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.

Think healthy thoughts

mentalhealth

Ghandi had it right.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

What do you believe in? What are you thinking about? What are you saying? What are you doing? What do you value? You have choices; make them good, even if they’re little.

The little choices add up. Make them count.

positive

 

Therapy isn’t cheap, but this book is

advanced distress tolerance skills improve the moment chapter 2 from the dialectical behavior therapy skills workbook

Right now, I am without super helpful mental health insurance, so I am doing a lot of self-care and self-help. In three of the four seasons of the year, I utilize a SAD Lamp to help with my circadian rhythms and exposure to light. Every day I work through a few pages in  a self-help book in hopes of learning the as much as I can about myself and my situation.I also use an iPhone app which

Currently I’m using a book that was mailed to me in April during Booksgiving titled The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook (Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance). This DBT book is fantastically rated on Amazon (and on sale right now!) and after I finish my copy, I plan to do a thorough review and give away a copy of one of the most helpful self-care books I’ve utilized.

Blog Dreams

Since I’m working on Making some changes around Eleventh Street, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time offline doing some old school pen and paper writing.

What am I writing lately?

A blog business plan!

I invested my first bit of effort into research. The question “What do I need to do first?” led me to resources for infopreneurs by Regina. I quickly located her clear, simple, and  easy-to-understand instructions on How to write a blog business plan like an expert.

There is something comforting to me about using a notebook and pen to develop my ideas, and now six pages of my current bullet journal are filled with musings about my vision and my ideal reader and blog categories. I’m overwhelmed thinking about blog products and  services I could offer my ideal readers; addressing affiliates, partnerships, and sponsors before I’ve even decided whether I’ll keep this blog name* is intimidating.

Fleshing out what I want, where I see myself, and what I believe Eleventh Street Lot can accomplish is eye-opening; I have dreams and goals for this place!

What do my blog dreams involve?

  • Words – books, reading, writing, and my own original ones

  • Home Ec -cooking, recipes, groceries, and budgeting

  • Crafting – photography, handmade cards, journaling, coloring, and collages

  • Health – fitness, food, mental health, self-care, and self-improvement


What else would you like to see when you walk down Eleventh Street?

 

*Eleventh Street Lot has a soft spot in my heart, but the name is a mouthful, there are multiple ways to type it (after hearing it, do I use the number or the word eleven?), and I am clarifying a mental image of what the lot on 11th Street consists of.

Is your house making you depressed?

Feeling blue?

Take a look around you right now. Is your coffee table covered in papers and books?

What about your bedroom? Is the hamper full of dirty clothes and your bed sits unmade?

Have the dishes been sitting in the sink for a week now? Could you lose your child in the playroom? Ever wonder if these things are related to your emotional state?

For me, it’s really a chicken and an egg situation: does the mess depress me or is the mess because of my depression? When I’m feeling blue, I surely don’t want to sweep, clear the dishes and put away the laundry. However, I know that doing those things also makes me feel productive and on top of things, i.e. less depressed.

Helium writer John Huetteman shares “housekeeping, whether living in squalor or not, is normally not given high priority as motivation to complete any task can be monumentally difficult.”

He also makes a great point when he reminds his readers that “the act of keeping a clean house can provide … an empowering effect during … helpless times. … cleaning house can be tantamount to a ritual cleansing during times of low self worth”. I absolutely agree with him on those points, but getting to the point where I’m motivated enough to actually do the cleaning is a big step.

While I was in college, if there was studying to be done, I would rather scrub the bathtub than flip through flashcards. I would cook elaborate meals but my German homework would go untouched. The house was spotless during finals week while I procrastinated studying.

When do you find your best cleaning time?


 

 

Your Messy House: Why It Could Be Making You Depressed – Glamour magazine tackles the problem of living in a messy house and dealing with depression

Clutter and depression – an interesting blog article about how destructive clutter can be in your house. Do you believe that clutter in your house is actually destructive for you? What about after reading this blog entry?

Is Your Living Situation Bringing You Down? – are there too many people in your house? Are there not enough people in your house? 

 

 

How to be mindful

So glad to see that you’re back today! I hope that learning What is mindfulness? yesterday got your brain (slowly) moving forward.

One of the best explanations of “how” to be mindful comes from Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder by Marsha Linehan. (A person doesn’t need to be living with BPD in order to utilize her clear explanations.)

observeIn order to be mindful, there are three things you’ll need to do.

  1. Observe
  2. Describe
  3. Participate

OBSERVE your thoughts with all of your senses. Look around, what do you see? Do you hear anything? What about smell or taste? Feel your shirt on your back, the chair under your bum, and the ground under your feet. Watch your thoughts “come and go,” without delving into them or resting on them.  You don’t need to judge the thoughts you have, and you can let the thoughts just be. Use all of your senses to get the best observation.

DESCRIBE your thoughts using words. Allow yourself to place words to the feelings. “I am aware I am overwhelmed,” is an observation (without judgement) that you can jot into a notebook. Simply writing down the feeling can help you sort it out later. This focusing can help slow down your thoughts, making it easier to be more mindful of them.

practicePARTICIPATE in your experience as you are recognizing it. Be aware in each moment of the feelings that are associated with your thought. Be present in the “right now” trying to avoid thinking about the past or the future. You can start small with your participation, but the active PRACTICE is also important.

Remember, everyone’s practice of mindfulness is different. If you can observe, describe, and participate in your thoughts, you are working toward being more mindful and you can change your response to automatic thoughts. The more you practice mindfulness, the more naturally you will be mindful, which in and of itself is practice.  THIS is the kind of thought cycle you want to live in — a positive and empowering circle of action.