Team IIBP Anveshan, Issue 11, Volume 2

“Some things are in our control and others not.”


Acceptance is nothing but the willingness to experience things as they are. However, it’s much easier said than done. How many times have you resorted to watching a movie, or grabbing a pint of ice cream when you’re sad, instead of just letting it be? When you’re upset, isn’t it easier to distract yourself from feeling the emotions, than simply letting them flow through you? Confronting emotions that aren’t necessarily pleasure-seeking sounds hard, if not masochistic. However, if you sit with them for some time and explore, the process could turn out to be quite enlightening.

In fact, acceptance has been proven to be an effective emotional regulation strategy, wherein subjects are not asked to change the experienced emotions like in cognitive reappraisal, suppression, etc., but to receive them without control attempts. It has also shown efficacy in therapies, for example, Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This form of cognitive and behavioral therapy focuses on the acceptance of private events, rather than the attempt to change them.

It is known to treat anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and somatic health problems. Another study has indicated that emotional non-acceptance is a significant mediator in the relationship between early-life stress and increased cortisol and skin conductance level responses, making emotional non-acceptance one of the psychological mechanisms underlying blunted cortisol and increased sympathetic reactivity in young healthy volunteers with a history of early life stress.

Not just being at peace with your internal world, it is also necessary to be accepting of the external circumstances and understanding that life doesn’t always go according to plan. The sooner you come to terms with reality, the better you can allow yourself to deal with the situation and make the most out of it. It is as hard to come out of cycles of self-pity and feeling helpless, as it is easy to fall into one.

But, the good news is, just like any skill, acceptance can be worked upon.

The key step is to be aware of your emotions and thoughts. This can be achieved through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation helps bring emotions and experiences you may not be accepting, to your consciousness. One way of doing this is by using a simple breathing exercise: Find a quiet corner and assume a relaxed position. Take a few deep breaths, before settling into natural breathing. Pay attention to your breathing and every time your mind drifts off, you observe your thoughts and simply return your awareness to your breaths again.

As much as one would like to, reality cannot be avoided. You must face it, and only in the process of doing that, can you alleviate unnecessary suffering. As Carl Rogers once quoted, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.






About the Author.

Ms. Kashish Kukreja is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Ambedkar University, Delhi. Reading on psychology has always been a passion. besides writing and experimenting in the kitchen. She wishes to establish herself in the field of business psychology, either in India or abroad, because she feels that’s how she can bring the most impact in society.