The 'assumption of healthy normality' - Deepstash

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It's better to focus on where you are going than how you are feeling

The 'assumption of healthy normality'

There is an assumption that emotional pain and suffering is a deviation from a default happy baseline. However, it's incorrect. Psychological pain is everywhere. 

Research indicates that one in two adults will meet the criteria for a mental health problem at some time in their lives. Instead of turning our focus on what makes us happy, we should focus on achieving a sense of meaning, regardless of how we're feeling.

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It's better to focus on where you are going than how you are feeling

It's better to focus on where you are going than how you are feeling

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/acceptance-and-commitment-therapy

bigthink.com

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Key Ideas

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

The goal of ACT is not necessarily to reduce one's problematic thoughts and emotions. It is to help people effectively function while they are distressed and to promote more flexible and value-driven behaviors.
In other words, the primary goal is to promote 'valued living.'

Valued living

Valued living is going about your daily life in the service of values you find important. Engaging in these actions creates a sense of meaning and purpose.

The symptoms of psychological suffering are problematic when they are linked to behaviors that draw us away from valued living.

A value-driven agenda

We might not have any control over the pain we experience, but we exert some control over how we respond to that suffering.

Common responses to difficult emotions include avoidance, substance abuse and aggression and lead to long-term damage in our relationships, jobs and our personal growth. Letting go of trying to minimize pain and moving toward a value-driven agenda can help us focus on who we want to be instead of how we want to feel.

A different stance towards pain

An emotionally difficult exercise to help see the inextricable link between valued living and painful experiences is the following:
  • Write down some of the internal experiences you are struggling with most – painful thoughts and judgments, emotions, memories.
  • Then write out some of the things that are most meaningful to you – being a parent, learning, growing, etc.

You will find if you try to push the pain away, you will drive the meaningful stuff away too. So, if you want to do the things that are important to you, you have to make room for the painful stuff.

The valued path

Sometimes it is hard to engage with your struggles. That it is the crux of the work in ACT - to look at your judgments and suffering, in order to move toward that which is meaningful.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Emotions

They are basal responses that begin in the subcortical areas of the brain responsible for producing biochemical reactions to environmental stimuli that have a direct impact on our physical state.&n...

Feelings

Feelings are preceded by emotions and tend to be our reactions to them. Emotions are a more generalized experience across humans, but feelings are more subjective and influenced by our personal experiences and interpretations, thus they are harder to measure.

Negative Emotions

They can be defined as unpleasant or unhappy emotions evoked in individuals to express a negative effect towards something.

Although some are labeled negative, all emotions are normal to the human experience. And it’s important to understand when and why negative emotions might arise, and develop positive behaviors to address them.

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Finding your purpose

Many seem to think that purpose comes from your unique gifts and sets you apart from other people. That is only partly true.

Meaningful goals that foster a sense of purpose are ones that can ...

Read

Reading connects us to people across time and space.

  • Research shows that those who read the Bible more tended to have a stronger sense of purpose.
  • Reading fiction also seems to make a difference. By seeing purpose in the lives of other people, we are more likely to see it in our own.
Find purpose in suffering

Finding purpose is not just an intellectual pursuit, it is something we need to feel. That's why purpose can grow out of suffering.

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Viktor Frankl

"It doesn’t really matter what we expected from life, but what life expected from us."

Viktor Frankl
The Meaning Of Life Using Logotherapy

Logotherapy originated in the 1930s as a counter-response to the prevalent theories of the time, and examines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of individuals. .

Its premise is that the strongest motivational force of an individual is to find a meaning in life and it was devised by Prof Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist.

The Spiritual Dimension of Meaning

Humans normally function on primal reactions like negative self-talk, emotional outbursts and irrational actions based on outside events and circumstances. The lost ‘spiritual’ dimension of meaning is brought forward by Logotherapy.

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