wise mind accepts
Think of activities in each category that can help you move through a stressful emotion or situation.
EXPERIENCE A DIFFERENT EMOTION THAN YOUR CURRENT ONE
PUSH THE EMOTION AWAY FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME
THOUGHTS THAT AREN'T DISTRESSING IN THE MOMENT
ACCEPTANCE DECREASES SUFFERING
In life, we can experience extreme pain due to trauma, difficult life circumstances, and loss. Everyone has and will experience suffering.
Often when these situations happen, we become angry and upset in response. This can cause us to be judgmental or overly critical of ourselves and the situation. By doing so, we bring more pain and suffering into our lives. Then we become stuck and cannot move forward. Nothing gets better.
But it can.
Through practicing radical acceptance, we can build a relationship with our suffering. It might sound a bit backwards, but when we own our truama and the difficult emotions around it, we can reclaim our power. We can take control back of our lives and emotions, istead of allowing it to control us.
This can be a complex skill to implement. And I admit, it was one that eluded me for many years.
Why should I accept these negative things that have happened to me?
Isn't that like saying these traumatic situations were okay?
Is this approving of what happened to me?
Why would I want to accept negative things?
These are not uncommon or irrational questions.
Acceptance does not mean approval. It does not mean you condone what happened. It does mean that you stop fighting the past and trying to change what happened. We cannot change the past, but we can control our future.
ACCEPTING PAIN, TRAUMA, AND CHANGE
When we find ourselves in pain, we have FIVE different choices we can make:
Again, remember, acceptance does not mean approval. It does not mean we like the situation. It also does not mean we are giving up or giving in. When we recognize, acknowledge, and accept a problematic situation, we learn to take control of our lives and emotional health.
FIVE STAGES OF ACCEPTANCE
The process of radical acceptance is similar to the stages of grief:
These stages might not happen in order. It's also common to go back and forth between stages, while skipping others. In moving through this process, you will be moving towards more and more acceptance.
Experience the pain. You do not need to be the story of your suffering.
"Acceptance is the first step to
overcoming the consequences of any misfortune."
- William James
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