What is Radical Acceptance? Radical acceptance is a distress tolerance skill that is designed to keep pain from turning into suffering. While pain is part of life, radical acceptance allows us to keep that pain from becoming suffering. By accepting the facts of reality without responding by throwing a tantrum or with willful negligence. In other words, it is what it is. Radical acceptance is NOT approval, but rather completely and totally accepting with our mind, body and spirit that we cannot currently change the present facts, even if we do not like them. By choosing to radically accept the things that are out of our control, we prevent ourselves from becoming stuck in unhappiness, bitterness, anger and sadness and we can stop suffering. (Andrew Harris, MS, LCMHC 2022)
Radical acceptance is part of mindfulness, a form of self-compassion practice and also part of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). It helps to regulate your emotions better and inwardly re-train your inner voice towards a more positive tone for a calmer sense of mind. With my mindfulness practice, acceptance was one of the hardest things to adapt to as there was an overwhelming amount of traumas and unaddressed emotions initially. Acceptance of my past and my experiences came first then self-acceptance came shortly after with a lot of self-compassion practice. I had a very harsh inner voice because of the environment at home growing up but this practice helped to minimize the every day anxiety and the hyperarousal mode that I was constantly in before.
I hope a statement or two could help you to manage your emotions today, it's not something that needs to be said out loud, you can think of the statement while accompanying it with some slow deep breaths which that alone helps with calming your mind and body. Sharing these coping statements, I keep them in my notes app for quick reference:
THIS SITUATION IS ONLY TEMPORARY
I CAN'T CHANGE WHAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED
I HAVE DEALT WITH DIFFICULTIES BEFORE AND I CAN DEAL WITH THIS
I CAN ACCEPT THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE
I WON'T STRESS OVER THE THINGS THAT I CAN'T CHANGE
I WONT WASTE MY TIME OR ENERGY FIGHTING THTE PAST
I MIGHT NOT LIKE IT, BUT THIS IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED
HOW I REACT IN THIS SITUATION IS WHAT I CAN CONTROL IN THIS MOMENT
THE PRESENT IS THE ONLY MOMENT I HAVE CONTROL OVER
I DONT HAVE CONTROL OVER MY PAST
NOT EVERYTHING WILL GO MY WAY, BUTI CAN BE FLEXIBLE
I CAN'T PREDICT THE FUTURE AND I AM OKAY WITH THAT
If you have any thoughts or a statement to add to this, please leave a comment or send me a msg through the CONTACT page.