Acceptance by ifrock

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· @ifrock ·
Acceptance in psychology is the voluntary acceptance of a state, circumstance or process without actively resisting it or trying to change it. The idea is akin in meaning to submission, derived from the Latin incubus. When we accept something we give up our right to resist it and accept it as a given. We cannot change the world, but we can decide to accept the world as it is. For those who practice Acceptance, life is less of a struggle and more of an adventure.
Acceptance is central to Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism. Buddha was a wanderer who realized that all things are impermanent, that they are subject to change, and that all desires are also forms of desire. He therefore concluded that true happiness is not a fleeting experience, but something that last for an eternity, such as the nature of reality. Mahayana Buddhist teachings stress that true knowledge comes through experiencing the bliss of Kama (the truth) and niyama (inquiry).

Acceptance, according to the six core processes of psychological flexibility, is a necessary part of life. Psychologists have used Acceptance as a metaphor for psychological inflexibility. When aometer is used to measure the degree of internal flexibility in a test taker, it is determined whether or not she accepts the measurement as it is given, and how flexible she is in accepting that which is measured. Likewise, when we speak of Acceptance as a metaphor for psychological flexibility, it refers to how accepting changes occur and how flexibility is related to acceptance.

Acceptance is needed by all people who suffer from psychological disorders. It is a fundamental part of our mental makeup and must be developed through meditation, yoga, prayer, and mindfulness practices. Our mind constantly strives to challenge our belief system about what is real and what is fantasy, and accepting the former without change, may mean that we develop a more flexible perception about what is missing from our lives. Through the application of Acceptance, we can overcome anxiety, fear, pain, self-doubt, depression, and other psychological disorders.

For people who suffer from anxiety and depression, accepting what is true without trying to verify it is particularly important. When you believe your thoughts and feelings are valid, you need to investigate the source of the belief in order to determine whether the source is valid. Once you have done this, however, accepting what you observe will become less of a challenge, because you won't be actively searching for validation. Meditation, yoga, and daily mindful exercises are excellent tools for helping patients to cultivate acceptance in the present moment.

Patients and families who seek treatment with mental health professionals find that their therapist utilizes Acceptance as part of the treatment process. According to the relational frame theory, Acceptance is very helpful in managing distress, especially when there is a delay in receiving treatment or an unsuccessful outcome. The relational frame theory also suggests that accepting what is true in the moment helps clients reduce distress when they are confronted with unresolved stressors or emotions. A Mindfulness Workbook designed to foster mindfulness and acceptance can be used by clients to navigate their way through a variety of stressors and develop a sense of acceptance in the here and now, at home and at work.

Acceptance is a powerful process for developing psychological flexibility. During the process of accepting what is true, clients begin to realize how their beliefs about themselves and the world are supported by reality. In other words, they become aware of how their thoughts and feelings are shaped by sustained patterns of behavior. These new awarenesses can provide a rich foundation for clients who are interested in improving their coping mechanisms, because by understanding the relationship between their beliefs and their behaviors, clients can begin to work on changing their problematic patterns. In fact, according to Martin Seligman, PhD, a University of California-Irvine professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, acceptance "is the key to psychological flexibility."
Seligman further suggested that acceptance is the key to psychological flexibility because it fosters "a balance between working within and with the self, within and with others, and [the ability to] make healthy choices." Seligman developed his ideas in the field of cognitive behavioral therapy, and in the last several years, he has developed mindfulness and acceptance workshops as part of the behavioral health practice of mindfulness. According to Seligman, mindfulness is the "thinking beyond the immediate." Through mindful exercises, clients can learn to "free up" mental imagery, focus on the breath, increase self-awareness, develop a sense of balance and cultivate a state of mindfulness through which clients can process their stress more effectively.
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