Mental Health Tip Of The Month

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Radical Acceptance

We did it, we made it through 2020!! To say that 2020 was unlike any other, is an understatement. There were many losses, fears, worries, and a change in lifestyles and circumstances for so many. It seems that maybe we spent the year holding our breath, just waiting to see what else would occur. Of course, like most things in life not all things are bad. There is the dualistic nature to life that allows us to find good in even the most dire of situations, if we know how to find it or look for it. So as we are in the beginning of a new year, how to find some sense of balance in life, to be or remain optimistic, or at least hopeful is imperative for our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is difficult when life gets heavy to find some lightness, or to find a way to remain present when there is so much uncertainty, but finding acceptance with what is, is a therapeutic tool that can become a part of one’s mindset or way of navigating through the storms and difficulties of life. “Radical acceptance is NOT approval, but rather completely and totally accepting with our mind, body and spirit that we cannot currently change the present facts, even if we do not like them. By choosing to radically accept the things that are out of our control, we prevent ourselves from becoming stuck in unhappiness, bitterness, anger and sadness and we can stop suffering.”

Mental Health Tip Of The Month

Here are the 10 steps to practicing Radical Acceptance according to DBT’s founder, Marsha Linehan:

  • Observe that you are questioning or fighting reality (“it shouldn’t be this way”)
  • Remind yourself that the unpleasant reality is just as it is and cannot be changed (“this is what happened”)
  • Remind yourself that there are causes for the reality (“this is how things happened”)
  • Practice accepting with your whole self (mind, body, spirit) – Use accepting self-talk, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and/or imagery
  • List all of the behaviors you would engage in if you did accept the facts and then engage in those behaviors as if you have already accepted the facts
  • Imagine, in your mind’s eye, believing what you do not want to accept and rehearse in your mind what you would do if you accepted what seems unacceptable
  • Attend to body sensations as you think about what you need to accept
  • Allow disappointment, sadness, or grief to arise within you
  • Acknowledge that life can be worth living even when there is pain
  • Do pros and cons if you find yourself resisting practicing acceptance

May your 2021 be more peaceful and regardless of what occurs, to find some semblance of acceptance of what is, knowing that nothing lasts forever and the spring will come!


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