Struggling? Feel that you are drowning, sinking, in a dark deep pit?
Have you heard of ACT? (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) It is a ground-breaking evidenced based approach, using Mindfulness skills to overcome stress, anxiety anger and depression.
It doesn't matter whether you are lacking in confidence, low self-esteem, facing a long term chronic illness, stressed or trying to get work life in balance, trying to lose weight or stop an addiction, experiencing difficult relationships, all these life events are normal, but using ACT can help you build a more rich, full filling and meaningful life. Using ACT, you would learn how to:
- Reduce stress, worry, cravings and anxiety
- Rise above your doubts, fears, concerns, loneliness and insecurity
- Deal with those unhelpful thoughts, painful feelings and emotions more effectively
- Develop self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-compassion and compassion towards others
- Let go of self-sabotaging habits, recognise the happiness myths and do what works and is helpful
- Create a happier life to the full, by keeping to your values and being committed to action.
So, are you ready to stop reacting to life's events, situations and people around you and ACT on your values and commit to action?
Mindfulness is not about long hours of meditation, it has been said that even the great Zen master can't stop unhelpful and negative thought coming into the mind. ACT is about accepting that these thoughts are normal, natural and only human. Such as why me? I'm not good enough, I've useless. why does this always happen to me, I can't be bothered doing anything, why does everything go wrong etc. etc.
We can get 'hooked' into these thoughts and feelings, fused with them, locked on, believe in them, entangled and act on them. But we don't have to, they are a normal reaction based on thousands of years of evolution since primitive man. We are conditioned to respond to the 'fight or flight' response and even 'freeze' in the event of danger and today it's only perceived danger but our brain still tries to protect us from threats, things that drives us and actions that are not always helpful and workable towards that what we want, a rich more meaningful life.
ACT is accepting even your feelings and emotions as only human, such as feeling anger, sorry, guilt, sadness, worry, anxious, panic and even loneliness. What do we try to do, push them away, bury them, run from them and even try to change them. But, does that work? Or do they just come back, sometimes with a vengeance, like pushing a beach ball unto the water, it just pops back up. What we do using ACT we accept them, make room for them, sit with them and just let them be, by being mindful of the here and now, in the moment and recognising that they will pass.
Accepting these thoughts and feelings are only normal for us humans is the first step, next is not distract or try to change them, but to commit yourself to action that is in line with your values which are important to you, are your hearts desires and that you stand for, wanting to be remembered for. Towards move that are workable actions and effective in achieving your hearts desires and this will defuse your thoughts and feelings by separating them, distance yourself from them and untangle yourself so as not to be too wrapped up in them resulting in being able to carry on with life and still have the thoughts and feeling in the background without being hooked into them.
Learning cognitive defusion helps you defuse painful and unpleasant thoughts, self-limiting beliefs and self- criticism and have less influence over you. Expanding and making room for your painful thoughts and feeling and allowing them just to be and let them flow through you without being swept away by them, being connected fully in the present instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future together is known as Mindfulness. these skills can be taught through ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy or Acceptance Commitment Training) as it is known in the corporate world and in Executive Coaching.