One of the main practices of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is thinking exercises to improve mental health. ACT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on your goals, values, and purpose in life. The basis of these exercises is psychological flexibility. It is the ability to persist in spite of obstacles, to adapt to adverse situations, and to be aware.
The thinking exercises to improve mental health in ACT help you accept and understand the story of the thoughts running through your head. These exercises can bring inner peace, aid alertness, and positively affect your mental health. Without further ado, here are the seven best-thought-out exercises.
7 Proven Thought Exercises to Improve Mental Health
1. Accept your thoughts and emotions
Have you ever emphasized or overreacted to negative thoughts or feelings in your mind? If you have, you are aware of the effects that this has on yourself. You feel awful and keep thinking about these negative feelings. Ultimately, this cycle leads you to waste a lot of time and energy. Accepting your thoughts as they are can get you out of this situation.
2. Don’t avoid your feelings
Another defense mechanism we use to deal with unpleasant emotions is avoidance or suppression. You can bury these feelings in the back of your mind or pretend they don’t exist. Repressed feelings can hurt you in the long run and close the doors to greater self-esteem, self-acceptance, and authenticity. Sitting with your feelings, especially painful ones, can help you appear as a self-aware person.
3. Look at your feelings objectively
Self-validation is used in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and ACT. This mindfulness-inspired practice prompts us to look at our feelings objectively. Validating yourself means acknowledging your feelings, understanding that it is justified to feel this way and looking at your feelings without judgment.
4. Living in the present
Often all of your unpleasant feelings stem from regrets from the past or anxiety about the future. An uncontrolled mind with racing thoughts can lead to a lack of alertness. You can learn to organize your thoughts and experience life more deeply by living in the present moment.
Read more: How do you stay in the present?
5. Watch yourself
Notice your thoughts and feelings as a passing perception. This process can help you break up with them and counsel or empathize with yourself as a friend would.
6. Define your values
Values determine your actions and feelings. They give you a sense of personal integrity and meaning. Identifying your values can help you determine what is good and bad for you.
7. A purposeful action plan
After you define your values, you can plan meaningful action. The first step towards action is goal setting. You can set long-term goals and perhaps a vision for life. Goals like these can help you commit and find a sense of meaning and happiness in your work.
Read more: Questions to know yourself better.
Thinking Exercises for Better Mental Health is a tool from the ACT that can help you take a step toward better mental health. The most effective thinking exercises include accepting and observing your feelings, living in the present, identifying your values, and living a meaningful life. While these exercises can help you, you may need a boost to get started or keep practicing them. On that note, here are some files The best podcasts to motivate you.
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