I think one of the most difficult things I’ve gone through in life is grief. It’s hard to feel like you’re world is crumbling because that person isn’t in it anymore. One time I was feeling so down that I started looking on the internet for anything that would make me feel better. I came across an article about Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). As I read about it, I started to see it as a way to work through how I was feeling.
When things happen, I accept that those feelings exist and make room for them. I have found that it doesn’t help me to ignore, run from, or obsess over my feelings. In a way, that seems to give them a power to control my life. If I try to push my feelings away or suppress them, they tend to tackle me back harder, usually at a really bad time. I remember how I completely broke down in the makeup aisle of a store and ended up leaving very quickly to cry in my car. Something that seems to help is to acknowledge the feeling I’m having and make room for it, or I put it in a figurative box off to the side to open later. It gives me a sense of control of my feelings.
Being committed to action that line up with your values is another challenge. For me, my value was getting through my grief to help others and to also be there for my family through their grief over the loss. This involves setting smaller tasks to achieve these goals. Working through grief is hard. I had to set tasks of things like crying when I needed to (if the situation allowed), journaling as much as I could, and being aware of my triggers.
By doing these things, I was able to come to terms with what I was feeling. While it is difficult to use them at first, it does get easier with time. Some people might think that this isn’t for them, and that’s perfectly fine. The biggest thing is finding healthy ways to deal with your thoughts and feelings through grief and any process you go through.