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Control over emotions

When something very disturbing has happened, it inevitably causes disturbing thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, memories, etc., and addressing these should be timely and manageable for you (so it would not flood you with extremely intense emotions and sensations). This exercise can help greatly with that.

The container can be used for temporary storage of stress, emotions, problems – and you can also take them out again (when you need to think, or to address them either alone or with someone). That helps to avoid interference with your everyday life. You may want to ‘chuck away’ certain topics, but this is not the place for it.

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Imagine a big box, a container, which is large enough to fit every disturbing thing, without focusing on any specific disturbing thing or image. The box has a locking lid. You can also put a label on the box that says, ‘Not now, later’. You can open and close the lid when you want to take something out or put something in the container, a few things at a time. You may only open the box when it is necessary for understanding things, if thinking about it will help to better grasp the situation, or when you need to address your emotions or solve problems. It would be good to have someone to support you through it. The goal is to make addressing disturbing things manageable for you and for you to be able to choose a suitable time to address them yourself. Because they do need addressing. I have discussed avoidance previously.

You could also imagine a data file that you name and save on your computer. When you need to access the contents of that file, you will find it easily and it will not be able to bother you at an inconvenient time (e.g. when you are in a lesson or studying).

You can also create a container for scents or sounds. You can put disturbing sounds or words on a suitable electronic data carrier.

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Imagine a river flowing and taking some leaves with it. Along with the leaves, the current is also taking away your intrusive thoughts – they are going with the flow.

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Send strong emotions to space or to the bottom of the ocean.