I decided to start this blog as a way to share some of what I've learned about the nature of human suffering and its alleviation. I'm doing this mostly with an eye on anxious suffering, and my experience with a new approach to psychological health and wellness called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT, said as one word). I won't claim to have all the answers. My intent is to share.

Acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches are changing the landscape of psychology, mental health care, medicine, and society. They are based on a very old and radical idea, namely, that a good deal of human suffering is fed by efforts to struggle with and avoid our own psychological and emotional pain. New research from many sources now shows that this war tends to amplify our pain, takes enormous effort, doesn't work very well, and can keep us stuck and suffering.

So, what's the alternative? The alternative is this: paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment, with a quality of kindness and compassion (self and other), and with both eyes on living out your values, right here, right now. These are skills that we all can learn and many studies show that people who learn them report more vitality, less illness, better quality of life, and greater freedom too.

Instead of more struggle, we learn to open up to our experience just as it is (not as our minds say it is), to hold our thoughts more lightly, to connect with our values (what we care about in this life), and to carry our minds, bodies, and personal history forward into a more vital and valued life. This set of very simple ideas goes against just about everything we've learned, at least in the West, since kindergarten. That's why they can be so powerful!

We are all in the same soup. Pain, in all its forms, is part of the human condition. Yet, that pain -- whether physical, emotional, psychological -- need not be fed and allowed to mushroom into the suffering that takes over and shrinks lives. There are ways to douse the flames that feed needless suffering -- the spin off that our mind and old history creates -- and to live well with the pains, joys, and sorrows that are part of life. This is where I think ACT can help.

Peace -john

Monday, March 7, 2011

Focusing on Core Values Can Change Lives for the Better

Focusing on Core Values Can Change Lives for the Better


Salinya said...

Thank you for posting this! I believe that the core values stated by Dr. Forsyth can best be achieved by mindfulness meditation. Finding what it is that you love to do and where your heart is can be achieved only when you know yourself thoroughly, and we can achieve this through mindfulness. Also, being able to properly meditate will allow us to be free of all the negative emotions and feelings that are present. Lastly, making an impact in the world can only be achieved when you believe you can make a difference in the world. Thank you very much for sharing this!

hypnosis for anxiety said...

Using different mindfulness techniques such as EFT, ACT and self hypnosis can truly open our minds to a wider and bigger possibilities that we haven't imagine. Changing the way we believe and perceive the world can entirely change our outlook in life.

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people with anxiety disorder said...

Great post thanks for the share.

Hypnotizr said...

You are exactly right here, we should not fed and allow our mental, psychological stress to mushroom into the suffering. We can easily treat physical pain, but emotional pain are harder to treat.

Anonymous said...

Acceptance is the key to surviving and recovering from panic and anxiety. Please read by blog @ frompanictopeace.com for more insight.

Niccolo Alley said...

Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful.combating depression

Paul Smith said...

Waaw i like your article so much also your blog is great

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Kelly said...

Great article. Anxiety is obviously multiplied when we dwell on the negative. Acceptance is the first step to relaxation.

Mahendra Trivedi said...

Thanks for sharing the your personal views at the start. It really helps me relate with my own situation.
Really well done article.

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