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Self acceptance

We tend to fight for so many things in life that keeps us from living happily in our lives. Maybe its cos we don’t like to hear certain things, or maybe cos we want to prove some people wrong. In the end, somehow we like to believe that there was probably nothing wrong from our side. Certain stubbornness or rebelliousness can be good, but what if that kept us from reaching the road to self-improvement. 

Nobody said that it was wrong to defend yourselves, but sometimes people aren’t trying to prove a point, sometimes people aren’t really coming for a fight with you. Sometimes they just care a lot about you. Accepting things isn’t backing away from a fight, it simply means that you’re acknowledging some of the things that you finally realized has been holding you down. Once you have accepted the problem, the next best thing to do would be to work on fixing the problem. 

Say there was a water leakage from one of your pipes at home. The water keeps dripping every day. You see it and yet you tend to ignore it. Someone then comes in and tells you that you got a water problem and yet you start defending the pipe by bragging about how you bought one of the best pipes and that there is no problem whatsoever. When people can even clearly see a whole puddle of water that could act as a training ground for baby turtles, just resting there from all that dripping. Don’t you think it would be wise to accept that something is wrong and get the pipe fixed before your whole place turns into an aquarium? That, exactly is how acceptance works !!

Admitting faults, self-acceptance helps !!

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Admitting faults, self acceptance helps !!

According to a new study, practicing self-acceptance may be the best way to boost our self-worth and also stopping ourselves from indulging in self-degrading behaviors and consequences.

Say if a person who has just realized that he/she is hardly prepared for financial retirement. The next thing they might do would be to go out and buy something costly or may even resort to binge eating or drinking as a way of coping up with their stress or problems. However, by trying to practice the behavior of self-acceptance, it just may help to counter this type of self-destructive behavior.

Researchers carried out 5 experiments and found that practicing self-acceptance behavior does indeed help in reducing a person’s likelihood of engaging in damaging behavior. It could also help the person in fostering an attitude that would drive them to work towards areas where they fell short.

In one experiment, individuals read about the concept of self-acceptance and were then allowed to choose from picking 2 books- a luxury magazine or a book with the label, ”Power and Influence for Dummies”. Just like how the researchers predicted, individuals selected the book over the magazine signifying that they did want to improve their overall well being.

Self-acceptance can help a person to boost a person’s self-esteem as a means to promote well being. However undeserved praise can give people unrealistic beliefs and expectations about their abilities. Unlike self-esteem, self-acceptance which is inherently unconditional may better help prepare someone for inevitable failures which could serve as a less volatile alternative for promoting well being.

The research was carried out Soo Kim and David Gal (both Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University).

Poor acceptance of Illness linked with worse quality of life in chronic heart failure !!

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Poor acceptance of Illness linked with worse quality of life in chronic heart failure !!

Failure to accept illness may be linked to poorer quality of life in patients with chronic failure. It was found that patients with lower illness acceptance had lower energy levels, more severe pain, negative emotional reactions, sleep disorders and were even socially isolated.

According to one of the researcher's patients with chronic heart failure often felt powerless and hopeless which can eventually interfere with effective treatment and self-care. Many patients also have a low quality of life.

Acceptance of illness refers to the ability of patients to adapt to life with a disease. However, patients who accept their illness are more likely to comply with treatment and may even have a higher quality of life late on.

A study was carried out involving 100 patients who were reported to have heart failure for a period of 6 months Quality of life was assessed through a questionnaire which measured the effect if health status on 6 aspects of everyday functioning. An acceptance of illness scale was also used to determine how well patients had adapted to having heart failure.  The following things were observed -

    • Patients with a low acceptance of illness scored significantly low on all 6 aspects of quality of life like energy, pain, emotional reactions, sleep problems, social isolation, and mobility.

Researchers also examined the effect of other variables on the quantity of life such as the cause and severity of heart failure, education, age, occupational status, body mass index, gender, and marital status. Only acceptance of the illness predicted the quality of life in these areas.

Each patient reacted differently to chronic illness, some accept their condition while others are unable to cope up with their situation. The ability to accept a disease is related to the - 

    • patient’s personality
    • psychological state
    • socioeconomic status
    • the severity of the illness
    • treatment 
    • support from family and friends

  According to one researcher, some patients find it difficult to accept their illness while others don’t because -

    • People have different personalities and varied life experiences
    • People have diverse reactions towards stressful situations, especially when receiving the diagnosis of a chronic disease.

After receiving a diagnosis, patients who may have been healthy until that point in time, the patient should -

    • redefine themselves, as someone who may be chronically ill.
    • Without acceptance, they may tend to think that medication is unnecessary.
    • Patients taking their medications should follow lifestyle advice which can give them relief from symptoms and improved quality of life.
    • Talking to other patients with the same disease and hearing how they’re coping with it may help patients to accept that they are ill.

The study was carried out by Monika Obieglo a nurse in the Department of Clinical Nursing at Wroclaw Medical University in Poland.

Self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life !!

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Self acceptance could be the key to a happier life !!

This is what one of the researchers had to say regarding the key to happiness. Society puts a lot of pressure on people to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others. This caused a great deal of unhappiness and anxiety among individuals. However, if people could learn to be more accepting of themselves of who they really are, they were likely to be much happier. People’s day-to-day habits could also have a much bigger impact on our happiness than they imagined.

To support participants, researchers came up with a Do Happiness program which sent people regular small positive actions (Do’s) to help them practice the habits that science showed tend to make people happy. 

Here are three positive actions that researchers came up with to help people increase their levels of self-acceptance -

    • Be as kinds to yourselves as you are to others. See your mistakes as opportunities to learn. Notice things you do well, even if they may be small.
    • Ask a trusted friend or colleague to tell you what your strengths are or what they value about you.
    • Spend some quiet time by yourself. Tune in to how you’re feeling inside and try to be at peace with who you are.

Researchers also came up with a list that includes 10 keys to a happier living framework, developed by Action For Happiness, based on an extensive review of the latest research about what really affected their mental well being. Together the 10 keys spell the acronym GREAT DREAM. They are -

    • Giving: Do things for other
    • Relating: Connect with people
    • Exercising: Take care of your body.
    • Appreciating: notice the world around.
    • Trying out: keep learning new things.
    • Direction: one should have goals to look forward to.
    • Resilience: Finding ways to bounce back.
    • Emotion: take a positive approach.
    • Acceptance: Be comfortable with who you are.
    • Meaning: Be part of something bigger.

The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Hertfordshire.