Radical Acceptance Coping Statements

Radical acceptance is a key in keeping my brain level throughout the roller coaster of life.

Radical acceptance is acknowledging “your present situation… without judging the events or criticizing yourself.” Thinking about your situation without feelings can ease the troubled feelings that may arise from whatever you’re dealing with.

In order to remind myself that I can accept whatever comes my way, I’ve curated a list of “Radical Acceptance Coping Statements” that I remind myself of.

  • The present is the only moment I have control over.
  • The present moment is perfect, even if I don’t like what’s happening.
  • Feelings aren’t facts.
  • Here and now only.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other coping statements a person can use.

  • This is the way it has to be.
  • All the events have led up to now.
  • I can’t change what’s already happened.
  • It’s no use fighting the past.
  • Fighting the past only blinds me to my present.
  • It’s a waste of time to fight what’s already occurred.
  • This moment is exactly as it should be, given what’s happened before it.
  • This moment is the result of over a million other decisions.

Radical Acceptance Coping Statements

  • I/they did that because it was their ‘job’ at the time.
  • I know it is supposed to be this way right now because that’s how it is.
  • I don’t need to fight reality.
  • I acknowledge what is.
  • I/they have done what I could.
  • This is the reality now.
  • No amount of emotional or mental resistance can change what’s already happened.
  • The best way to prepare for the future is to accept the past and present.
  • I can accept (fill in the blank) if or when it happens in the future.
  • I am at peace with him/her/event/situation.
  • I can handle (fill in the blank).
  • I am, in fact, dealing with (fill in the blank), even if I sometimes think I’m not or think I can’t.
  • Worrying about it or having negative feelings about it won’t change it.
  • Everything has a cause.
  • I can let go of this.
  • Whether or not I accept this, it is still the reality. I can choose to accept it.
  • I can choose to deny reality and suffer, or accept reality and find more peace.
  • I can allow the world to be what it is.

 

Ultimately, shit happens, and there’s not always anything you can do about it … but you can accept it without criticism and judgement with a coping statement.

Do you have a favorite radical acceptance coping statement? Which one of the above strikes you the most? Can you write it on a Post-it note and tuck it away in your wallet for regular viewing? I bet you can.

 

This post inspired by a section in The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook.

What is mindfulness?

One of the major tenets of my treatment is called mindfulness; but what is mindfulness? There are many different definitions of this word, but I rest on “being intentionally aware of your thoughts about yourself, others, and the world around you.

The combination of words I use to define mindfulness is especially important.

  • intentionally awaremindfulness is purposefully and deliberately paying attention
  • thoughts – mindfulness about thoughts includes knowing that they’re just thoughts, and they aren’t facts; being aware of the things you’re thinking can change your entire mindset
  • yourself / others / world around you – mindfulness isn’t only about being aware of your thoughts about yourself, but also how you think about others in your life, and how you think about the world around you

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Mindfulness is not a new healing technique; it’s been used since 1500 BCE in Hinduism (with yoga in mind), it’s been used with Daoism since the sixth century BCE (the qì gong practice), and an integral part of Buddhism since at least 535 BCE (using breath focus). (“Brief History of Mindfulness,” 2011).

Mindfulness is a personal experience and no one practices it in the same exact way. The goal, however, often remains similar between practitioners: slow down your thoughts, reduce judgement on those thoughts. When a person practices mindfulness, he or she often notices that the “inner critic” is quieter, more kind, and less judgemental. Slowing the thought process is imperative for those living with depression and anxiety: molehill thoughts easily snowball into Mount Everest without mindfulness.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 1.13.36 PM.pngI utilize a couple of great resources for my own mindfulness practice; the Happify app, and a little green notebook from my doctors with 60+ pages of tips, techniques, explanations, suggestions, and ideas to help me raise awareness of my thoughts. I recommend the Happify app if you’re interested in any sort of mood-elevating techniques. My little green notebook might not be in your possession, but my blog is now; you can count on posts from me including these mindfulness tips, tricks, and encouragement.

Swing by tomorrow; now that you know what mindfulness is, I can teach you how to be more mindful in your everyday life.