Using attentional control to set limits

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By Dave Henning / November 27, 2020

“The first tool in assessing top-down processing will help us accurately evaluate a situation . . . to set limits . . . by using attentional control; in other words, by choosing what to pay attention to as a way to determine [safety] in [your] present situation.”- Aundi Kolber

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.”- Unknown

Aundi Kolber concludes Chapter 5 of Try Softer as she offers three main tools as options.  These three tools help you feel safe, stay grounded in the present, and cull from the wisdom you already carry.  Also, these three tools facilitate top-down processing.  And these options serve as a reminder of how God calms us too.

 1.  Learning to assess accurately.  Attentional control helps us remember legitimate, past painful experiences in present time.  Even though the pain happened in the past, you need not allow the same painful treatment in the present.

In addition, once you figure out that no actual danger exists, you choose instead to move forward.  As a result, you use other resources to help quiet your nervous system.  Also, you develop internal reminders to connect yourself to the present.

 2.  Grounding.  In grounding, use your five senses in a nonjudgmental way to maintain connection to the moment and yourself.  Furthermore, one exercise to develop this focus is called ‘I Am Aware.’  First, from a sensory standpoint, identify things you notice.  Second, continue this awareness until you feel connected to the present.  Hence, this brings relief from any disturbing emotions or sensations.

3.  Learning we have choices.  Use you voice, remain connected to your body, and kindly but firmly communicate your boundaries.  Above all, you engage in a sacred practice when you honor your experience.

Perhaps few choices existed when you were young.  Yet, many options present themselves today.  So, set healthy limits and do so with your head held high!

Today’s question: How do you find yourself using attentional control to set limits?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Hardship – way you move through matters greatly”

About the author

Dave Henning

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