Many of us can become pretty spooked out by not knowing what is around the corner. Life is full of unknowns, such as facing job threats, health scares, financial worries or political decisions. We fear having to leave our comfort bubble and our mind goes into overdrive with negative predictions. What can we do?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
We all know that exercise is beneficial but unfortunately most of us don’t do it. Which is a problem because if we don’t put some effort into making a life we want we will possibly end up with having a life we definitely do not want. We all have lots of creative reasons for not doing exercise, although in reality only one thing holds us back. We don’t exercise because it is uncomfortable. And we avoid discomfort like the plague!
Change is inevitable. It can also be unsettling. It is also part of life. Why do so many of us do get angry when things change? Firstly, change often take us by surprise. We aren’t ready for it. In the words of Baz Luhrmann, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday”. Secondly, change is unsettling. We find that we can no longer rely on the familiar comforts and certainties of life. We are forced to adapt to new circumstances.
Have you noticed the big increase in articles in the media telling us “how to be happy”? It’s a great idea but there are some problems to consider. Firstly, aiming for short term pleasures can bring happiness, but this can soon fall flat and often brings a heap of unwanted long term side effects.
Every one of us is a ‘work in progress’. We move slowly but surely through our lives and change is inevitable. Without doubt some people seem to have a better handle on the direction they are going in, and their life changes for the better. However, others get stuck in the daily grind and their life stutters and stalls. Unfortunately, the life these people have is probably not the one they would have hoped for.
Do you have any area of your life, which if you could address or overcome it, would make your life better or easier? Actually, most people can identify some area of their life that feels a bit ‘stuck’ – and although each type of ‘stuckness’ will be different, there will be one common ingredient. This common ingredient is our tendency to avoid emotional discomfort.
Do you ever find negative thoughts popping into your mind? Thoughts like, “I am a loser, nothing I do ever works out”, or “No-one takes me seriously”. It is quite normal for people to have these kinds of negative judgemental thoughts – but they can be especially troublesome for people who are anxious or depressed. If we cannot unhook from them they become a mental ‘quicksand’ and we can get bogged down by them.
It may be confusing but there are a number of different types of psychological therapy. Many people have heard of counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy. Another exciting therapy that is gaining popularity has the long winded title of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Mostly, it is called ACT for short, (as in the word ‘act’). It is exciting because there is growing research evidence suggesting that this treatment can provide benefit for a wide range of problems, such as anxiety, depression, addictions, insomnia and chronic pain.