Acceptance is a powerful tool.
Practicing acceptance is a powerful tool that allows us to embrace the challenges and complexities of life with a compassionate and open heart. Acceptance during benzo withdrawal is vital to reducing our suffering and greasing the wheels for healing. Acceptance is acknowledging and embracing our thoughts, feelings, symptoms, and circumstances without judgment or resistance. In turn, acceptance helps us to cope and fosters personal growth, increasing our capacity for health and happiness. In this post, we will explore the concept of acceptance during benzo withdrawal and delve into ten tips to help you practice acceptance during your recovery and beyond.
The Importance of Acceptance
In benzo withdrawal, we may find ourselves bombarded with challenges: frightening symptoms, inability to take care of ourselves or to work, strained relationships, and losses of many kinds. These challenges add up, and we rail against life, shaking our fists at the doctors who inadvertently harmed us, and family and friends who don’t understand or support us. We rail against even ourselves. Practicing acceptance can provide a powerful antidote to these negative thoughts and emotions and help us develop a more compassionate and understanding healing journey.
Acceptance has been linked to numerous mental health benefits, including reduced anxiety and depression, improved self-esteem, and overall well-being. It can also help us build stronger relationships with others as we learn to accept and understand their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without judgment.
Ten Tips for Practicing Acceptance
- Mindfulness meditation
One of the most effective ways to practice acceptance is through mindfulness meditation. This form of meditation encourages us to focus on the present moment, observing our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations without judgment. By cultivating a non-judgmental awareness, we can learn to accept our experiences and symptoms as they are rather than resisting them. It is in the resistance that we add to our suffering.
- Observing your thoughts
Practicing acceptance involves paying close attention to our thoughts and recognizing when we are judging, resisting, or attempting to change a situation that we cannot change. When you notice these patterns, gently bring your focus back to the present moment and remind yourself to accept the situation as it is. Remind yourself that you are safe, for it is in safety that our nervous system is at peace.
- Avoiding judgments
Developing a non-judgmental attitude is a key component of acceptance. This means treating ourselves and others with compassion and understanding, recognizing that everyone has their own unique experiences, thoughts, and emotions. By avoiding judgments, we can create a more accepting and empathetic mindset. We extend grace to others and ourselves.
- Cultivating gratitude
Focusing on the positive aspects of our lives and expressing gratitude for them can help shift our mindset from resistance to acceptance. By acknowledging the good in our lives, we can learn to appreciate what we have and accept the challenges and difficulties that come our way. It can be difficult to see the good in our lives when we are in benzo withdrawal because our nervous system is in the protect state of fight, flight, or freeze most of the time due to the downregulated GABA receptors. However, we can be mindful to think of the things we are grateful for: the sunrise, the breath in our lungs, our body’s ability to heal, etc.
- Letting go of control
Accepting that we cannot control everything in life is crucial to practicing acceptance. Embracing uncertainty and change as part of the human experience can help us let go of the need to control every aspect of our lives, allowing us to adapt and grow in the face of adversity. Living in the moment during benzo withdrawal helps us to stop focusing on when we will recover. Letting go of timelines and trying to control our healing process allows us more peace and less suffering.
- Developing self-compassion
Practicing acceptance involves being kind and compassionate towards ourselves at all times, including during benzo withdrawal. Recognize that it’s okay to have negative thoughts and emotions and that everyone experiences them. By cultivating self-compassion, we can learn to accept ourselves and our thoughts and feelings without judgment or criticism. And remember, everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect.
- Seeking support
Surrounding ourselves with supportive people who encourage acceptance and understanding can make the journey toward a more accepting mindset easier. Share your feelings, thoughts, and experiences with those around you and listen to their stories, fostering a sense of connection and empathy. Join a positive, solution-oriented benzo support group such as Heal With Dr. Jenn. Learn coping skills that foster acceptance and help to accelerate healing from benzo withdrawal.
- Practicing patience
Acceptance takes time and consistent effort. Be patient with yourself as you work on embracing acceptance in your daily life. Recognize that progress may be slow and not getting it right all the time is a natural part of the process. Keep moving forward, and remember that every step, no matter how small, is a step towards a more accepting and compassionate life.
9. Focusing on what you can change