THE RELATIONSHIP TOOL
TIP FOR LOVED ONes: 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 your loved one received a diagnosis... when you got a confusing letter from the health insurance company... or when you had to put their needs before your own...
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 loved ones’ illness/disability…
Our family had plans to go on vacation last summer but our son ended up needing an unexpected medical procedure related to his condition.
Step 2: The emotions that come up as a result of this moment…
Sad (that my son has to live with this condition)
Guilty (that this took away the vacation from our daughter)
Frustrated (that we had to cancel and this type of thing happens frequently)
Angry (that our daughter can’t see how difficult this is for our son)
Tired (from sitting at the hospital and waiting for news from the doctor)
Step 3: The behaviors I expressed as a response to this moment…
I screamed at the hotel receptionist on the phone when he told me we couldn’t get a full refund on the hotel rooms
I went into the pantry and ate a bunch of junk food
I snapped at my daughter when she told me that my son was ruining her life.