Radical Acceptance: What is and what does radical acceptance offer

Radical Acceptance: What is and what does radical acceptance offer
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Most of us are constantly stressed by unpleasant events, anxiety and bad news. Radical acceptance is the willingness to accept yourself and life as they are. A moment of radical acceptance is true freedom.

The idea of radical acceptance has been promoted for almost 20 years by Tara Brach, a psychology doctor and meditation teacher. In an interview with Mashable, she describes the idea as a willingness to "see yourself and life as they are." The psychologist has written a book about the concept - "Radical Acceptance. How to heal psychological trauma and look at your life with a Buddha's eye.

How to Come to Radical Acceptance

Brah divides radical acceptance into two parts:

  1. Awareness. The ability to recognise what is happening within oneself by observing and fixating on every emotion that emerges.
  2. Empathy. Approaching one's emotions sympathetically, not scolding oneself for them, but trying to identify the reasons for them.

After going through these two steps, according to Brah, one should ask oneself, "Can I look at what is happening calmly and accept it?" It is worth being honest with oneself: the answer will not necessarily be positive. Under such circumstances, one accepts that one is not yet ready to work through it. One has to live through it first.

Why Radical Acceptance Helps

A psychologist believes that this practice can switch a person's body from 'hit or run' mode, where the stress hormones produced switch the brain to self-preservation mode. This evolutionary reaction plays an important role in life.

However, if left unchecked, it can cause one to make many ill-considered decisions "out of emotion". In addition, constant stress can lead to sleep problems, poor health and a deterioration in mental health. Radical acceptance can lift a person out of the trap of constant negativity.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is a compassionate and proven model of help. DBT is a comprehensive system of cognitive behavioural therapy designed to treat complex, difficult to treat personality and behavioural disorders.

For example, DBT clients are taught how to practice distress tolerance through conscious acceptance of their emotions and thoughts instead of trying to suppress them. In this way, they learn to recognise and understand the reasons for their emotional reactions, which enables them to make better decisions and choices.

How to Practice Radical Acceptance

This is not an easy skill, you can't learn it in five minutes by instruction. The capacity for acceptance has to be developed, sometimes for a lifetime. But the good news is you will get better at it every time. Here are some guidelines to help you do that.

  1. Learn mindfulness

The first step to acceptance is being aware of what's happening to you, your emotions, their causes and the events that are affecting them.

If you are overwhelmed by a difficult experience, you first need to identify and name the specific emotions in the tangle: rage, sadness, grief, loss, fear, sadness. Then trace why they arose, what thoughts and events triggered them.

  1. Recognize that the situation is beyond your control

What happened is what happened. It is not in your power to rewind and make things different.

  1. Imagine that you have already achieved acceptance

What do you do? What does your life even look like? Are you better off than you are now, with feelings of injustice and self-pity overwhelming you? Try this condition on yourself.

  1. Make a plan of action

If there is something you can do, do it. Yes, you can't go back to the way things were, but you can distract yourself or somehow sweeten the


  1. Meditate

You don't have to do it for a long time or get bogged down with rules. Just sit with a straight back, cover your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Don't try to stop your thoughts, but gently return your focus to your breathing each time.

Radical acceptance is the willingness to accept oneself and life as they are. A moment of radical acceptance is true freedom.