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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.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

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.'

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 ...

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 valu...

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.

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 ...

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Viktor Frankl

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

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