ACT and Becoming a Hero

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I get over my fear?

A:  Become a hero!

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.:

When we are facing difficult or unfamiliar situations it is natural to feel anxious, nervous, even afraid.  We are pre-programmed that way and it is what has kept us safe over the ages, it is how our species has survived to tell the tale.

It follows, therefore, that when we have these uncomfortable feelings, rather than trying to avoid them or deny them we would do better to acknowledge them, thank them even for trying to keep us safe, and then carry them with us as we take positive action.

ACT talks a lot about “experiential avoidance” and cites it as being a number one culprit for much that we feel goes wrong in our lives.  When we have uncomfortable feelings it is easier, much easier to use them as an excuse to avoid doing what we don’t feel like doing anyway.  Although that may make us feel better in the short term, ACT reminds us that in the longer term we are missing out two-fold.  Firstly, we don’t develop skills that would help us to tolerate and learn from internal unpleasant events, and secondly we miss out on all the good stuff we could do and the confidence we could build by doing it.

No one denies that uncomfortable feelings are unpleasant, but when we understand where they come from and why they are there we can maybe use them in a more productive way.  Using them doesn’t mean we’re losing them, but it does mean that we are not letting them stop us doing things that in the long term could make our lives richer and more meaningful.

If we can do this then bit by bit we will become more like the hero that we would like to be.

I wrote “BECOMING A HERO” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with uncomfortable feelings?
  • What strategies do you use to help you to act even when you don’t want to?
  • 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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BECOMING A HERO

 

Have we got the guts to do it, to step into the unknown?

Find the courage, if it’s needed, to move forward there alone

And be tolerant of strangeness as the customary declines,

Become a stranger in a country where we cannot read the signs.

There’s a multitude of reasons why we wash up in this place,

Some may be of our own choosing, but sometimes we’ll have to face

Situations most unwelcome we would rather far not meet,

But can we still return to where we were or is there no retreat?

And if retreating’s not an option what are we supposed to do,

Find a hidey hole to cower in and hope that help comes through,

Or can we be a little bolder, accept fear is here to stay

And if we’re going forward hand in hand it won’t get in our way.

And then despite our own misgivings we will get to make a choice,

Be like pioneers of yesteryear with reason to rejoice,

Because although the path was arduous and we were oft afraid

We learned that heroes aren’t born fearless, it is out of fear they’re made.

And so let’s treat our fear more gently, let’s not look on it with scorn,

But remember that a hero’s shaped, a hero’s not just born,

And then when fear is coursing through us we can choose how we react,

And if we want to be a hero, then despite our fear we’ll act.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “BECOMING A HERO” 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 …..

“Experiential avoidance” is such a key concept in ACT, that it is well worth trying to get our heads around it, even though it can be quite difficult to understand, at least I found it that way!

There are plenty of great resources on-line to help and one that I enjoyed was aptly named:

“Understanding Experiential Avoidance”

The article is to be found at thecareerpsychologist.com and shows how experiential avoidance spreads its tentacles in all sorts of places.

“Experiential avoidance is so common to everyone experiencing career paralysis and yet so unheard of that it needs some closer attention.  Here’s the formal definition:

“Attempts to avoid thoughts, feelings, memories, physical sensations, and other internal experiences even when doing so creates harm in the long-run.”  Hayes, Strosahl, Wilson, 1999

If you want to read more then head over to thecareerpsychologist.com.

It makes for good reading whatever stage of our lives we are at!

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

ACT and New Responses

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I deal better with difficult situations?

A:  Create a breathing space.  Respond rather than react.

There is a difference between a reaction and a response.  A reaction is automatic, a response is not.  When something happens, body and mind are pre-programmed to react in certain ways.  If that something is pleasant then we can expect pleasant reactions, if that something is not then look out!

If we constantly act on our initial reactions then that can lead to all sorts of problems.  We don’t like something and we lash out, that’s a problem, we like something and we can’t resist it, that can be a problem too.

ACT and Mindfulness encourage us to create a breathing space where we can decide on a more helpful response.  The more we can do that the more manageable and meaningful our lives will become.  Sometimes it is a good idea to revisit some of our responses too.  Just because they have worked well in the past doesn’t mean they are always the best responses now.  As we grow so can our responses.  This is a cause for celebration.

I wrote “NEW RESPONSES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you able to differentiate between reactions and responses?
  • Are you ready to revisit some of your habitual responses?
  • 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

we-cant-help-our

POEM FOR TODAY

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NEW RESPONSES

We can’t help our reaction, that’s an automatic thing,

But when it comes to our responding, we’re not puppets on a string,

For we have choices to consider, and decisions we can make,

We needn’t act on our reactions we can choose the route we’ll take.

It’s a gift we have been given, this reflecting breathing space

Where we can look at what is happening in our inner private place

Before deciding what is helpful and what’s better left behind,

We can do this when we’re observers of our body and our mind.

And it may be old responses are now due an overhaul,

We can keep the ones still working but we needn’t keep them all,

For it maybe we’ve outgrown them, they no longer seem to fit,

Well that’s a cause for celebration, so let’s just get on with it

And work out some new responses, ones more elegant perhaps,

Those just waiting in the wings until the other ones collapse

Before they move in all their glory to the centre of the stage,

Because if we’re due new responses, it’s because we’ve turned a page.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “NEW RESPONSES” 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 …..

The benefits of meditation have been well known throughout the ages but it is only relatively recently that it has been made more popularly accessible through practices such as Mindfulness.

Nowadays meditation is no-longer the sole province of Tibetan Monks or practitioners who have spent years in mental and spiritual practice.  Meditation is available to anyone who has the willingness to spend a few moments learning a few basic but very powerful skills.

A good start point can be found at a great website entitled Mindfulness:  Finding Peace in a Frantic World.  Danny Penman, one of the co-authors with Mark Williams, of the book of the same name, describes:

The 3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation

It is free to download and well worth a listen.

If that whets your appetite then try the book.  It was my first introduction to Mindfulness and I return to it often.  It has been a good friend to me.

Product Details

 

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

just-for-today-im-going-to-choose

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 Passion

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I discover my values?

A:  Explore your passions!

Image result for inspirational quotes

ACT places a lot of store in valuesValues are at the very heart of Acceptance Commitment Therapy and identifying our values and learning to live by them, even in the midst of our problems, is the key, in ACT terms, to living a meaningful life.

Identifying our values can be difficult.  Coming to know what is really important to us should be easy surely, but it often isn’t.  With so many competing claims on our time, on our energy, we can end up living a life that doesn’t feel meaningful, doesn’t feel satisfactory.  If our life feels dull, if we feel dull, then that is a sure-fire way of knowing that we are not living by our own values.  Living by someone else’s values won’t work.  If we want our life to improve then getting in touch with our values is a good next step.  If we are passionate about something it is likely that will give us a clue as to where our values lie.

I wrote “Exploring our Passion” to remind me of that.

 HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How in touch with your values are you?
  • Are you true to your values, or do you betray them sometimes?
  • 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

be-happy

POEM FOR TODAY

beach-tai-chi

EXPLORING OUR PASSION

If we have a passion, then best be aware

That it’s not necessarily one others share,

For a passion is personal, give for free,

So what’s moving for you isn’t moving for me.

It’s a fact unattractive, not nice to behold

That a fire in my belly is leaving you cold,

But a passion’s not dependent on what others say,

If we feel it inside that’s sufficient today.

For a passion is something quite hard to define,

But whatever it is it’s not yours, it is mine,

It’s my baby to cherish, my precious to rear,

If the world turns away, it’s for me to hold dear.

So whatever we’re feeling that moves and inspires

Let’s respect for itself, not for who else admires

The outputs of our passion, no need to applaud,

If we love what we do, then we have our reward.

And although ‘twould be good to enjoy the acclaim

Of a world filled with rapture and shouting our name,

If we’ve come to a place where that need is no more,

Then what pleasure’s ahead as our passion we explore.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “EXPLORING OUR PASSION” 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 …..

I have been away for a month and for most of that time I have been internet free.  And I say that in the nicest possible way!

Without access to the instant communication that the internet gives us life can feel very different.  It can almost feel like going cold turkey at first, so accustomed, even dependent, have we become on its temptations.  And yet, it was rather nice, refreshing even, to be cut off from the demands of the electronic age, if only for a while.

Apparently Digital Detox Retreats and Unplugged Wellness Retreats are becoming increasingly popular.  If you want to read more about this rather novel, some would say alarming, trend there is an interesting article at Huffington Post entitled “Digital Detox Retreats”.

Although not strictly speaking ACT, I have included it nevertheless.  When we switch off from the outside world and go inside for a while we are practicing mindfulness.  When we practice mindfulness we are practicing ACT.  When we don’t have access to all the instant distractions that our gadgets give us we are increasingly thrown back on our own devices.  I quite liked that, at least for a while!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

be-happy-2

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