ACT and Acceptance

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: When is the best time to make decisions?

A:  When the heat of the moment is gone.

The phrase “startled thinking” is one we would do well to remember when life is in the process of throwing its challenges at us. Why? Because at such times it is highly likely that we are not thinking straight, or at least not to begin with.

ACT reminds us that at such times, in the midst of such challenges, our initial reactions are unlikely to be rational or logical.  Quite the contrary.  When something unexpected or unwelcome happens we should expect that our first reaction will be an emotional gut reaction.  This is not the time to act.  This is the time to play for time, to wait for the tide of high emotion to recede.  The time for action will come later, hopefully in the shape of a more considered response which will work better for us.

“Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings” is a great mantra to draw on when we are tempted to hasty action.

I wrote “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you learned not to make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings?
  • Are you learning to recognise “startled thinking” for what it is?
  • What can you share that might be of help to other?

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

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Lets-not-succumb-to

POEM FOR TODAY

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QUIET ACCEPTANCE

A state of quiet acceptance, well it may sound rather dull,

Not being roused to high emotion, but emotion trying to cull

By sitting quietly on the side-lines as the feelings rush on through,

Yes it may sound rather boring but it can be best to do.

For life throws at us its challenges when things don’t go our way,

All the little unexpecteds that just happen every day,

And the way we trade our peace of mind for nothing much at all,

Yes sometimes a quiet acceptance can such turbulence forestall.

And the prize of equanimity’s not one we should disdain,

For it conserves in us an energy which then is ours to claim

For activities more fruitful, for endeavours that content,

So let’s beware the first reaction when such challenges are sent.

For we don’t have to inflame it, we can simply give it space,

Learn to breathe into a feeling as our heartbeat gathers pace

And then just watch as high emotion lashes out and then recedes

Whilst we wait patient on the side-lines until normal life proceeds.

And so next time a challenge enters, let’s not panic, let’s just wait,

Ride the tide of high emotion, let it rise and then abate,

And not succumb to startled thinking that just masquerades as fact,

For it is after quiet acceptance that ‘twill be the time to act.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” 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 reminds us that feelings are fleeting, they come and they go. It makes sense therefore to remember that there is a danger in making permanent decisions based on fleeting feelings. Will we be happy with a decision we make in the heat of the moment when the heat of the moment has cooled?

We would do better, ACT suggests, to refer to our values before we make important decisions. Knowing what matters, what really matters to us and making decisions accordingly is much the better choice.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Today-I-am-not-going-to

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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ACT and Storylines

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I stop myself fearing the worst?

A:  Remind yourself you are an expert storyteller. 

If you are like me then you spend a lot of time, too much time, telling yourself stories.  Something happens and off we go, making up stories, imagining the worst, conjuring up all sorts of awful scenarios.  Some of our stories are told so often that they have become almost automatic.  They only need a trigger and there they are instantly in glorious technicolour frightening us to death.

We may not be able to stop the story arising but we can learn to stop it in its tracks.  When we remember that we are the story teller and that we are making it all up it helps us to stand back and distinguish fact from fiction.  ACT talks about Defusion a lot and this is an instance when we can use defusion techniques to remind ourselves it is only a story and we are the expert story teller.  We are making it up!

I wrote “STORYLINES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you learning to recognise when you are telling yourself stories?
  • Are you becoming more expert at distinguishing fact from fiction?
  • 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

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STORYLINES

Let’s not make up a story let’s just meet life as it is,

And let’s not make of it a drama that will leave us in a tizz,

But let’s just do what needs doing without getting in a stew

And conserve our precious energy for things we want to do.

It’s a trap for our avoidance, it’s a pitfall we can swerve,

When a certain something happens and it’s hitting on a nerve,

And the storyline is priming, oh, it’s ready now to launch,

But if we have got its measure then its story we can staunch.

For we’ve trundled down this path before, we’re wise now to its game,

So familiar with our stories we can give them all a name,

Here comes one we call “Old Faithful” for it’s never far away

And as soon as something happens it has something sour to say.

And behind it lurks “Imaginings”, the horror picture show

That ships up quite unexpected and then snares us in its glow

As it conjures up projections of the worst that can befall,

And then leaves us sick with worry, the worst storyline of all.

And so let’s watch ourselves as authors, catch ourselves out in the act,

Learn to make the sweet distinction, this is fiction, this is fact,

And when the stage is cleared for action, let us take a final bow,

Because an author just tells stories and it’s time for acting now.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “STORYLINES” 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 …..

This quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn is a reminder that we cannot escape ourselves.  Wherever we go there we are.  It follows then that we would do well to take as good a care of ourselves as possible.  We are our own constant companion.

Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre.  He has written many excellent books about Mindfulness and they complement ACT.  Mindfulness is at the heart of ACT and I have found Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books to be really helpful.  One of my favourites is “Wherever You Go, There You Are”. I am going to re-read it.  I think it’s time!  You might like to give it a try too!

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