Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Helping our patients to accept the things they cannot change
Many of the patients I see struggle a lot with acceptance. Many of the colleagues I see struggle a lot with acceptance. Me too. It’s a human struggle.
The problem is, without acceptance, it’s like driving a car without brakes. We will hit a wall or fall off the cliff at some point.
So how can we “accept better”?
Here are some tips or pointers.
1. Acceptance is more about understanding, and changing our perception through understanding and acknowledgement rather than “doing something”.
2. Practice holding space for the thoughts, narratives, or feelings, rather than responding or reacting to them.
3. Practice holding space for the thoughts or feelings with a more helpful or compelling thought or feeling.
4. Hold onto thoughts or feelings more lightly rather than too tightly.
5. Explore the underlying values and beliefs that is holding one back from letting something go, and “unlock” that through defusion +-challenge.
6. Consider taking on the belief that things don’t just happen to me or by me, but through me.
7. Beware of falling into the trap of “trying to accept”, because acceptance is more about letting go and “NOT trying”. The more one tries, the more one can’t let go.
8. Know the difference between intellectual acceptance vs emotional acceptance. One feels “at peace”. The other one may not.
9. Know the difference between “putting up with it or avoidance” vs acceptance. “Putting up with it or avoidance” has resentment and frustration. Acceptance does not.