We don’t always feel like we have the strength to fight the battles that have caused so much anxiety within us anymore. Simple things like waking up from the bed seem so difficult, the impulse is to just quit and hope that things will just look better when we are out of this place. But then, who knows where we will land up. The consequences, it’s like a riot of inner doubts which says, surviving is enough. We want to live. But,how to maintain that with Radical Acceptance?
The thought of being independent and taking control seems implausible in times of pain. But what other alternative do we have when we don’t feel like we are Bon Jovi, but just a rookie. Having to face a difficult time in the course of your life is just about starting fresh and new. So, depression and anxiety is normal.
When we feel like the most horrible thing has happened to us, cancer, family member’s death, divorce, or losing a dear friend because it grew toxic between the two of you. Know that you are not alone. Moving on takes a long time. This time can be depressing and you’ll be in self-harming mode. Maybe, you’ll develop an eating disorder, become nasty and abusive. If you are street (or book) smart you’ll reach out for psychotherapy and radical acceptance.
In this article we will know how we come around these situations by going through it or around it. Focus should be on developing skills of radical acceptance, a stage of overcoming grief which usually takes years, sometimes leading to post-traumatic stress disorder, or even mania
What is Radical acceptance?
When you are really afraid of the consequences of something that has happened outside of your control radar you might take some time to see through the pros and cons. But at least if you can accept the facts that there’s both you can do about it that would turn things around to how they were, you admit that there are other dimensions outside the cubicle of the room where you have the remote to change how you are going to feel – you have already taken one step towards radical acceptance.
Most of the confusion in therapeutic advice still revolves around whether after all we should go “through it” or “around it”. As Aristotle would say: “these mutually exclusive processes are paradoxical. We are excluding the question of what lies in the middle?”
There are various approaches to radical acceptance. But the most important part to remember is that you are your own best friend and your own enemy. Once you have decided you are going to take control, it means letting go of thoughts you have no power over and focusing on being with your feelings. Living with it.
Factors one should believe that they should start practicing radical acceptance? >>Heading
Radical acceptance is subjective, complex, and a multi-dimensional concept. The fear of Suicide seems to be the point of departure for thinking of therapies based out of self-acceptance. Saying yes to life and seeing it just as it is. Not ifs no buts.
According to the World Health organisation every year around 8 lakh people commit suicide over the world. It is the third leading cause of death. But mental health still remains quite inaccessible in many parts of the world today.
Below are some signs that mean you have to start “radical acceptance”.
Signs to Deal with Radical Acceptance:
1. I can’t deal with this.
This is a common feeling in the period of anxiety and depression. You feel like “This is not fair,” “Things shouldn’t be like this,” “I can’t believe this is happening,” etcetera. This thinking will not take you anywhere. You have to think about moving forward. Sometimes, even the most bitter things have the best lessons to teach us. Sounds cliche but because it happens to all of us.
Don’t let yourself get too low. Connect with family and friends, go out for a walk in nature or in the nearest park. Take a break from usual activities. Make a new schedule and start journaling.
Sometimes, just listening to your all time favourite song is enough to change your mood. Be careful of becoming codependent on people or addictive substances like alcohol or drugs. Try including healthy habits, like skin care, cleaning and exercise in your schedule.
2. It’s not right.
It is not. But it’s just a feeling it will go away with time. We have unfortunately never had heart to heart conversations with our loved ones, we are going too fast or too slow or not where we want to be. But the truth is we are not in control of everything.
Very few things we can actually control. To make things different, we have to act differently. Don’t be afraid to look different from the crowd. Scan and judge yourself daily but not negatively, the idea is to be constructive with your criticism. Not only with yourself, but also with others.
First step to radical acceptance will be to “acknowledge your thoughts”. Take a step back and evaluate your position and actions and look at it as it is. What should you do differently now to have things your way as much as you can?
The past is gone, you can’t change anything over there. But your present actions will definitely change your future. Try writing down in points what brings you peace, for example.
3. Why did this happen to me now?
This is an example of refusing to accept reality. Probably, you got a promotion but at the same time your cousin’s wedding is scheduled, nobody cares about your party anymore. Or worse, you broke your ankle and the doctor said you’ll never be able to run like you used to.
Absorb things slowly. Listen to those whom you trust and care about. They will give you good advice. In the times you are alone that will help you as memories. Don’t hold on a laughter or a tear, let go and get an emotional cleansing. Let go off the unnecessary things you have been holding on to, People, and ideas. Chill and try to figure out questions which actually matter to you.
You don’t have to prove anything to anybody. Also You are not an appendage, you are a person and you have the right to express your thoughts and be your own way. And You may be feeling left out at the moment. But look at the bigger picture, you’ll have so many new stories to tell yourself.
4. Unable to have patience
There is a reason why patience is called a virtue. It’s a tough skill to master. In the time of panic, to hold on and think of the right thing to do is patience. Thinking about things in the long term is patience. Horrible things have happened to others, how did they cope with their experience?
These questions are positive. Questions like, “What did I do to deserve this?” Will start a vicious cycle of self-criticism which will lead to more self-hate.
Look at yourself in the mirror. Is your hair soft and bouncy? Your Nails are chipped and unfiled, cut? Is there acne in your face? Are you consuming too much sugars in spite of knowing what it does to your body over time? Then why aren’t you doing anything about all of this? These are signs that you need to start practising radical acceptance in life.
5. Uncontrollable anger and loss of focus and interest in regular activities
There are major depressive disorders because of which one feels angry. Anger is a valid emotion. There are known triggers to anger. But anger can indeed cost you a lot if you don’t learn how to manage it. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) and Bipolar Mood Disorder are some common reasons for feeling waves of anger inside you which you cannot solve.
It can be happy because of loss, financial crisis or just joblessness. But there are ways like therapy for this. Anger is not always visible, sometimes it’s internal and causes a lot of physical and emotional damage to you.
If you feel bouts of anger now and then then recognise these as symptoms and talk to your friends and a doctor. There are medications which can help you optimise your symptoms. Anger is also a stage in a period of grief and is completely understandable. But you must not stop believing that it does go away. Self-talk is an important way to control your anger.
Top 10 Ways to Practice Radical Acceptance
1.Try to Find Positive in every small act
Analyse a situation you are in from far away. It always has a positive, negative and a zero. Try to list all the variables and assets of each and see what falls under zero. Things which you file under zero should be things that exist in the realistic scenario but do not serve any purpose for you. Once you have finished this task.
Read it again and see where you could have gone wrong and what are the better ways to approach the same subject which has emerged from this task. Try to come to a conclusion and decision regarding it. The last measure is to be calm, take a break, do your required activities for the day and come back to this.
Now see where all have you tried to “convince yourself” to do something you don’t want to and where have you been free to note something objectively about the situation. The latter is what you should think about leaving out the unnecessary things that you had stored in your memory.
2.Make a list of controllable and uncontrollable
The most important thing is to recognise and appreciate what you have. And giveaway what you don’t need. Maybe also cut some toxic ties with the “energy vampires”. But doing all of this and seeing the results take time.
This treatment can be applied for problems with money, confusion between choices, depression because of idleness and overthinking. For this you will need to understand and have an overview of your life and specific questions you have which put you in a state of anger or anxiety.
Try to list it down and understand why you feel angry. If this is because of losing a job or facing rejection try to practice living in the present. There are many more job opportunities you haven’t tried for. Write a cover letter explaining your intentions. Try to be prepared with the answers in an interview.
You can’t do anything about people, they have free will and what you can do is carve a new path. Make changes (remember change is a choice it’s not necessary) to your idea of an opportunity and open yourself up to new things.
3.Draw a vision board for one year
For a vision board you need just a chart paper and a pen and your thoughts. Write everything you want to achieve by the end of the year. A new better paying job, a new therapist perhaps, an exercise schedule. Or travel itineraries, planning for a wedding. Whatever is in your mind, bring it out. First draft is only rough. Then keep adding to it how, why and when and where you’d like to do those things. Plan ahead so that you don’t blame others or yourself for not being able to carry out your own business.
List your priorities, daily, weekly and monthly and map your success. Time yourself and see how long you take to do the everyday things. Take out time once every day for things which relax you. Like a hobby, dancing, going out for a walk, calling your trusted friends and family members.
The vision board should not be a burden, it should be because you are aspiring to be somewhere else. And sometimes we need to list out an action plan and talk to somebody about it. This helps in pushing us to do those things which we feel lazy doing by ourselves.
This is the best way to acknowledge your reality and feelings that are content with it. Radical acceptance does not mean being apologetic about who you are. It is about being able to be logical and reasonable with the given situation you are currently in. Everybody is flawed and wants to make a difference in the world. Stop comparing yourself with others.
In a diary you can pour all your thoughts, plus handwriting is a great dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT). Go over your past journals and see how far you have come. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Relate your problems with the larger world and questions. You’ll see, you’re not alone. Overuse of social media does make us wonder why we are not going anywhere while others have full power to.
Try to put your life in perspective and see where you are and where you want to be. Far worse things could happen, right. Be kind to yourself and care for your health and see how you want to make savings so that you can travel if you want to, or buy something from your wish list. Don’t say no it can’t,it won’t happen. It will happen with effort put on something everyday.
5.Reach out to friends whom you have trust issues with
Trust issues are quite common with those living in abusive households and unprotected environments or facing financial issues. It is important to build trust because otherwise we will always feel dejected. But how should we build trust?
First step to building trust is to honour your commitments and don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Take small steps and don’t do too much too soon. Have the courage to say no. Don’t commit if you’re not sure. Be honest about your opinions and don’t hesitate to share your views in public gatherings.
Communication is the key to building trust. It is okay to show your vulnerability in a difficult situation. Give feedback with respect and receive feedback and reflect on it rather than get upset. Lastly, admit your mistakes and do what you think is right with the available information you have at that time.
6.Define commitment and love for yourself
Commitment and love are different for everybody. But to not get into an anxious state in a demanding environment. We all have to negotiate and compromise in certain situations. At times while we are distressed we cannot think about others’ situations and feel pleased with our position in the world.
We make friends and friendships or even acquaintances demand certain obligations from us.that is why we should have strong boundaries set with people keeping in mind our priorities in work and at home.
Love is a relationship much like a commitment but can be achieved through communication. Sometimes we react impulsively and regret our behaviour. Best way to bring the overwhelming feelings in control is to talk to the person with whom you are facing troubles. Avoiding the consequences will only make it harder for you to move ahead. Give it some time to heal and have civil talk instead of going berserk.
7.Take time out to clean your room
Does your bed have a huge pile of clothes? Doing a deep clean of your dirty room can also help tidy up your brain, according to human experiments in epidemiology. This exercise helps clear out any clutter and keep your room, and your thoughts, organized. Even though cleaning your room may feel like a mundane task, it makes you feel a sense of accomplishment, happiness and pride.
A cluttered room represents that your thoughts are cluttered, whether you intend for it to do so or not. A clean room helps you start a morning peacefully. Waking up to a disheveled, confused environment won’t help you start your day off well.
A cluttered room may not overstimulate your senses, distract you and make relaxation difficult or trigger guilt for letting things get out of control. After some time spent cleaning we feel like we have our life in order. You don’t need to do cleaning for the whole day, you can break it down and do it every time you take a break from the more important things in your priority list.
8.Have a schedule for morning and evening
A morning schedule is fast paced, maybe you have to go out for work or get ready. Make your appointments, and start off with a lot of work in mind, you need your coffee or tea and bath time. Morning schedule must include all the things that are important on a daily basis, like cooking and cleaning.
In the afternoon, you should try to make the important calls or take time out for reassessing if you have missed out on something that was left to do on that particular day. Once you have checked in on the next day’s time table, you can return to your work guilt-free and finish your work for the day.
Night routine should entail things that prepare you for good sleep. Like a cup of chamomile tea, cooking dinner and preparing your bed, setting the alarm for the next morning. Spend some time with your hobbies or watching the daily news and calling up a relative to ask about them, reading a book or just going out for an evening walk in the park. As mentioned above, break these routines down depending on how much you can do successfully in a day.
9.Make a diet and meal plan
What you eat is part of your priority because if you lose control over this part of your life, you lose a lot more than just your mind. Make a list for groceries, vegetables, whole wheat bread, white or red meat-depending on your taste and some good fats like omega-3 fish, cheese, and eggs.
Have one day in the week when you can eat what you actually enjoy. Don’t go for junk food whenever you feel lazy. Because this becomes a bad habit. Try to cook your own food, you will feel much better. And try to be mindful when you are eating if you are weight conscious.
Make a realistic plan which you can carry out, all the plans on the internet are not for everybody, you will make your own, depending on your staple food, daily needs and what you find in the market near your house. If you make an unrealistic diet plan you will tend to fail in carrying it out successfully, and become more bitter than feel better.
10.Exercise 30 minutes daily
There is no instant best way to feel better than a 20-30minute exercise, whenever you are not able to understand what is going on even after a whole day of commitment and meditation, this is bound to make you feel better and also sleep better.
Exercise also releases dopamine and endorphins which are called happy hormones. No need to always aim too high, you can also just “shake it off”. Put on some music, do zumba, aerobics, dance and just let out all the exhaustion.
Ideally, exercising 3-4 days a week is advised by psychologists and psychiatrists all over the world, to maintain a healthy diet and for mobility. It builds strength, focus and concentration. And offers long-term benefits with just 20 minutes every day.
Try radical acceptance. Just turn up the song loud on “Karaoke” alone in your bedroom or somewhere in your neighbourhood- “It’s my life” by Bon Jovi. In a few minutes you will feel an inordinate amount of endorphins released in your biological system and you are good to go- at least one more day.
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