THE RELATIONSHIP TOOL
TIP FOR THE INDIVIDUAL: BECOME AWARE
This exercise is to help you make connections between your emotions and how you react to them. Our behaviors are impacted by our stress.
Choose a moment in your life that was especially difficult. This could be any number of instances. For example, when you received your diagnosis... when you couldn’t go to a social event... or when you saw people staring at you...
Sit for 3 minutes and reflect on this time. Set a timer if you need to.
Write down every emotion that surfaces for you as they come up.
Now, take the next 3 minutes to reflect on this instance.
This time, write about how you acted – or reacted – to it.
Use a blank page in a notebook, the notes on your phone, or our template below. Here is an example...
Step 1: A moment that was difficult due to my illness/disability…
I overheard someone at work talking about how they feel sorry for me...
Step 2: The emotions that come up as a result of this moment…
Anger (that they seem to consider me inferior to them)
Fear (that my career advancement might be compromised by how people see me)
Sick (because this happens all the time; it makes my stomach hurt)
Sad (...why does this have to be my life? What did I do to deserve this?)
Step 3: The behaviors I expressed as a response to this moment…
I went to the bathroom at work and cried
I skipped the staff meeting that afternoon
I went home and drank too much