Despite your current level of panic over the recent pandemic, you are likely being affected in some way. You may find yourself quarantined at home, out of work, working remotely, your business might be suffering, or you or someone you know might be sick. We are all being impacted one way or another by something outside of our immediate control. It can be extremely difficult to figure out how to cope with a situation that seems completely unfair. Radical acceptance is a skill that can help us process these situations and find a way to continue moving forward.
Radical acceptance happens when we stop fighting reality and accept the truth in front of us. For example, imagine you found your dream job and got asked to come in for an interview. You go in for the interview and you leave thinking “I crushed that!” A week later you find out they selected another candidate instead of you. You would likely be disappointed, and maybe say to yourself “That is so unfair,” or “I can’t believe this is happening.” The reality of the situation is that you were not chosen for the job, and any effort you put into disputing that fact will be wasted. In a simpler phrase, “it is what it is,” radical acceptance doesn’t require us to LIKE or AGREE with the situation at hand, it simply says “I see you. I acknowledge you. I know this is how it is.”
Whether you are dealing with death, a pandemic, or something on a smaller scale, radical acceptance helps prevent us from getting stuck. Sometimes it would be easier to sit and dwell on our unfortunate circumstances, but that doesn’t help move us forward. When we accept reality, we move into the problem-solving phase. Instead of dwelling on “this is so unfair,” we move towards the thought of “okay, now what do I do about it?”
Here are some examples of coping statements to try:
- I can’t change what has already happened.
- It is what it is.
- There is no point in fighting the past.
- There is a lesson to be learned here.
- I can survive the present, even if I don’t like what’s happening.
Many people experience an increase in symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic, feelings of hopelessness, and more during a time of crisis. A mental health professional can work with you to manage these symptoms and to move towards a state of radical acceptance. If you are struggling, GR Therapy Group is here to help. Give us a call and come experience the difference.