Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) uses mindfulness to build awareness of your thoughts and emotions.
Mindfulness is a common tool in ACT treatment to help you better understand your cognitive and emotional experiences. Mindfulness exercises, such as paying attention to the present moment without judgment, or learning to identify negative thought patterns, can help foster a deep sense of freedom over your thoughts and emotions.
We create suffering through efforts to avoid pain.
Although it makes sense to avoid some painful experiences, many avoidance behaviors actually increase suffering. Chronic avoidance of anxious feelings, for example, might have the short-term impact of avoiding discomfort, but has the long-term effect of increasing your overall anxiety.
ACT therapy involves mindfulness and radical acceptance to increase your tolerance of painful thoughts and emotions. Interestingly, the more we can accept our emotional pain, the more free we become to pursue what is really important. This is the recipe for creating a life that feels meaningful and fulfilling.
Is your life organized around avoiding pain, or moving toward values?
Clarifying your values is an important step in Acceptance and Commitment treatment, and involves establishing what is truly important in life. In ACT work, values are not the same as goals or accomplishments- values are better understood as a compass direction that you can be following (or not). Aligning your actions with your chosen values can help to give life a sense of depth and meaning.