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S.T.A.R. A Tool to Choose Healthy Alternatives

Avoid Old Patterns

STAR = STOP, THINK, ASSESS, REDIRECT

This is a tool I have found useful through my process of learning and personal growth.  Whenever I feel I may be crossing over into one of my old patterns of behavior I use this simple process:

  • Stop Stop  the unhealthy behavior or process may be; take a few deep breaths
  • Think Think about what is going on
  • Assess Assess the situation and its alternatives
  • Redirect Redirect your actions or behavior to the HEALTHIEST alternative

That’s the “STAR” technique received from a very good therapist more than ten years ago. She added this “tool” to my “tool belt” because I needed something to slow me down a bit. Slow me down when feeling like I’m beginning to react. I can be a very sarcastic person and have emotionally wounded many. The “STAR” technique helps me to be healthier in my interactions with others. This technique helps when I’m facing, or considering anything that may be unhealthy for me, or any behavior that I’m trying to correct.

At the time I first learned this technique, I had some tools available to me. They were added to my tool belt year’s earlier, maybe even during childhood. They worked well for me as a child, but as I grew into adulthood, I found that many of my old tools weren’t working anymore. They weren’t in the adult world. I loved my old tools and hung on to them. They were hard to give up! But to grow, I had to say goodbye to my outdated old standby’s, thanking them for protecting the little boy – me, and for keeping me safe when I so desperately needed them. I had to make room for new tools that would help me along my path of personal growth.

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