ACT and Short-sightedness

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  I don’t like the look of what’s coming.  What should I do?

A:  Stop projecting.  Remember, we see such a little way.

shortsightedness

Our mind is a wondrous thing.  It is capable of such fantastic feats.  Analysing, planning, evaluating, judging, imagining, the list is endless.  And what benefits it brings us, our wondrous thinking mind.

But the mind is a double edged sword.  For every wonderful imagining there is a niggling worry waiting in the wings, for every hopeful fantasy there is a gloomy projection casting its shadow.  And we do well to remember that the mind is programmed to look on the dark side.  It evolved to keep us safe and so it is more likely to perceive threats even when there are none; it is more likely to seek out the negative than plump for the positive.  That’s just what minds do.  ACT reminds us of that.  We should be sceptical of the wondrous thinking mind and remember H M Tomlinson’s wise words:

“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”

I wrote “BLINDED BY SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to treat your wondrous thinking mind with a bit of healthy scepticism?
  • How do you deal with looming situations?
  • 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

Solutions-yet-unfolded

POEM FOR TODAY

baltic_sea-800x533

BLINDED BY SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS

 

We cannot hold the tide back, nor else order winds to change,

When it comes to Mother Nature there’s not much we can arrange,

And so in time we just accept it since there’s nothing else to do,

We know that practicing acceptance is the wisest thing to do.

It’s a shame we can’t transfer it, all this wisdom we’ve accrued,

To a situation looming which is darkening our mood,

But resistance builds within us and we’re spoiling for a fight,

We’ve already made our minds up that what’s looming isn’t right.

And so our mind begins to harden, it starts taking up a stand,

There’s no room for compromising, fixed minds cannot understand

That solutions yet unfolded are beyond the ken of man,

We are blinded by short-sightedness, can’t see a master plan.

And it’s not easy this acceptance, this forbearance, this restraint,

Stemming words deemed justifiable, not moving to complaint,

But in the end it’s just a moment when we’re taking pride of place,

And consequences now unknowable we’ll later have to face.

And so next time the future’s looming let’s not be in such a haste,

Let’s be less quick to rush to judgement something isn’t to our taste,

And be aware the future’s hidden, we can’t know how ‘twill unfold,

Whereas the present is a province that is ours to have and hold.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “BLINDED BY SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS” 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 …..

When I have a relapse, and it happens more often than I would like, this is the book that I return to.

Relapses can be painful but they are not the end of the world.  In fact, if we treat ourselves kindly, and ACT would certainly encourage that, we can learn a lot from a relapse.  It can set us back on the right path with renewed vigour and motivation.

This book offers a five-step plan for coping with painful emotions such as anxiety and depression and teaches the life-enhancing behavior strategies that help us to  pursue the goals we value most.  It shows us how to engage with and overcome painful thoughts and feelings with step-by-step acceptance and mindfulness-based techniques.  We learn how to let go of control, and develop compassion and flexibility.  It helps us to create a meaningful life even in the midst of our challenges.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Today-as-something starts to loom

 

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 Valued Action

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What can I do when I’m feeling fed up?

A:   Do something meaningful!

Taking action when we don’t feel like it is at the very heart of ACT.  In fact it is so central to it that it gives it its very name.

ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is about just that.  Accepting what we cannot change and committing to take an action in line with our values is what this Therapy is all about.

In order to change our lives for the better, in order to bring about meaningful change, ACT encourages us to develop a different relationship with our thoughts and feelings.  When we start living our lives based on our values rather than our moods things start to improve.  Why?

Because when we see ourselves as more than our thoughts and our feelings we can make some space, what ACT calls Defusion, and watch our thoughts come and go.  Defusion frees us up to do things that are important to us.  This is what will help us to create a meaningful life, so that when we look back there will be something to see.

I wrote “SOMETHING TO SEE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you learning to turn to your values rather than letting fleeting moods dictate your day?
  • What defusion techniques do you find helpful?
  • 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

When-lifetimes-are

POEM FOR TODAY

treasure hunting 3

SOMETHING TO SEE

When lifetimes are ending and years are lived through

We won’t ask how we felt, we’ll ask, “What did we do?”

What activities flourished, what did we achieve?

Did we make any difference, give more than receive?

Oh our feelings are with us each step of the way,

But did they know their place or were they holding sway,

Did we learn to live with them, take them in our stride?

Or did we let them rule us and push us aside?

If we’re asking these questions it isn’t too late

To establish new orders, re-negotiate,

And decide from now on we won’t be shoved along

By a feeling that’s fleeting, no matter how strong.

For a feeling is flimsy whilst action is real,

We can choose what to do, we can’t choose how to feel,

And a lifetime of action has something to show

Whilst a lifetime of feeling is lived in limbo.

So let’s look for an action and do it right now,

Irrespective of feelings let’s act anyhow,

For we find when we’re living life more flexibly

That when we’re looking back there is something to see.

 © Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SOMETHING TO SEE” 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 …..

Acting when we don’t feel like it isn’t easy and it isn’t guaranteed to make us feel better.  What it is guaranteed to do, however, is to help us to build a more meaningful life.  Meaningful lives are built on meaningful actions not fleeting feelings, and though we can’t choose how we feel, that is beyond us, we can choose what we do.

Having and exercising that choice is a great boon.  It helps us to spring the trap of difficult feelings that can rob us of our joy.  It is the beginning of freedom.

For more on the benefits of the psychological flexibility that is at the heart of ACT I enjoyed an article at harleytherapy.co.uk.

It can be difficult to understand what psychological flexibility is and isn’t and I particularly liked their explanation.

Perhaps an easy way to understand what psychological flexibility is, is to first look at what it is not. 

The main contributors to psychological inflexibility are:

  • living in the past or the future instead of the present moment
  • being “stuck” and unable to let go of thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and sensations that cause suffering (called being ‘fused’ to them)
  • always trying to avoid your unpleasant thoughts, memories, and feelings, hoping that they will, somehow, go away
  • being addicted to an idea of yourself, or ‘self-concept’, always telling the same stories about yourself and your life
  • not being aware of your personal values
  • patterns of behaviour that keep all of the above going

Source: http://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/what-is-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy.htm#ixzz48Kke0b5H

It’s a great website with lots of useful information and resources.  I shall visit often.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will decide to take

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and Treasure Hunting

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: How can I make better choices?

A: Distinguish between treasures and trinkets

treasure hunting 4

We live in a world of so many distractions.  Never has there been so much choice, so many claims for our attention.  Choosing wisely is a challenge.  And what does “wisely” mean?

If we are feeling less than satisfied in our life, if we have a feeling that something is missing then it might be time to revisit those choices.  In ACT terms we have a useful measure.  ACT suggests that if we want to make wise choices, choices that are more likely to make our lives feel meaningful, then we should check in with our values.

It is tempting to go for the easy option, the quick return, but if this starts to pall then maybe we need to consider whether this is really the best use of our limited time.

There is a difference between trinkets which bring short term pleasure and treasures which offer a more lasting satisfaction.  If we start to tire of trinkets then treasure hunting becomes more appealing.  ACT reminds us that value driven actions are more likely to lead us to the pot of gold.

I wrote “TREASURES AND TRINKETS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at distinguishing treasures from trinkets?
  • Are you more conscious of making value driven choices?
  • 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

The-day-lies-before-us

POEM FOR TODAY

treasure hunting

TREASURES AND TRINKETS

The day lies before us, it’s ours now to fill,

But to fill it with treasure’s an art and a skill,

For to look back with pride at the end of the day

Means we need to be present each step of the way.

For much treasure is hidden and not easy found,

There are trinkets a-plenty just lying around,

But these cheap easy pickings won’t satisfy long,

And if we think they’re treasures then we would think wrong.

For a treasure is precious, it’s rarer to find,

And can hold out a challenge to body and mind,

For it may not at all be what it at first seems,

And may bear no resemblance to stuff of our dreams.

And so finding a treasure requires us to be

Fully present each moment, eyes ready to see

That the time collecting trinkets denies us the chance

To seek out hidden treasures we’d miss at first glance.

And if we are confused as to where treasure lies,

And not sure if we found it we’d it recognise,

Then a nod to our values should be quite enough

To distinguish a treasure from trinkety stuff.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “TREASURE HUNTING”  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 …..

One of my favourite things about writing this blog is finding examples of inspirational ACT resources to help me and to share with you.

There are all sorts of wonderful things out there, articles, videos, workshops, ACT communities.  There is certainly no shortage of inspirational material.  There is certainly no need to feel alone!

Today I came across a great article about the Value Driven Life at HealthyPsych.com

The article reminds us of the importance of discovering and then staying close to our values.  If you are having difficulty clarifying your values take a look.  I found it really helpful.  The opening paragraph gives a flavour of what is to come.  It starts with that tricky question that we often get asked as children!

As children, we are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question then gets asked constantly as we go through life, sometimes causing some immense stress and feelings of confusion and frustration when that question cannot be answered.

Questions that we neglect to ask are, “What KIND of person do you want to be? HOW do you want to behave?” Not being who we genuinely are, losing contact with our values, not behaving in ways that are important to us can also bring stress, pain, even suffering into our lives ……

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-some-time

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