Dr. Russ Harris explains why it pays to clarify and connect to our values and loosen the grip on our goals with a simple metaphor.
Moving through emotional pain towards what's most important: One of of my favorite strategies for staying balanced and getting out of my head
A central feature of one of my favourite therapies, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (aka ACT) is the idea that identifying our “values” and moving towards them even when we are experiencing emotional pain is crucial for psychological health and wellbeing.
What are values? They are the things in life that are most important to us. They are what we want our lives to be about. They are different from goals in that they are not things that we can achieve or complete and they are not future destinations. They are the the things that are most important to us in life and in the now.
Examples might be: Helping, creativity, connecting with others, self development, kindness, independence. One way to tap into your values is to ask, “Who or what is most important to me?”
I will write more on identifying values in an upcoming blog post.
So why move towards values even when we feel terrible?
I'm a psychologist and mindfulness teacher based in Edmonton, Alberta.