The simple act of acknowledging something can have a profound impact.
- “I waste too much time online.”
- “I allow this person to affect my emotions too much.”
- “I am feeling anxious about this.”
- “I am avoiding this problem in my life.”
Setting a Path Forward
The power of acknowledging something is that it allows you to take action. Once you accept that something exists, you can then address it.
In fact, actively labeling our fears and emotions have been shown to reduce our stress responses. In multiple studies, people who labeled a fear or anxiety as it was occurring were able to reduce their stress levels.
Acknowledging an emotion, a state of mind, or a situation, allows your brain to put it in perspective. Once labeled, you can then take appropriate action, instead of letting fear and emotion take control.
This strategy is good for extreme cases like panic attacks, but also for more broad life problems like being unhappy with something about yourself, a relationship, or your job.
Start by acknowledging what you are feeling or thinking, then take the appropriate action (or inaction).
I did this once when I thought people were avoiding me which made me felt angry. What I did was, I tried to acknowledge the anger I had, why I felt that and was that an anger?
Turned out it was just me judging them treat me wrong. The fact was, they too had a bad day and it was unfair if I pushed them to keep notify me.
But of course it only happened when I still have my sanity. 😅
You bring up a good point. Taming our internal dialogue can really help us to be more empathetic with others.
Simple concept but true – works for me.