Practice an Alternative Viewpoint Exercise

In this exercise you discover how your emotional state affects your thoughts, emotions and reactions. When you are living a mindful life, you need to be aware of your emotional state.

Imagine the following two scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: You go into your local bank. You check your balance and the cashier is rude. He doesn’t give you his full attention, doesn’t smile and keeps giving you the wrong information. The whole process takes much longer than you expect. As you finally leave the bank, you notice a friend and want to talk to her. However, the friend says that she’s really busy and rushes off. Notice what you think and feel at that moment.

  • Scenario 2: You go into your local bank. You check your balance and the cashier is friendly. He gives you his full attention and is helpful. The whole process is efficient and simple. As you finally leave the bank, you notice a friend and want to talk to her. However, the friend says that she’s really busy and rushes off. Notice what you think and feel at that moment.

Now fill in the following worksheet:

Monitoring How Thoughts and Emotions Change Depending on My Mood
Scenario Thoughts Feelings Bodily Sensations
1
2

Notice how your thoughts and feelings about your friend seem different, even though she behaved in exactly the same way. This exercise is a practical way of showing that your emotional state can affect the kind of thoughts that pop into your head, which can in turn feed back into your emotions. Again, it demonstrates why you shouldn’t always take your thoughts too seriously — especially if you’re in a low mood.

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