Radical acceptance is fully and completely accepting reality as it is, without judgment or resistance, even when you find it difficult or uncomfortable. The idea of this practice is to loosen your grip on the chronic stress in life.
Toxic stress can even age you, according to research by Elissa Epel, PhD, the author of "The Stress Prescription," who advocates for training our minds and bodies to shift toward a flexible, beneficial stress response that can actually enhance health.
You can begin the process by asking yourself if you have a situation in your life that you haven’t been able to change. Next, think about how much time you spend worrying or wanting things to be different.
If you want to practice radical acceptance, begin with these three steps:
First, say to yourself, “Drop the rope.” The idea is that the longer you hold this rope tied to this stressful situation you can’t change, the more physical and mental energy is drained out of you. Acknowledge that “this is the way things are right now.” This shift of thinking frees you to recognize and focus on things you can do.
Second, divert energy to things you can change. Chronic stress uses a large amount of energy. Instead, recognize and focus on things you can do to address the situation.
Third, check in at night for negative mind wandering. Be present and engaged, not wishing things were different. The goal is to rewire your brain for joy and happiness. Some tools for addressing chronic stress include meditation and journaling.
Learn more in the Blue Cross Virtual Well-Being℠ webinar Using the Power of Radical Acceptance. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and individual well-being webinars and meditations here, where you’ll find past webinars and meditations on demand.
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