ACT and Honouring our Feelings

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Q: What should I do with uncomfortable feelings?

A:  Honour them.  Pay attention to the messages they send.

We all love lovely feelings.  Of course we do.  They make us feel good, flood us with a sense of well-being, and make us feel glad to be alive.  It’s great when our whole system is in harmony.  We feel like we are on top of the world and that’s where we want to stay.

Unfortunately, feelings aren’t like that.  They are fleeting, they come and go,  often appearing out of nowhere and leaving just as suddenly.  That’s the nature of feelings.  We can no more hang on to our good feelings than demand that our bad feelings either don’t come at all, or if they must, then they don’t hang around for too long.

We can spend a long time battling with our feelings, trying to change the ones we don’t like and trying to keep the ones we do.  It is an energy sapping, largely fruitless exercise.  ACT suggests another approach.  ACT suggests that we practice acceptance.  When we practice acceptance of our feelings, good, bad and indifferent we are able to conserve our energy for other more fruitful activities.

ACT also encourages us to develop a different relationship with our feelings. This is where “Honouring our Feelings” comes in.  Our feelings are powerful clues to things we may need to be aware of in our lives.  Gut reactions are nature’s way of alerting us to things we may need to pay attention to.  Our feelings are there to help us, our evolutionary friend.  When we view them in this way, rather than doing battle with them, we can learn to honour them, listen to them, and then decide whether they are relevant or not.

I wrote “HONOURING OUR FEELINGS” to remind me of that.


  • How do you cope with your uncomfortable feelings?
  • Are you learning that accepting and honouring them might be a more useful strategy?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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





Let’s learn to honour our feelings, even when they agitate,

And let’s look on them with kindness, even when they angst create,

For they’re with us for a reason, they are trying to keep us safe,

And so, let’s give them space sufficient even when they jar and chafe.

There are times when feelings flood us with sensations of alarm,

When our heart starts pounding madly ‘til we feel ‘twill do us harm,

But it’s just our evolution sending messages so slick

That we forget it’s just a wondrous part of all that makes us tick.

And we’d wish that it were other, that we’d always feel just fine,

But our system is much wiser, it is able to define

Situations masquerading as a danger or a threat,

It won’t leave us unprotected, it will situations vet.

And this may bring some discomfort, but how fortunate are we

To possess our own antennae of such sensitivity

That they work on automatic, even when our mind’s elsewhere,

They are always working for us, always scanning everywhere.

And at times it can be wearing, we may wish they’d take a break,

Let us be a while oblivious to the fuss that they create,

But in the end, we know their value is immeasurable, and so

Even though they cause discomfort, we’ll just let them come and go.


© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “HONOURING OUR FEELINGS” 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 while.  For the last few weeks I have not had instant access to the internet and, being out of the loop, so to speak, I have had more time for reading and writing, more time for reflection.  It has been a great time, rather like being on a retreat.

During that time though, things happened that I had not been expecting, things that upset me and caused alot of uncomfortable feelings.  This poem is one consequence of those feelings.  Something that has really helped me with ACT is learning to use the power that strong emotions generate in a creative way.

The last few weeks have been very productive creatively.  When we are forced out of our normal routines, when we are cut off from the instant communications that the internet offers, there is room for other stuff to come in.  ACT has helped me alot during this time out.  I needed it and it did not fail.  I hope that it will do the same for you 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


ACT and Comfort Zones


Q: What’s so wrong with comfort zones?

A: A comfort zones’s a prison if it’s one we have outgrown

Oh how we love our comfort zones.  After all they are so comfortable, so reassuring, so predictable. We know where we are, there are no surprises. Oh yes, we do venture out sometimes but it is always nice to know that if the going gets tough we can retreat to the old familiar. Taking chances, exploring the unknown, risking failure may not come easily to some of us. So we decide it’s better not to try. We miss opportunities, our lives get smaller.

Sometimes though, something happens unexpectedly and, like it or not, we are unceremoniously turfed out of our comfort zone and that can be extremely uncomfortable. There may be no way back or, even if there is, it may be that the comfort zone just isn’t comfortable anymore. A comfort zone once breached is never the same.

In ACT terms comfort zones are pretty dangerous. Change is the stuff of life and it doesn’t do to get too comfortable, too complacent. We are all likely to get turfed out of our comfort zones sooner or later. Being human it goes with the territory. How we deal with it, ah that’s the thing. In ACT we are encouraged to accept the uncomfortable feelings that inevitably accompany change as being natural and normal. We are encouraged to step out of our comfort zones. This is how we create a vital, rich and meaningful life.

How about you?

  • How do you feel about comfort zones?
  • How do they operate in your life?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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




Maybe we’re on the brink of an exciting sort of thing

We can feel our brains start buzzing and a hum is happening

We catch glimpses of a future full of promise clear and bright

‘Til a little whisper warns us that things may not turn out right.

It’s the dampener we’re used to, the doom merchant we know well,

How he loves to pour cold water and to sound the warning bell

To remind us that excitement is a risky route to take,

Heaven knows we might fail, God forbid make a mistake.

So it’s easy to be thwarted, it is simpler to retreat,

To take comfort in a comfort zone than hazard a defeat

And for a while we’re spared those feelings that accompany the unknown,

But a comfort zone’s a prison if it’s one that we’ve outgrown.

And so the next time we are starting an exciting kind of thing

And we feel our brains start buzzing and a hum is happening

Let’s resist that old doom merchant and refuse him to appease,

Because we can’t know what will happen ‘til that risk we’ve dared to seize.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed “COMFORT ZONES” 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

Russ Harris is one of my favourite ACT authors. He has many best-sellers to his name and has been instrumental in making ACT accessible to the mass market. “The Happiness Trap” is perhaps his best known book and rightly so. It is wonderfully entertaining and gives the reader a comprehensive overview of Acceptance Commitment Therapy.

However, it is “The Reality Slap” that I found personally the most illuminating. Russ Harris tells his own story and how a personal trauma turfed him, an ACT guru, unceremoniously out of his own comfort zone. What happened next inspired the book and I recommend it to you.  It is a wonderful read.

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Bad things do happen to good people, life does rear up and slap us in the face and comfort zones, in the end, do turn out to be precarious, so best not to get too comfortable!

Which leads us to the ……

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………



If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

I am a student of ACT. I am on a journey. I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes.