How Radical Acceptance Can Reduce Your Suffering

radical acceptance to reduce suffering

Verywell / Julie Bang

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Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 111

When life doesn’t go our way or something unfair happens, we’re often quick to think things shouldn’t be that way.

After all, why do bad things happen to good people? And why do our good intentions sometimes go horribly awry? 

When we’re faced with tough situations or unfair circumstances, our tendency is to fight against them. We think about all the reasons those things shouldn’t be happening, rather than accept them for what they are.

Unfortunately, refusing to accept a situation creates a lot of unnecessary suffering. This is something I often see as a therapist. 

Some people who come into my therapy office have spent years fighting against reality. Consequently, they haven’t been able to heal their emotional wounds.

That’s where radical acceptance comes into play. It’s a skill that is often taught in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)—a type of therapy that is frequently used for individuals with borderline personality disorder. But, it’s a skill that even those who don’t have borderline personality disorder can benefit from learning.

So in this Friday Fix, I share how radical acceptance works, what researchers have found about the benefits, and how to start practicing it in your own life. 

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.