Using Acceptance to Manage Anxiety and Stress
It sounds counterintuitive, but the benefits are so worth it!
It happened again, that annoying trigger that starts your day off on a bad foot.
And, to make things even worse, today was the day you felt rested, and ready to relax. Darn it!
What it is about stress and anxiety? No matter what you do,on a daily basis they insist on crashing the party you call life.
You’ve tried to evict these emotional life crashers, but for all of your effort, you can’t seem to figure out what to do to make them stop.
Sometimes in the moment, you try to remind yourself that ‘this too shall pass’…but how can you accept that mantra when it never does?
In fact, you know you can’t control the world around you.
Your anxiety and stress truly are internal, and that’s what makes this vicious cycle so perplexing.
It’s not just that you want peace of mind, but it’s the lack of peace of mind that’s hindering you in other areas — your sex life, not to mention the physical, and relational aspects. You’ve often wondered if your love life would improve if you felt more in control.
But the more you aim to control your stress, the more you’re left feeling emotionally drained and robbed with nothing left but frustration and an anxiety attack.
There are some great tools to use to help you along your journey, but it’s best to take advice from someone who has been there and overcame the challenge.
Andrea Miller shares her own personal journey, and stories of countless others, who have come to peace with the anxious thoughts and feelings in her book, Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love.
When couples in various love stages followed her advice and explored the internal barriers that hindered their love lives, they found the courage to try radical acceptance, starting with themselves.
Each story is about how they emerged from the emotional edge to discover the peaceful life they wanted.
In the book, Andrea explains that the key isn’t to let go, it’s to accept.
“This exercise may hurt a lot. But here’s what I love about this kind of honest introspection: You are empowered to move forward with a new, more self-serving narrative. Once you have come face-to-face with these debilitating, or even self-destructive parts of yourself, you can begin letting them go. You can begin rewriting the script for your future self.”
Still hard to imagine how the exact things that frustrate you will bring you peace?
We asked our YourTango experts to share with us how embracing the world helps you to conquer fear, anxiety, and yes, even stress.
They provided us with 10 solid reason why the radical acceptance mindset works, providing lasting results:
1. Radical Acceptance Opens Your Heart to Love
“The person who practices mindfulness, meditation and self-examination recognizes within them a sense of peace and peacefulness.
Feelings, such as anger and happiness, are fleeting. Having a sense of peace within is not fleeting. A sense of inner peace speaks to an awareness of the person and their environment. We can feel angry, happy, sad, etc., while at the same time maintaining a sense of peace.
Look to people such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. I have no doubt they felt anger that was part of their motivation as to why they acted. But a reason their actions were not violent, and their rhetoric was of love, is that they had a sense of inner-peace allowing them to feel anger, yet not allowing them to betray their beliefs through their actions.
When we feel emotions and act in unison with our core beliefs, not violating our true self, then we are at peace. We may feel anger or sadness at situations or even toward specific people, but in maintaining a union between those feelings and our actions to our core beliefs, we retain our sense of inner-peace even as we struggle through the turmoil of our feelings.”
2. It’s a Cycle-Breaker
“Acceptance is much easier (and less stressful) when you understand the cause of what is happening.
Personality styles, getting psychological needs met (certainty, connection, significance, variety), and giant snowballs of past emotions that get triggered each time the same feeling arises, play a role in every situation. Radical understanding helps put you in the driver’s seat of radical acceptance.”
Kelly Rudolph, founder of Positive Women Rock, is the bridge for women to get from stuck and stressed to clear and confident by releasing self-sabotaging subconscious programs. Get her free Life Strategies at PositiveWomenRock.com/gift.
3. When You No Longer Force Yourself to Let Go, Your Focus Grows
“Acceptance can be beneficial in ways that can help people who are struggling with stress.
This is a two-pronged approach: be focused on a task at hand, but depending on the circumstance, feel a negative emotion, accept it, and continue to focus on the task. Using attention and acceptance together seems to be really promising as a holistic treatment option for people with stress.”
Deb Eastwood, the founder of Suddenly Single Coaching, is a powerful and loving Divorce Recovery Coach who works directly with women who are ready to create a new life. You can dream of the life you want, and she can help you achieve it through tools with which her clients begin to see changes immediately. Click here now to schedule a 25-minute complimentary coaching call.
4. Acceptance Is an Act of Love
“I believe where there is love there IS a way.
However, love requires loving thoughts, loving words, and loving actions toward our own self first and then toward everyone and everything else. In every moment and every circumstance we can take a moment to breathe, not automatically react, and quietly ask ourself: ‘What would love do now?’”
5. Self-Acceptance Is the Path to Happiness
“We’ll only learn to stress less and find true happiness when we stop judging others, and worse, ourselves! We are not our limitations or labels. We’re not even just our weaknesses or strengths. We’re complex in our variety. Yet we’re our own worst enemy.
So stop classifying and search for connection, and start with yourself first.”
Kathryn Ramsperger is a coach who gets people unstuck. You can find out more about Kathryn and her book (including a complimentary sample chapter!) about loving through prejudice and labels at shoresofoursouls.com.
6. Acceptance Is a Power Move
“An effective way of dealing with anxiety is by accepting your anxious thoughts. Next time you feel overwhelmed with anxiety try distancing yourself from the anxiety by allowing yourself to just notice it. It goes something like this:
‘I’ve noticed I’m now feeling anxiety because of XX.’
By noticing why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, and accepting your anxious thought as would an outsider, you’ll be reducing the power it has over you.”
Leigh Norén is a sex-positive sexologist and counsellor who offers individual and couples counseling regarding difficulties in relationships and sexual problems. To book a free consultation, contact her at [email protected].
7. Acceptance Opens the Door to Progress
“When we consciously and deliberately release judgments and assignments of rightness and wrongness, we begin to step into the space of allowance of what is. And, beautiful, when we relax into allowance, stress, anxiety, and all of the unknown ‘what ifs’ dissipate.”
8. It’s the Foundation of Love
Remember, there are no mistakes, we’re here to learn. We don’t have to LIKE it, and acceptance doesn’t mean ‘resignation’ to what’s happening.
But allowing and accepting everything for what it is IS the key. That’s what opens the floodgates, relieves the pain, and lets things flow!! Hint, hint: It’s called ‘Unconditional Love’.”
9. When You Change Your Response, Your Perspective Shifts
“We all deal with change differently, some is chosen change, some is unchosen change…but it is how we respond that counts for stress management. Every experience is a good experience eventually!”
Patrick Williams is an internationally acclaimed coach and speaker. Learn more by reading Getting Naked: On Being Emotionally Transparent at the Right Time, the Right Place, and with the Right Person, which can be found on Dr. Pat Williams’s website.
10. Acceptance Is a Supreme Act of Trust
“’I trust you’ — saying that feels pretty good, right?
Trust feels like a core element to any good relationship; but look closely, because blind trust is the source of the trouble in all relationships. It’s a set-up for failure because there’s not one person alive who can be trusted for everything.
Instead, consider what you can trust people for — the good, bad and ugly. For example, I can trust my partner to always get us places a few minutes early or on time; he can trust me to be five minutes or so late, so he makes adjustments. If you look and see people (with your eyes wide open) and only trust them for what they can truly be counted on for, like by what their track record reflects, you’ll reduce stress and have a lot less anxiety.”
Wendy Newman is a media-celebrated author; dating and relationship expert. You can read a free chapter of her book, 121 First Dates, and learn more about how she can help you find love and stay in love by visiting her website www.WendySpeaks.com today!
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How Accepting The World (And Yourself!) Can Help You Manage Anxiety & Stress.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared on YourTango.com. Psych Central does not make any profit from any book purchases, services, or otherwise made from this republished article.
Guest Author, P. (2018). Using Acceptance to Manage Anxiety and Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 28, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/using-acceptance-to-manage-anxiety-and-stress/