Contemplate This: Rob Yueng On the FASTER Way to Resolve Emotions; and On Emotional Writing
The FASTER technique is a thought record, a proven method for combating negative thoughts and becoming more centered.
When you feel in an emotional funk, take pen and paper and work through the 6 steps of the FASTER technique:
1. Feelings. Write down the unhelpful instincts, the tumultuous emotions you're experiencing. Be specific. Rate each emotion from 1 to 10 based on how strongly you feel each one.
2. Actions. How might your feelings be affecting your actions in unhelpful ways?
3. Situation. Describe briefly what happened to trigger those feelings. What were you doing? Who were you with? Who said or did something, or what is certain thoughts or feelings or images that triggered those unhelpful feelings?
4. Thoughts. Write down the unhelpful thoughts that are running around in your head.
5. Evidence against your negative beliefs. Time to look for ways to contradict your unhelpful thoughts. Imagine your most supportive friend asking you questions like "Is that really true?"
6. Review feelings again. Do you feel less emotional, more centered?
On Emotional Writing.
Writing about our experiences enhances our emotional and physical health. Based on research examining what makes for expressive writing, there are three important guidelines to follow:
- Go back to the episode, but take a few steps back and more away from the experience.
- Write about the meaning of the event and its implications rather than simply describing it again.
- Remember to look back on your situation with compassion.
Researchers found that words to do with insight (eg, 'realize', 'see', 'understand') and words to do with causation (eg 'because', 'infer', 'thus') were most strongly associated with benefits. People who merely described the situation or reported how they felt at the time reported fewer benefits.
These are quotes I was impressed by from Rob Yueng's book, 'The Extra One Per Cent', describes psychologically validated small changes that make massive differences, and I highly recommend all Doctor Yueng's writing.