Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to Help You Live a Life that You Truly Value!
Many people regularly struggle with questions about the meaning of life.
- Why have I been placed on this earth?
- What is my purpose in life?
According to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), while many people claim to be happy by just living life and ‘going with the flow’, studies do show that when people have meaning or a purpose in life, their mental health improves.
When people understand what is ‘truly’ important, what they truly value, they generally live a more fulfilled and rewarding life. This does not mean that they are always happy, but it does mean that they know what they want and when they experience setbacks, they dust themselves off, get back up and start moving again. These people know what they want and a have a ‘road map’ that leads them in the right direction.
Everybody has values, however, for many people, they are so caught up in the own mind and emotions that they have forgotten what they are here for. What they truly value.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychological treatment that relies heavily on helping people identify values and live a life according to their values. A major goal in ACT is to help people live a fulfilling life, one that includes both pleasant and unpleasant feelings.
What is it that you truly value?
- Are you are parent? Is being a mother/father important to you? What kind of parent do you want to be and are your behaviours consistent with this?
- Are you married or in an intimate relationship? How important is this relationship to you? What kind of partner do you want to be?
- Is your extended family important to you? What kind of son, daughter, brother, sister, do you want to be?
- Are you a spiritual person? Do you believe in God? Studies regularly show that people who go to Church and believe in God are generally happier. For example, if you are a Christian, what does the Bible say about living life and how consistent are your actions with the teachings of the Bible? Jesus gave many teachings about how we should live life. How can His teachings guide your behaviours and give you meaning in life?
- Is your physical health important to you? What kind of actions do you believe you should take to enhance your physical health (if this is important to you)?
- Leisure, rest, taking time out, engaging in pleasurable activities. Are these important to you? What kind of values do you have in this area?
- Having friends and being a friend. What type of friend do you want to be? How do your actions compare to the type of friend you want to be.
- Work/Career. How important is this to you? What kind of worker, employer, career person do you want to be?
- Education/ Learning. Are you eager to learn? In what areas? If this is important to you how do actions stack up against your values in this area?
- There are people constantly in need of help and assistance. They struggle in life and can really benefit from a helping hand. How important is citizenship to you? What are you doing to help other people in need? What skills have you been given that you can use to help others? No matter how insignificant you think they may be, you have been skills that can help others.
Living life is not about always FEELING better but LIVING better. Fortunately, when you LIVE better, you generally FEEL better. If you are motivated to improve both your physical and mental health then spend some time trying to identify what you value you life. What you want your life to be about. If you are struggling in this area, seek support from a mental health practitioner, particularly one trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).