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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Self-Acceptance

My "rental" dog has been picked up. I am all alone again, naturally (song). Initially, I felt more alone with the dog than without the dog - and almost lonely. I didn't expect this feeling at all and I didn't like it. This new feeling made me observe the other dog caretakers during my frequent daily walks. I started seeing them in a different light.

The above feeling triggered a fresh wave of negative feelings which I hadn't felt for a while. In my 15 August 2015 blog, I already mentioned that men seem to have a "male period cycle". I am not alone in this belief. The Daily Beast, 2015: "Jed Diamond, therapist and author of The Irritable Male Syndrome, who is a believer in the “male period,” said that “men have hormonal cycles just as women do.”

I decided to discuss my negative feelings rather than hiding them. It's easier discussing them rather than avoiding or ducking the repeated question: "Is something wrong??" However, soon the discussion was about her feelings rather than mine. I had to deal with my negative feelings myself but I am used to that. Over the years I have learned to accept and to acknowledge them. Denying these feelings takes more time in getting rid of them.

Remarkably, my tactic was recommended in a Big Think article of 28 August 2017 following a July 2017 study by UC Berkeley: "The Psychological Health Benefits of Accepting Negative Emotions and Thoughts: Laboratory, Diary, and Longitudinal Evidence." UC Berkeley News: “We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health.”

Big Think: "Feelings of disappointment, sadness or resentment appeared to inflict more damage upon people who avoided them, or criticized themselves for experiencing such emotions. [Quotes:] "It turns out that how we approach our own negative emotional reactions is really important for our overall well-being.” “People who accept these emotions without judging or trying to change them are able to cope with their stress more successfully.”

One of the side effects of having a dog was the inability to focus on my writing. Part of the fresh wave of negative feelings was a - new - feeling of uselessness. This reminded me of my 2015 blog following a 2015 FT blog by Lucy Kellaway: "Feeling useless at your job is painful but ensures you never are". Her 2015 blog is a recommended read for anyone (not) having a job.

Acceptance, including self-acceptance, may be the "last resort" that we try in our lives, when all other options have failed. I think, feel and believe that this last resort relates to the last A in the DABDA model by Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross: Denial (my blog), Anger (my blog), Bargaining (my blogs), Depression (my blog) and - finally - Acceptance (my blog).

This should imply that self-acceptance is the "last resort" for the burnout and depression epidemic around us (eg, BBC, HuffPostScientific American).

The Last Resort (1977) by the Eagles - artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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