbal behaviour too. Sometimes words are so much more hurtful than our actions. You could ask yourself “Did I insult anyone?”, “Was I rude or inappropriate?”, “Was my behaviour aggressive?”, “Did my behaviour put myself or others at risk?”, “Could I have used moderate behaviour instead, and got a very different outcome?”
Influencing others by checking yourself.
The crucial step of Checking yourself means that you will be able to stay in control and be calm in conflict and stressful times. You will be able to find solutions but thinking flexibly, you will be able to influence other people by using moderate behaviour and managing your emotions.
How do we do that?
Contact Us to find out more about how you can implement the New Ways for Life program in your school or youth group.