Here is your bonus audio

This audio on this page is a guided meditation from ACT (Acceptance and Committment Therapy.)  It utilizes cognitive defusion exercises.  Cognitive defusion is looking at your thoughts, rather than being in your thoughts.  It's being able to take a step back from our thoughts to see them for what they are:

Thoughts.  Nothing more and nothing less.

In ACT, there is a cognitive defusion exercise known as Leaves on a Stream.  You can download the audio or listen to it directly on this page.  Below the audio you'll see the written instructions on how to do this on your own.

You can right click this and click save as to download the MP3.  Or you can use the player below to listen to it.

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Leaves On a Stream Cognitive Defusion Exercise


1. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

2. Imagine you’re sitting next to a softly flowing stream with leaves floating on the water.
Pause for a few seconds to imagine this

3. For the next few minutes, take each thought that enters your mind and place it on a leaf.  Just allow it to float by. Do this with each thought. It doesn’t matter if the thoughts are pleasurable, painful, or neutral.

Even if you have positive or enthusiastic thoughts, place them on a leaf and let them float by.

4. If your thoughts stop for a few moments, continue to watch the stream.  Sooner or later, your thoughts may start up again. If this happens, place the thoughts on the leaves floating by.

5. Let the stream flow at its own pace.

Don’t try to speed it up and rush your thoughts along. You’re not trying to get the leaves to rush along or “get rid” of your thoughts. You’re allowing them to come and go at their own pace.

6. If your mind says, “This is dumb,” “I’m bored,” or “I’m not doing this right,” place those thoughts on the leaves and let them pass.

7. If a leaf gets stuck, allow it to hang around until it’s ready to float by. If the thought comes up again, watch it float by another time.

8. If a difficult or painful feeling arises, simply acknowledge it. Say to yourself, “I notice myself having a feeling of boredom,” or whatever it is you’re feeling. Imagine placing that thought or feeling on a leaf and allow it to float along.

9. Occasionally your thoughts may hook you and distract you from being fully present in this exercise. This is normal. When you become aware that you’ve been sidetracked, gently bring your focus back to the exercise.

The more you practice this, the more control you'll have over your thoughts and emotions.

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