At RBA we are always looking for new ideas, inspiration, and research that can help us continue to empower our clients and each other. There is a hunger to keep learning and think outside the box to find tools that can better our individual lives and those of our clients.
This past month we have been studying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) the message being: “accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life. ” While we are not therapists, we do think that understanding some of these concepts can make a greater impact in relating to clients and again help with our own self-awareness. I find the idea of ACT very valuable and it is something I am glad to incorporate in my day to day thinking.
To further this approach we read The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, which really helps to put things in perspective and give you concrete tools to help manage your thoughts and actions.
A major takeaway I got from reading is that the thoughts in our head are simply stories or words, just as you would read a story in the newspaper, it may be a bit dramatized or flat out incorrect but regardless we paint a picture in our minds. At any time we can stop reading the newspaper and do something constructive, but this is not as easy when it comes to the stories in our mind. We react to our thoughts as if it’s the absolute truth. This book helps you to take a step back from your thoughts and process them in a healthy way.
ACT helps you focus on big picture values and what is truly important in your life. Whether the thoughts in your head are true or not, the question is whether or not they are helpful when it relates to your personal values. Are these thoughts bringing your closer to your values or further away?
The book walks you through the steps to identify your big picture values, learn to understand and process your thoughts in relation to your values, and take meaningful action towards the life you want to live. Rather than focusing on the end “goal” these exercises are helping me to appreciate the journey and live life in accordance with my values.
I would encourage you to give this a read and work through these activities and thoughts with your therapist and share with your dietitian (particularly as it relates to your health and relationship with food).
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
If you are interested in taking the first step, contact us to get started.