With acceptance, we expand our thinking, reflect and transform. An ‘ARTful’ existence intentionally, actively and mindfully embraces all parts of life — as it is now and how it has been so far.
To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others.
You need to accept yourself.
In its most simple terms, A.R.T. is the acronym for…
~ Accepting ~
~ Reflecting ~
~ Transforming ~
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Acceptance is an alternative to avoidance
thinking (with an open mind) is difficult
that’s why most people judge
stepping out of F.E.A.R.
F. –fusion with our thoughts: we need to try to stop being our thoughts
E –evaluation of experience: careful of distorted judging
A. —avoidance of experience: accepting is empowering
R. reason-giving: this can prevent healthy reflection and transformation; it also magnifies the issue if there is one
Love and Trust
fear and doubt
a.c.t. as a path to acceptance
Acceptance and commitment therapy focuses on 3 areas:
Accept your reactions and be present
Commit to a valued direction — careful select your core values and stick to them with integrity until your feel some adaptation is necessary
Taking committed action is therapy towards personal growth
5 acceptance strategies
1 ~ letting feelings or thoughts happen without reacting — accept them and expand to make room for those unpleasant feelings, sensations and urges instead of trying to suppress them or push them away
2 ~ observe both your strengths and weaknesses connecting with the present moment — this involves allowing ourselves to experience sensations, feelings and thoughts which have arisen
3 ~ give yourself permission to not be good at everything — yet, taking action means effective action, not just any old action
4 ~ consciously acknowledge and engage the challenges in your life without trying to avoiding them — practising the skill of grounding ourselves in the present moment
5 ~ realize that you can be the agent of your ‘narrative’ and determine how you react, interact, think and feel
relaxation to promote insightful contemplation
Relaxed breathing techniques are important to learn so you can apply them spontaneously when in the most difficult or challenging situations. This breathing exercise slows breathing, clears thinking and helps with sleep.
I am my body, and I am more than my body
I am my feelings and I am more than my feelings
I am my mind and yet
I am more than my mind
Acceptance with defusion strategies
1 ~ observe what you are feeling including physical sensations
2 ~ notice your feelings are you experience different situations
3 ~ check that your interpretations are based in reality
4 ~ counter negative self-talk with realistic, positive ones
5 ~ re-evaluate your experience with your new-found outlook
Steps to reframing thoughts
1 ~ awareness
2 ~ using countering skills
what are your ‘triggers’?
the who, what, where, why and how of situations that trigger thoughts, emotions or behaviours you would rather not have
what did you do or say or what urges did you have as a result of the trigger
feelings are one word mood descriptors; label the feeling and then rate it from 1 to 100
what automatic almost instinctual, habitual thought came to mind as a result of the triggering situation; ‘hot thoughts’ are the ones causing the most distress; are any of these thoughts distorted?
then, counter these thoughts or emotions
We have the choice to counter these thoughts with alternative interpretations, coping statements, and reframe our thinking, emotions and behaviours.
Keep this in first person “I” statements, staying in the present and include proof or evidence to support this thought. Use positive wording avoiding ‘should have’ statements.
Fusion your belief system with every thought or emotions you spontaneously have is called cognitive fusion. Remember:
Thoughts are not actually happening, they are not necessary the truth, they can be non-important, they are not orders, they are not necessarily wise and they are not threats unless you let them be.
Just as you would expand on ideas that someone else might have, you should expand on your thinking and emotions. This is another way of looking at acceptance because it takes the thoughts and emotions and puts them (out-there) to be looked instead accepting as a means to repress.
acceptance with compassionate validating environments
Choose your environments and people who surround you, carefully. Acceptance does not mean accepting invalidating or hurtful behaviour or speech. Chronically suicidal patients are commonly raised in profoundly invalidating environments.
The biosocial theory of BPD (borderline personality disorder) suggests there is a biological predisposition for emotional dysregulation. This is further compromised by a social environment which is invalidating or validates (enables) maladaptive behavior.
it is not the strongest of the species that survive
nor the most intelligent
but the one most responsive to change
a life worth living
Take the time to look after yourself:
A. R. T.
By consciously building worldviews and core values, with acceptance and commitment, you become increasingly aware of your authentic identity-narrative.
And, it is only be being actively involved in the process that these empowering attributes enhance authentic thinking and acting, with integrity.
© 2019 Leah J, M.Ed. Psychology writer/artist/teacher
The ART of Living the Matrix
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