Friday, May 19, 2023

Don’t let the “emotional debt” bankrupt your mental health

Part of inner happiness or inner harmony is to live life more authentically, be more true to our principles, values and who we are.

But it’s hard isn’t it?

If one reflects on one’s past, were we encouraged to be authentic growing up? Were we encouraged to be authentic when we were at school or at work? Did we often get negative feedback when we tried to live life more authentically? Were we rewarded for doing things or saying things that were not quite true to self?

So many of us or our patients may fall into the trap of moving away from our principles and values in order to “fit in”. This creates a “emotional debt”. This may be sustainable in the short or medium term but in the long term, it may not be sustainable at all. The “emotional debt” may bankrupt us in the end.

In Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), we try to equip people with the emotional literacy to live life more authentically AND at the same time, still make it workable in the outer world for them, and the people they care about.

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