What do you struggle to accept? Making self acceptance work for you

Sandy Pace
Dec 29, 2019 · 5 min read

Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

Living with a mental illness isn’t fun! What makes it more complex is when a person refuses to accept specific realities about their treatment. Acceptance isn’t about giving up or that you deserve to get treated badly by people.

We need to remember acceptance is more about taking control of your life and acknowledging the role you have in your life and treatment. Such as in the following examples I’ve written about in my newest article.

1. How we approach our biases and misconceptions, and how we let those biases dictate our treatment

When people refuse to accept their biases they don’t take into consideration, this creates more problems than it fixes. When a person refuses to see past their personal beliefs instead of overcoming those biases.

Those biases constantly play a negative role in that person’s life. Even though overcoming your biases isn’t easy. When you practice the following you have a higher chance of recognizing and overcoming your biases.

  • We need to accept we don’t know everything and get our information from qualified professionals. Instead of only relying on sources that confirm our beliefs.
  • Keep an open mind about the healthcare industry. While remembering, their only intention is to help you in your recovery. Instead of taking a cognitive dissonance approach to your doctor or therapists recommendations.
  • Don’t take advice from self-proclaimed experts such as health gurus, celebrities or YouTube stars

2. How we let toxic relationships interfere with our self-worth

Letting go of toxic people is vital for your mental health and wellbeing. Even though it’s difficult to walk away from toxic people, am I right!

Toxic people chip away at our self-worth by making us think we’re less than other people. Toxic people do things like giving us the mindset we don’t deserve help and other negative self-defeating mindsets.

When you don’t, let go of a toxic person. You’re unintentionally enabling their toxic behavior. When you think a relationship is toxic, and it’s affecting your mental health. Keep the following advice in mind.

  • When you make excuses for people who speak badly about mental health such as, oh they’re just joking. What you are saying to those types of people is you tolerate their ignorance and behaviour. In reality, it’s not right to speak in that manner about mental illness! Remember, you have no reason to feel guilty for standing up to these types of people. Behaviors like micro aggressions and gaslighting are very hurtful. These toxic behaviours take a long time to heal the damage they cause to an individual.
  • When you don’t remove toxic people from your life. It’s you who ends up suffering in the long run. Instead of your toxic friend or family member. This is why it’s important to recognize toxic behaviour such as gas lighting, projection and micro aggressions.
  • Boundaries are a great tool for keeping toxic people at bay

3. How we let mental health stigma from other people influence us

Mental health stigma causes people diagnosed with a mental illness to feel shame. The unfortunate truth is mental health stigma is a big problem in our world.

Stigma prevents people from being open about their mental illness. It’s a big reason behind why many people suffer in silence. It has even led to people committing suicide.

My best advice is to accept the following facts about yourself and other people in mind

  • We might not have control over another person’s education, beliefs or opinions. This is why it’s vital to focus on what’s within your control! To help you cope with what is not within your control. When you give into negative beliefs of other people about medication or therapy. You’re letting those individuals win. This is why we all need to accept that psychological support or taking medication is perfectly fine and not a weakness or character flaw
  • Accept that we need to focus on educating ourselves instead of listening or arguing with your local self proclaimed expert! By learning skills such as conflict resolution, boundaries and knowing when to walk away from certain conversations. Doing these can seem frustrating and counterproductive but they help you deal with those types of people in a healthier manner

4. Accept that having struggles doesn’t automatically make you resilient and that’s ok

Resiliency is more than experiencing tough times in one’s life. Resiliency is about how a person handles those tough times which dictates whether a person is resilient!

If you want to build resiliency, you can start by keeping these simple tips in mind

  • When you don’t own of your life by acknowledging how your thoughts, actions and beliefs influence your decision-making process. Instead of getting positive results you will always have those things negatively influence your life. Accept those struggles and learn from them because no one is perfect and understanding yourself takes strength
  • Accept that you aren’t to blame for having a mental illness, but you still need to cope with what life throws in your direction. By doing things such as creating healthy coping skills, and boundaries and practicing self-care

With the help of a qualified professional

5. Accept how you cope with negative self-talk plays a big role in how you cope with your mental illness

Living with a mental illness isn’t fun! It leaves a person feeling as if they’re a burden and other negative emotions. This feeling stems from how society stigmatizes mental health which causes us to stigmatize ourselves.

If you ever feel like a burden for being open about your struggles or needing psychological help, remember the following pieces of advice

  • Accept that seeing a therapist or taking medication, makes you better! It doesn’t make you weak or a drug addict. Do your best to not let people’s toxic views on mental health prevent you from seeking help or taking medication. Remember, you deserve help!
  • Accept that you shouldn’t feel ashamed for seeking professional help. Seeking support takes strength and courage in today’s stigma filled world. It’s the people who shame you that should feel embarrassment, because ignorance is a character flaw and you shouldn’t tolerate it!
  • Be mindful of how you talk to yourself and focus on healthier ways to communicate with yourself. Such as in the following example; Instead of saying phrases like what’s the point! Try saying how can I learn a different approach to overcoming my obstacles.
  • Practice skills such as mindfulness and talking to a therapist, friend or peer support worker who can help you improve the way you talk to yourself about your struggles. Journaling is also a helpful tool for learning to process your emotions

In conclusion, understanding acceptance and the role it plays is no easy task.

Learning to use acceptance as an effective tool takes time, effort and self-reflection. In the long run though, you’ll be a much stronger person for adding self-acceptance to your psychological toolbox.

The best way to think of acceptance is as your starting point. Through giving you a better understanding of the role you play in your life. Instead of thinking of acceptance as giving up or as a flaw.

Invisible Illness

Sandy Pace

Written by

I'm the author of Your Mental Health and You. I've written for Thought Catalog, Libero Magazine, Invisible Illness & SOS Magazine

Invisible Illness

We don't talk enough about mental health.

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