From an Intense Moment to a Relaxed Moment: 3 Phase Process

The unhealthy habits nurtured by our mental illnesses tend to be triggered by high-pressured situations. In those situations, one way to avoid repeating the habits that further us from recovery is to utilize coping mechanisms to move from a hot moment to a cool moment.

The following is my 3 Phase Process to help me safely move from an intense moment to a more relaxed one. I begin by trying to understand the root of my emotions then acknowledge my immediate reaction to see if I can calm myself down before creating my safety plan.

Phase 1: Understanding My Emotional Response

  1. What happened immediately before my intense feelings occurred?
  2. Are my feelings directly related to the situation beforehand?
  3. Which emotions am I feeling?

Phase 2: Acknowledging My Immediate Reaction

  1. What is my immediate reaction to the emotions I feel?
  2. If suicidal or self-harm related, do I have a plan, access to means, and timeframe? (If yes, it may be time to call for help.)
  3. How do I think following through with my immediate reaction will make me feel?

Phase 3: Creating Next Steps

  1. In the past, when I felt these emotions, what is one thing I did that made me feel some relief?
  2. Who do I feel like I can call to share my current emotions and process them safely?
  3. What am I doing when I feel strongest / at my best?

Please note, this is my personal 3 Phase Process, which may need to be adjusted based on your needs and the situation at hand. Also, please note that this plan only works if you are honest with yourself. Being honest is what will help you overcome the symptoms of your mental illness rather than falling victim to them.

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