ACT and CHOICES

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I feel like I am stuck in a rut.  What can I do?

A:  Make a choice to take a chance!

It can feel very uncomfortable making a choice to take a chance.  It can feel very scary choosing to do something way out of our comfort zone, choosing to venture out into the unknown.  It is very tempting to scurry back to safety, to give up at the first hurdle, to throw in the towel before we have even tried.

I know that because I am on the brink of something new myself.  And it is scary.  So much could go wrong, but so much could go right too; so much to lose, but so much to gain too; so much I don’t know, but so much to discover too.  For every potential difficulty, flip the coin and there is a potential benefit hiding behind it.

What would ACT say?  Well at this moment I am very glad to have ACT to refer to.  And I know enough to know what ACT would say, and I am very glad to remind myself of it now.

ACT would say whatever  feelings and thoughts I am having now, accept them.  They are what they are and they are already here.  Struggling with them will just be a waste of energy and I could more usefully use that energy for a meaningful action which is in line with my values.

ACT would also remind me that although I may not like the discomfort I am feeling in the face of something new, such a feeling is natural in the circumstances.   I can cope with it and it will pass if I allow it to pass through.  I also know that if I allow the discomfort to stop me doing something worthwhile and meaningful, what ACT calls experiential avoidance, I will end up feeling worse not better in the long run.

So there we are.  I have reminded myself of all this and I feel better already.  Sometimes that is the best thing we can do for ourselves isn’t it?  If we have uncomfortable feelings don’t try to get rid of them, struggle with them or deny them, but just let them be there, they are there anyway, and do something meaningful, something that matters to us.

I wrote this post because I am  participating in  Writeful Mind’s Feel-Good Friday.

“Feel-Good Friday is all about promoting self-care and “me-time”, which  we can all use when the stresses of life get to be too much.”

When I started writing this post I certainly didn’t feel very good, but I knew that writing it would make me focus on things that would be helpful and as a result I would feel better, and I do!!!!!

So thank you to Carol at Writeful Mind for helping me to have a Feel-Good Friday.

I wrote the poem “CROSSROADS” to remind me that if we want our lives to change sometimes, despite our discomfort, we have to make a choice to take a chance

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How willing are you to make a choice to take a chance?
  • How do you cope with the discomfort that accompanies change?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

SDI26681

CROSSROADS

Sometimes we reach a crossroads, we must make a choice, and we

Know deep down that it’s important, and we’re ready finally

To move in a new direction, leave the old landscape behind

And set off in search of something we are ready now to find.

We have put our faith in values for they’ve proved that they’re our friends

And we’re prepared for some discomfort, for we know discomfort ends

And delivers us a something that’s the loveliest it can give,

The tranquillity that says, “You’re living as you’re meant to live.”

And so if we are at a crossroads, let us pause a while to see

If we finally are ready to make changes finally,

For though we may have reached this juncture many times and backed away,

It could be that they’ve prepared us for a better choice today.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

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

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

ACT talks a lot about “experiential avoidance” and I have referred to it in previous posts too, including ACT and Committed Action.  It is definitely NOT a good thing!

In fact Dr Steven Hayes says of it in his wonderful book

“Experiential avoidance tends to artificially amplify the pain of presence and is the single biggest source of the pain of absence, since it is avoidance that most undermines positive actions.”

He goes on to say, “Of all the psychological processes known to science, experiential avoidance is one of the worst.” (Hayes, Masuda, et al. 2004).
As you can see, definitely NOT a good thing!

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

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.

12 thoughts on “ACT and CHOICES”

  1. I recently bought a book ~ http://amzn.to/1kXUWeG ~ that makes a lot of sense.

    One of the things that struck a chord with me is realizing that I attach meaning to everything that happens, especially if it’s a negative meaning. If something “bad” happens, I tend to use that as a gauge for the rest of my day or I overthink everything. The author of the book advises that we stop doing this and accept that whatever happens, happens. Once it happens, nothing can change that it. Instead of attaching a negative feeling/emotion to an event, we can instead choose to accept it, learn, and move on from it. Her point is, we shouldn’t resist what happens, even if it’s not the best thing. We must be flexible to change because it’s inevitable. Resisting implies something we don’t want, which invites more of the same.

    It’s not an easy habit to break, but I think it’s a worthwhile effort.

    Thanks again for your Feel-Good Friday post. I’ve said it before, but it truly warms my heart to know that you chose to participate in my event. 🙂

    {Hugs}

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    1. I know what you mean, Carol. ACT calls it psychological flexibility and I suppose it is at the core of what ACT is about. It means that instead of reacting in the same old habitual often rigid ways we become willing to accept whatever is as it is, without struggle, without resistance. If anything it means resisting the urge to want to change, to get rid of, to judge, to evaluate and become more flexible in our responses. Difficult, yes, worth it? I think so. Big hugs back!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think upbringing had a huge part in how I learned to view things. My parents were both worriers and my father was probably one of THE most negative people I’d ever known. Growing up in that sort of dysfunction meant having to do a LOT more work as an adult. It is difficult, as you say, but now that I know better, I will do better.

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      2. I echo that. My father was a worrier, my mother less so, but I don’t think I ever left the house without the words, “Be careful!” ringing in my ears. It meant I tended to see the world as a dangerous place and when I did throw caution to the winds I made big mistakes that had far reaching consequences. I guess that reinforced the old messages but I want to view the world more optimistically these days and that does means rejigging some of those old attitudes. X

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We have plenty in common. My father wouldn’t allow me to do a lot of stuff {like rollerskate} but my mother wouldn’t allow him to deprive me of as normal a childhood as possible under the circumstances {he was abusive}. My father was afraid of everything, so if it hadn’t been for my mom, I would have been a lot more sheltered than I was.

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      4. Childhood messages are hard to dislodge aren’t they? I became more aware of them when I heard myself saying the same things to my son. Now I have grandchildren and the automatic words come back, but I try to catch myself before I pass on to them the weary, worn out messages. I try to say to them what I would have wanted to hear myself, far more positive!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. And there I was…9000 miles away from home and not scheduled to return to the States until 4/6/2015. I was living my dream of “living” in in NZ and Australia and yet was miserable and NOT having fun. My partner, on the other hand was having the “time of his life.” I had to make some different choices/changes (and quick!!) to turn my attitude around…and I did!

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  3. OOps! The result: five months of terrific adventures! Now I am recounting my adventures in my blog . My purpose is to better understand who I was before my trip and who I am now as a result of the the changes I made. For sure my adventure has not ended, but, in fact, just beginning! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I look forward to sharing those adventures with you. To be able to look back to where you started and to see where you are now and to have affected a change, that is an adventure worth sharing. I remember years ago someone saying to me that the big challenge is to grow where you are planted. When we can change nothing else we can always change our attitude. Difficult but possible.

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      1. I guess that’s what I did…I grew where I was planted and it just happened to be in NZ and AU! Kinda neat to think about when you put it in that perspective. Thanks for giving me a different and more fun slant on my adventure! I’ll stop by again soon.

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