Behaviour Experiment: Big Toddle

As part of my ongoing CBT,  I am conducting a behaviour Experiment to determine what effect toddlers walking with balloons has on my behaviour and physiological response.

Hypothesis: I will experience intense anticipatory anxiety about the balloons bursting which will result in very uncomfortable physiological reactions, e.g. distress intolerance, tight chest, fear.

Anti-hypothesis: I will have little to no anxiety about the balloons and be able to take part in and enjoy the event with my toddler.

Things to remember:

  • It’s OK if I don’t manage it
  • Anxiety is just a feeling and when it peaks it means it will soon go
  • I am a watcher of my emotions


Upon arrival, I felt unable to take part in the toddle without playing white noise – very loudly – through my earphones.  Despite initial disappointment in myself, I realise that this isn’t something I would have been able to accomplish a few weeks ago, and whilst I was there  couple of balloons burst and that was OK.

I felt proud walking hand in hand with my toddler as he waved, squeezed and pulled along his balloon fully aware it could potentially burst.  As a matter of fact it didn’t, and I have he and his brother’s balloons here on the sofa ready for a soon-to-happen CBT project.

I achieved a lot more than I thought I would when I posted last night!

Husband and I also collected the car this afternoon, and it felt so much better to drive.  Maybe this will help with my driving confidence!  Plans for this evening are some abdominal exercises, and week 2 of my mindfulness course.  I never did manage to get through the body scan!


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