Have you ever thought or said “survival is difficult”? There is no denying that life has its beauty and difficulties. If we live long, our lives will experience success and failure, love and loss, joy and sorrow. In fact, life is filled with a lot of suffering, and one of the reasons is that the human mind has evolved to naturally create and intensify psychological suffering. This is the theoretical premise of the emerging evidence-based psychotherapy “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy”.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a third-wave behavioral therapy. As the name suggests, this treatment method has two aspects: through “acceptance”, reducing the impact of painful thoughts and feelings on a person; and through keeping “commitments” to oneself and practicing behaviors that are consistent with one’s own values. This enables people to live a meaningful and abundant life while facing various obstacles in life.
So, what are the core principles in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has a total of six treatment aspects, collectively called psychological flexibility. The higher a person’s psychological flexibility, the more capable he or she is of being fully aware of the current environment and one’s own psychological condition, experiencing the things to be faced openly, and guiding one’s behavior with values, and thus the higher the quality of life.
- Contact with the present moment
Flexibly focus attention on current experiences, narrow or broaden the scope of focus, and maintain or shift the target of focus according to different situations. This is to allow yourself to fully and consciously connect with the environment and inner soul you are in at the moment, and be fully immersed in the present moment.
- Cognitive defusion
Learn to step back and think, and separate yourself from thoughts, images, and memories. We watch ourselves think without getting entangled in our thoughts. We can treat our thoughts as just those thoughts, just some images and words, and let them guide us instead of controlling us.
Look at it with an open attitude and make space in your mind for some unwanted inner experiences (private experiences), such as thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, impulses, images, and perceptions. Allow them to come and go and stay freely without confrontation. and escape them.
Be aware that there is a supernatural consciousness within you that remains unchanged and is not affected by thoughts, emotions, and memories that come and go. At any time, we can use this awareness to pay attention to our thoughts, perceptions, and actions.
What do you want to hold on to in this life? What do you want to do in the limited time you have? How do you want to treat yourself, others, and the world you live in? Values are like a compass, always giving us direction in our words and deeds.
- Committed action
Set specific and feasible short, medium and long-term goals based on values and implement them. These actions in line with values include physical and mental activities. Only by committing to applying values in our daily actions can life be meaningful.
When we encounter negative life situations, thoughts, and emotions, we can first “unhook” them by accepting the present moment and using ourselves as the context, then use cognitive decoupling and acceptance techniques, and finally connect with our own values to choose Corresponding behaviors can reduce the impact and impact of negative thoughts and emotions on the body and mind.
If your negative feelings persist for a long time and affect your daily life, consider seeking professional help to overcome the difficulties more effectively.