Pause, notice…and accept
In our previous blogs we have discussed how wellbeing can be seen as a foundation on which we can build; a strong basis to help us to move towards fulfilment and achievement.
By prioritising our physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as our happiness, we establish a springboard from which we can learn to thrive and succeed. As the first stage in this process, we have previously discussed the importance of ‘being’ and how we can overcome our ‘automatic pilot’ by simply pausing and consciously observing how we feel. This allows us to notice and acknowledge our physical and mental state in any given moment.
Acknowledgement alone can be a great tool and can have an immediate effect on how we feel. But more significantly, it is an essential first step towards acceptance.
Acceptance may be something that we try to avoid. Because sometimes, to accept can feel as though we have somehow given up and any hope of change has ceased to exist. But the reality is quite the opposite. Acceptance is actually the precursor for change and helps to reduce anxiety and improve self-esteem by appreciating ‘what is’ without judgement, especially of ourselves.
Acceptance in this way can apply to many moments within our lives – both the big and the small. Seemingly small day-to-day issues such as irritation towards another road user as you navigate your journey to work or frustration as a result of running late might seem like just ‘one of those things’. You may not give it another thought. But what could the alternative look like? Noticing, acknowledging and accepting feelings such as these is an opportunity to better understand our reaction in these moments. This helps to prevent any resulting feelings from negatively impacting our health and wellbeing.
Acceptance can also apply to bigger issues that might be affecting us. For example, if we believe that we haven’t been looking after our body (we haven’t been paying attention to our diet, not exercising, relying on alcohol or substances for example), we may find ourselves either holding onto the judgemental feelings we have about ourselves, or repressing them altogether. However, by consciously acknowledging the issue, addressing it with kindness and allowing ourselves to accept the situation, we are far better placed to move forwards.
And so, the big question is how do we help ourselves to be more accepting? Would it seem too simple if we said you begin by simply giving yourself permission? Whilst this might sound obvious, how often do we really take a moment to notice how we are feeling and (either silently or aloud) acknowledge that feeling along with a confirmation that it’s OK to feel that way. This conscious process is the starting point. It is fundamental to helping us to be OK in the present moment.
And there are additional techniques which can further complement the practice. Emotional Freedom Technique (see here for more information), mindfulness training and guided meditation are good examples of other ways which can provide a basis for non-striving, non-judging acceptance. For further information on any of these and for further advise, please contact any of the VetLed team using the details below.
The great news is that improving your ability to notice, acknowledge and accept can better your sense of peace and wellbeing. The even better news is that it doesn’t end there. With acceptance comes a clarity and sense of freedom from which we can form an intention and a motivation to make change. This might mean, for example, that we become better able to accept former lifestyle habits and can now more objectively understand what we can change that might improve our health, without the burden of judgement or regret. An acceptance for ‘what is’ allows you to approach the next steps with kindness, curiosity and optimism.
And anything done with kindness, curiosity and optimism is always good medicine for the mind, body and soul.
VetLed was founded to provide support to veterinary professionals who are faced with significant challenges every day. The VetLed team believe that creating a compassionate and professional workplace culture that puts people wellbeing and patient safety at the core of everything we do, will in turn, improve animal and people welfare. The VetLed performance approach supports veterinary professionals to maximise their own wellbeing and to fully utilise their skills to deliver optimal patient care. You can contact VetLed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org