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​When it comes to our thoughts we can easily find ourselves ‘not being able to see the wood from the trees’. This exercise helps us notice our thoughts from a distance instead of getting stuck in our usual patterns of thinking.

As we sit by an imaginary stream we put our thoughts, good or bad, onto leaves, allowing them to float away rather than holding onto them.


We will never be able to stop thoughts arising but cognitive distancing techniques like this teach us that thoughts are not facts, just mental events that we can view, accept and let go.

Do not watch or listen to this material whilst driving or operating machinery or where it is not safe for you to close your eyes and fully relax.

Alexander James is a Mindfulness-Based Therapist and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist helping clients overcome addictions, stress and anxiety disorders.

Appointments are available at various clinics across Central London including:

1 Harley Street, Bank, Canary Wharf, Notting Hill, Wimbledon and outside London at the Cowdray Therapy Rooms in West Sussex.

I also offer home visits and Online consultations.

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.