ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!
Q: What should I do with difficult feelings?
A: Learn from them!
Nobody likes difficult feelings, the ones that translate in the body as stomach upsets, aches and pains, headaches, skin complaints, constipation, diarrhoea, whatever! But there is no clearer signal that our feelings are trying to tell us something, something important.
These physical manifestations of something going on inside are our early warning systems, or more likely our repeated warning systems, our ignored warning systems. Most of us will have a weak spot in the body where our feelings gather, where they gurgle or rumble or shriek or whatever! We ignore them at our peril.
Feelings are evolution’s gift to us, although they often feel less like a blessing than a curse. When we are in danger, perceived or actual, our early warning system gets going, our physical reactions are instinctively triggered, as fight or flight hormones flood us. Feelings are the way that our body communicates with us. Without them we would be done for. Our feelings are our friends.
Human beings are programmed to move towards pleasure and away from pain. It therefore follows that when we feel unpleasant feelings we are going to instinctively want to get away from them. Being intelligent animals, we have any number of ways of doing this. We have learned to ignore them, deny them, displace them, distract them. What we have probably not learned so well is to befriend them, stay with them, explore them, learn from them.
And yet, this is what would be really intelligent. Our feelings flow through us with all sorts of useful information to help us to move more skilfully through the world. Developing a different relationship with our feelings can be the start of something wonderful.
I wrote “EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS” to remind me of that.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
- How do you cope with difficult feelings?
- Are you learning to develop a different, a more friendly relationship with your feelings?
- 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
EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS
Let’s not deny our feelings, nor else mix them up with facts,
Let’s acknowledge our sensations, how our body now reacts,
But let’s not get into a panic if there’s something we abhor,
For we will find the more we struggle then we’ll feel the feeling more.
It’s more skilful to accept it, to explore it, get to know
Where it is within our body that our feelings tend to show,
Oh, for me it is my tummy, gastroenteritis gone berserk,
I don’t like it when it happens, but I’m learning not to shirk
Away from messages it sends me, for it has something to say,
It alerts me to a something that is going wrong today,
And though I wish that it were other, would I really wish it gone?
It’s my early warning system, which I’d miss if I had none.
And so, although we may have feelings we deem difficult to bear,
Let’s remember they alert us to the dangers everywhere,
And if we get a bit more skilful, we can learn a trick or two
To help a feeling that’s unhelpful find a way to move on through.
© Corinne Shields, 2018
If you enjoyed “EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS” 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, and its best friend COMPASSION ……..
At the heart if ACT lies Mindfulness. At the heart of Mindfulness lies Awareness, a special way of noticing what is going on internally and externally. When we are being mindful we are simply noticing what is happening in a spirit of curiosity. We are not making judgments, we are learning to be with the what is, accepting it just as it is, without wanting to change it in any way.
This is a great way to develop a new and fruitful relationship with our thoughts and feelings. When feelings arise, as they will, we just notice them, explore them, really feel what they feel like, where they are located in our body, their texture, their shape.
Likewise with our thoughts. When thoughts arise, as they will, we watch them come and we let them go. We don’t get entangled with them, make them “sticky”. ACT has the potential to help us to improve our mental health. These are some of the powerful techniques that it uses to do so.
For some lovely quotes with an ACT theme visit the ACBS website. Here’s one to both start with and leave you with.
How about YOU?
What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life? What can YOU do just for today to add some Compassion, some Kindness, into your life?
Just for today I will ………………………
If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you? Is Compassion part of your life?
I am a student of ACT, I am learning about Compassion. I am on a journey. I would love you to join me.
With all good wishes