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

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.

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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

6

Key Ideas

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.

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Emotions

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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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Understand the process
Understand the process

There has recently been an important change in the way clinical psychology is being handled.

Nowadays, it can be clearly seen that what is the most important is the understanding o...

Process Based Therapy

Process Based Therapy bases itself on Network Science, which emphasis the importance of networks, nodes and possible barriers to change in order to get a better understanding of the mental illnesses.

Process Based Therapy implies the belief that variation and flexibility are the elements that influence the most your recovery.

Extended Evolutionary Meta Model

This Meta Model refers to the idea according to which dynamic and complex networks change or shift dramatically rather than gradually.

When this occurs, the so-called Process Based Therapy aims to turn the network from maladaptive to adaptive while using strategies such as exposure or mindfulness.

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The Way Therapy Works
There is growing research on how therapy actually works. Psychological communication, dialogue, and intervention can work even better than pills.
This seems eve...
Therapy Techniques
  • Some therapists are just there to listen and provide a backdrop.
  • Even the silence that they exhibit seems to kindle the patients into divulging more of their most uncomfortable truths.
  • Others keep the sequence of assignments and tests lined up, never pausing.
  • Therapists play varied roles to get some valuable information out of the patient and make him better.
Therapy That Works

No particular form of therapy is proven to be better or more effective than others.

Different people prefer or respond to different forms of therapy.

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Invest in your emotional health

Staying mentally and emotionally healthy helps us face challenges, stresses, and setbacks. It also equips us to be more functional in our daily lives. 

A person who is mentally and emoti...

Take care of your physical health

Physical health plays an important role in ensuring that you are mentally healthy. 

You can stay healthy by eating well, getting adequate rest and exercise, and actively taking care of your physical health. 

Exercise and get some fresh air

Daily exposure to sunlight helps avoid depression.

Physical activity is also beneficial for the mind. Exercise boosts energy, reduces stress and mental fatigue. 

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Viktor Frankl

"In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning."

Viktor Frankl
Moving forward

At this time in history, many people are wondering whether we will have a life again. Will we recover with dignity?

Science suggests that we will do more than recover: we will show immense capacity for resiliency and growth.

From Resilience to Growth

Resilience is the ability to maintain a relatively stable and healthy level of psychological and physical functioning during and after a very traumatic event.

Studies reveal that resilience is actually common and can be attained through multiple unexpected routes. Studies further show that the majority of trauma survivors do not develop PTSD, and most report unexpected growth from their experience.

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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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"Needing" therapy

By framing therapy in terms of what we need rather than what we could benefit from, many people experience too much shame or embarrassment to try it.

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How therapy helps
  • Understanding how the way we tend to think about things affects our moods and emotions
  • Clarifying our values and strategizing about the most effective path toward them
  • Learning to communicate directly and assertively in relationships or the workplace
  • Building self-confidence in social situations
  • Acquiring more effective parenting skills and techniques
  • Working through complicated grief or loss
Therapy and growth

Ultimately, therapy is about growth and creating opportunities for positive change.

And in addition to improving traditional mental health struggles, therapy can also be a powerful and efficient way to make progress on personal goals or aspirations.

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Loneliness
Loneliness can be defined as a complex and unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. 

It can be either transient or chronic, and typically includes

Loneliness is damaging
Lonely people eat and drink more, and exercise and sleep less. They are at higher risk of developing psychological problems such as alcoholism, depression, and psychosis, and physical problems such as infection, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Loneliness vs Solitude
Loneliness is the pain of being alone and is damaging. Solitude is the joy of being alone and is empowering.

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Zeno of Citium

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”

Zeno of Citium
Good listening

Good listening doesn't follow a technique as much as being willing to enter into another person's life.

Listening through the screen of your own desires means that you are listening to your own voice and desires. It is the same as not listening at all. Listening demands wiping the slate of your mind clean.

Not knowing what to say

Not knowing what to say when someone confides in you is a daunting feeling. However, we feel that way because we mistakenly think the person reaching out is asking for an explanation.

It is more important just to be there, so the other person doesn't feel alone.

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A psychologist you click with

One of the most important aspects of psychological treatment is having an engaging relationship with your psychologist. If you don’t “click” within the first few sessions, treatment is ...

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)

It's one of the most widely used and well-known talking therapies. It is based on the assumption that the way a person feels is closely related to the way a person thinks and the way they behave.

To change a person’s feelings, a psychologist providing CBT will help that person engage in different activities that can help to change thinking and behaviour patterns.

Acceptance&commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT targets a person’s tendency to avoid things.

  • It introduces the idea of achieving a state of mind where people are able to notice the problematic thoughts, feelings, or behaviours but not be overwhelmed or consumed by them (the “acceptance” part.)
  • It encourages people to identify values that are important to them and figure out ways their day-to-day life can reflect these values (the commitment part).

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