A client came to me the other day. She has been suffering with being over emotional about upcoming situations (which interestingly were far more stressful before the event than they were at the time they happened). 
She also told me she was feeling better because she had been learning a mental health tool called ETC, as in et cetera. 
ETC stands for Emotions, Truth, Choices. It is a cognitive correction and recognition that as humans, our emotional parts of the brain leap into action before our logical ones do, and this can get us into all kinds of bother. 
The process goes like this, if you can remember in the heat of the moment to follow it. 
E when feeling stressed or emotional about a situation, then simply recognise it. Allow it to pass. I have found that simply by knowing that we humans tend to react emotionally first helps me a great deal in accepting myself. The quicker you can move through to the next stage, the better, but don’t force it. 
Example: I am getting het up because I disagree with a family member and am expecting a fall out. I feel angry, let down and upset by the lies they tell. 
T what is the Truth? This means what are the facts of the situation. This is a topic for a book not a blog, so I will summarise. Your truth can be anything you like, as what is Truth anyway? Consider the differing ideologies of nations and cultures for example. There is no one definitive version really, just perspectives. Decide what you think is true, then go with that. You could equate this to what you believe in, and this will certainly dictate how you feel and behave. 
Example: I have been emotional and that is perfectly okay, but as my brain starts to calm down, I realise that there are two sides to everything. I can’t change what they think, I can only chart my own course. I believe I am doing the right things generally, and my intent is good. I can’t speak for them, so it is up to them what they think and do. If we do fall out, I will be ready and calm because I have given it thought. 
C What are my Choices now? Whatever I do, it will come from a place of calm rather than emotion. When we are emotional, our rational brains are slow and compromised. Everything inside us is gearing up for fighting or fleeing, then we tend to make decisions we might regret. After the Truth phase, your mind is becoming less stressed, and more effective 
Example: I won’t do anything for now except take actions I believe are right. I am not going to try and influence then in any way. I will interact where I need to, and otherwise keep a safe distance. 
There are clearly an infinite number of situations you could apply to this model. The key is don’t leap from emotions to choices. Make your decisions based on as much rational and balanced evidence as you can. 
You will have more peace and fewer regrets this way. 
Tagged as: Cognitive, Stress
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings