ACT and Living Presently

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I’m fed up with fighting my feelings.  What can I do?

A:  Accept them.

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Nobody likes uncomfortable feelings, unpleasant thoughts, difficult emotions.  The natural reaction, the human reaction, is to fight against them, to try to get rid of them, to want to see them gone.  But sometimes the more we fight them the stronger they get, sometimes the more we deny them the more persistent they become and sometimes the louder we shout at them the louder they shout back.

It’s all very wearing.  We exhaust ourselves without exhausting them.

ACT suggests an alternative.  ACT suggests that instead of fighting our feelings we accept them, instead of denying our emotions we explore them, instead of challenging our thoughts we observe them.  It’s all a lot less hassle.  It doesn’t mean that they will necessarily disappear.  What it does mean, however, is that we will not waste our precious energy in futile struggle.  Then we will have that energy to do something useful, something meaningful.

I wrote “LIVING PRESENTLY” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you wear yourself out fighting your feelings?
  • Are you willing to give up the struggle and explore them instead?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

TIP FOR TODAY

To-be-one-with-our

POEM FOR TODAY

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LIVING PRESENTLY

 

To go about our business in a present sort of way,

To accept what is occurring without pushing it away,

And be one with our experience, whatever it may be,

This is what it means when we are living presently.

It’s the laying down of struggle to allow the what-is in,

It’s a curious exploration when we’re willing to begin

To let all our thoughts and feelings unimpeded move on through,

When we’re living presently then this is what we do.

It’s an elegant alternative we now put to good use

Not in tying ourselves in knots, but rather shaking ourselves loose

From an overwhelming feeling or a discomforting thought,

When we’re watching from safe distance then we’re not in those knots caught.

So let’s go about our business in a present sort of way,

Be alert to what’s unfolding every moment of the day,

And let’s not become a victim of a stubborn clinging on

To a feeling or a thought which if we let it will be gone.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “LIVING PRESENTLY” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will feelings

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

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Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made Lyrical.com. I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

18 thoughts on “ACT and Living Presently”

  1. Hi Corinne,
    Popped over from Blogging 101. Love the gorgeous image – that is enough to lift anyone’s spirits.
    I liked the last 2 lines of your poem:
    And let’s not become a victim of a stubborn clinging on

    To a feeling or a thought which if we let it will be gone.
    Something I need to practice daily, even moment by moment.

    Like

  2. Love the poem! This is what I’m striving to do, as well as allow feelings that were stuffed down inside me from the past. Such an important message to learn…… dealing with them as they’re happening. 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi MaryLou, so glad you enjoyed the poem. I wrote it when I was feeling all knotted up with difficult feelings and by the end of it there was a shift. That’s one of the things about writing, I find, it’s cathartic. I’m glad it helped you too.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Corinne, I hear you and I resonate with your musings here. I particularly like this: “ACT suggests that instead of fighting our feelings we accept them, instead of denying our emotions we explore them, instead of challenging our thoughts we observe them.” I go through this phase

    Like

  4. Dear Corinne, I hear you and I resonate with your musings here. I particularly like this: “ACT suggests that instead of fighting our feelings we accept them, instead of denying our emotions we explore them, instead of challenging our thoughts we observe them.” I go through this phase these days and find that acceptance liberates me and redirects me to a path where I could regain my courage to start anew 🙂 your poem is lovely. thank you for the inspiration.

    Like

    1. Hi Emily, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am so glad you enjoyed the post. Acceptance can seem like giving in and rolling over but, as you say, it can also be liberating. When we stop fighting against the uncontrollable we have energy to spare for other more meaningful stuff. We can wear ourselves out battling our emotions. Letting them just be there and getting on with our lives can be difficult but it is always better than letting them dictate what we do.

      Like

  5. Hi,

    Glad I came to check your blog out! Great topic! I have been trying to practice mindfulness for a while now. I believe being self-aware helps me get through tough times. I can think logically when I am more attuned with my feelings and presence.

    Like

    1. I try to practice mindfulness regularly too. It is a great gift in the midst of panic and alarm to just focus on the breath and feel body and mind start to settle down. It creates the space doesn’t it where we can choose to respond instead of reacting wildly. Yesterday I was reacting like mad, but in the end I remembered to be mindful and the day improved. Thanks so much for your visit and your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a well written post. Writing, reflection questions and an inspiring poem. Your words encouraged me.
    I spent a few hours struggling with a difficult day. And stayed in my present moment and all it held for me. Tempted to “push away”. But stayed and worked through. I needed these words this morning. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment and so pleased the day worked out for you. Mine did too in the end, but writing the post made me focus. It kept me in the present moment with the feelings I too wanted to push away, but as so often happens when you write about something, by the end the mood had shifted. Do you find that too??

      Like

    1. What a lovely line. I don’t know that poem but I am certainly going to look it up. “act … act in the living present! Heart within and God overhead”! That is wonderful. Thank you for sharing that.

      Like

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