Fundamentals of Mindfulness: Acceptance

November 23, 2021

Acceptance. It’s easy to talk about it, but as anyone who has ever been in its waters knows, it’s another thing to adopt an attitude of acceptance from the inside out.

For many of us, it can be difficult to accept things as they are, as true acceptance often comes only after feeling our full range of emotions, from sadness and anxious thoughts to frustration or anger. . But suppressing or distracting us from these negative feelings does not really help us to overcome them. However, University of Texas at Austin Research suggests that suppressing our negative emotions may make them stronger (1).

Listen to Roger Nolan’s basics of mindfulness: acceptance

Many readers may find themselves thinking, “What is the point of feeling bad? It won’t change anything. “

You’re right, it can be scary to feel all the emotions we have inside. Even more frightening: the idea of ​​which we will not be able to get out.

Fortunately, this is not the case with acceptance. When we allow ourselves to feel without judging and accepting the world and ourselves as we are, we allow ourselves to pass and let go of those moments.

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What is acceptance?

The attitude of acceptance can be defined as accepting things as they are in the present moment, without judging. It is a basic component of mindfulness, along with the principles of not striving, letting go, self-confidence, generosity, no judgmenti the mind of the beginner.

Avoiding awkward emotions is understandable. But judging our experience, distracting us, or suppressing our feelings does not help us to heal. To heal ourselves, we need to feel and validate the weight of our experience so that we can come to an agreement and begin to move forward mentally, emotionally, and physically.

It is the cornerstone of change. Before you can change anything, you have to see it and accept it as it is. It is the necessary precursor to understanding, planning and taking conscious actions towards our desired impact.

Which is not acceptance.

Many people worry that accepting means giving up or letting go of our goals. But aAcceptance is not a passive act of renunciation. It is the first fundamental step to change. When we do not accept the world as it is, we often create tension — in ourselves, our relationships, and even at work — trying to force situations to be the way we want them to be.

Acceptance is not about avoiding growth or resigning ourselves to thinking that things will not change. On the contrary, it allows us to see and accept what it is, in order to be able to take appropriate and effective actions to find the reality where it is and pave the way for us from there.

Here’s a quick rundown of what non-acceptance is:

  • Give up goals or let go of dreams
  • He likes everything that happens
  • Abandon your values ​​and principles
  • Keep silent in the face of injustice
  • Let go of trying to change negative habits
  • Resign yourself to the way things are

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

ACT is a conversation therapy that encourages people to accept their feelings and thoughts instead of fighting them or feeling guilty. As described by Association for Contextual Behavioral Science ACT helps leverage “acceptance and mindfulness strategies, along with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility (2).” In other words, ACT aims to help people develop awareness skills and learn to live a rich and meaningful life, even in the midst of suffering and pain (two constants over which we may never have full control).

As its name suggests, acceptance is a basic component of ACT that points to our instinct to avoid negative thoughts or feelings. By accepting and allowing these more difficult times to exist without trying to change or deny them, ACT helps to encourage and motivate action (2).

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Benefits of practicing acceptance

Aside from the fact that acceptance helps us to overcome unpleasant emotions and helps us create change, research suggests that the attitude of acceptance can also affect our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Physical well-being

Research suggests that acceptance may support immune function, improve wound healing, and help relieve chronic pain.

In 2010 the International Association for the Study of Pain studied how acceptance affects chronic pain. They found that patients who engaged in their favorite activities despite their pain and did not consider controlling or avoiding their pain as necessary to pursue their goals were the patients least likely to suffer from anxiety and disability because of their pain ( 3). They were also more likely to continue working and use the healthcare system less (3).

Research suggests aAcceptance can also help regulate our stress response. According to one study, participants who practiced conscious acceptance of stress showed lower levels of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) and systolic blood pressure levels (4). Acceptance can also help relieve stress-related symptoms of reduced immune function, increased susceptibility to disease, slower healing, increased blood pressure and risk of heart disease and more (5).

Mental and emotional well-being

Research also suggests that acceptance can affect our mental and emotional lives. For example, a University of Denver Study found that students who learned to accept negative emotions experienced reduced negative moods and depressive symptoms when faced with high stress triggers (6). It is important to note that the researchers observed this relief from negative moods in situations that provoked negative emotions, but not neutral emotions.

Another study Acceptance exploration found that participants who consistently accepted daily stressors experienced lower negative emotional responses to stress. Surprisingly, they found that for people who accepted their negative mental experiences, the link between acceptance and psychological health remained strong even after six months (7). Instead of judging our mental situations and experiences, we may be able to lessen the negative emotions caused by our stressors and allow ourselves to take more effective action.

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Tips for cultivating acceptance

As we said, it is one thing to talk about acceptance and another to adopt conscious acceptance as a way of life. If you are struggling to accept something in your life, there are several ways to lower your stress to start cultivating the attitude of acceptance.

1. Self-knowledge

Your first step: self-knowledge. To cultivate acceptance, it is essential to find out when, where and how you resist your experience. What moments, experiences, or situations do you find difficult to accept? How do you feel? Where do you feel it in your body? Does your reaction show patterns?

2. Self-regulation

Once you know where you would like to foster more acceptance in your life, rewriting habits will come to strengthen your ability to rethink negative experiences toward more positive ones. Breaking old habits can be difficult, so practice! Acceptance is not about erasing your experience, it’s about learning that you don’t have to change how you feel, but move forward in your experience.

3. Practice

Below are some tools that many have found useful in the early stages of disrupting old patterns of reaction and reducing the weight of their emotional experience to create a space for conscious acceptance.

  • Focus on your breathing. Try to follow a 4-4-4-4 pattern, with 4 seconds inspiring, four seconds holding, 4 seconds expiring, and four seconds holding.
  • Grab ice cubes in your hand or suck a lemon! Strong physical sensations can act as basic techniques that help us to interrupt and get us out of the intensity of our emotions.
  • Use the 5-4-3-2-1 mindfulness technique. This is another basic technique to help reduce emotional intensity by focusing on your senses. Start by identifying 5 objects, 4 sounds, 3 textures, 2 smells, and 1 taste, until you feel focused on the present.


Cultivating acceptance with conscious meditation

Conscious meditation can help you ground yourself and foster acceptance in your daily life. While there are many styles of meditation, almost all of them show a willingness to accept what is without trying to change it. Meditation provides the space to explore our thoughts and feelings with neutrality, so that we can be more resilient and intentional in our reactions.

Are you looking for support to cultivate the attitude of acceptance?

Explore Muse’s over-collection 500 guided meditations To start! With reputable meditation guides that specialize in different styles of meditation to complement your intentions and goals, there is sure to be something that will resonate with you as you begin your journey toward acceptance of meditation.


  1. Read: Psychologists Find Meaning of Assault: ‘Monty Python’ Scene Helps Investigate HERE>
  2. Explore: ACBS Acceptance and Commitment Therapy HERE>
  3. Learn more about: Acceptance of Chronic Pain: Component Analysis and a Revised Assessment Method HERE>
  4. Discover: Acceptance Reduces Reactivity to Stress: Dismantling Consciousness Training in a Randomized Controlled Trial HERE>
  5. Discover: life event, stress and illness HERE>
  6. Explore: Let It Be: Accepting Negative Emotional Experiences Predicts Decreased Negative Affection and Depressive Symptoms HERE>
  7. Discover: The Health Benefits of Accepting Negative Emotions and Thoughts: Laboratory, Daily, and Longitudinal Evidence HERE>
  8. Learn about: The Attentive Attitude of Acceptance 6 Through Consciousness-Based Stress Reduction Training HERE>

#Fundamentals #Mindfulness #Acceptance

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