Get Unstuck With Sexual Acceptance

Posted by in Great Sex From the Inside Out | Comments Off on Get Unstuck With Sexual Acceptance

stuc_in_a_sexual_rut

stuck in a sexual rut

 

In a recent post I discussed how to get unstuck using the six components of psychological flexibility.

  • Contact with the Present Moment (mindfulness).
  • Acceptance (acceptance).
  • Valued living (defining valued directions).  
  • Committed Action (commitment).
  • Observing Self (self-as-context).
  • Disentanglement (cognitive defusion) (Anstiss & Blonna, 2014).

These same six processes are used to get unstuck from unhelpful sexual thinking that is keeping you from having the kind of sex life and relationships you want and deserve.

In this post I want to focus on what Acceptance means and how it related to your sexuality.

Acceptance and willingness go hand in hand and lay the foundation for commitment. Acceptance builds upon mindfulness by teaching you to acknowledge and accept your troubling thoughts and painful emotions. When this happens your mind says things like; “Ok, I accept that I cannot control the troubling thoughts and painful emotions I have regarding my sexual goal.”

 

 

Acceptance  has four components:

  • accepting reality for what it is
  • accepting what you can and cannot control
  • accepting that trying to avoid, eliminate, or control painful internal factors actually makes them worse
  • accepting that the best way to manage painful internal factors is to accept them, and co-exist with them as you shift your focus off of them and onto taking values-congruent action

Accepting Reality For What it Is

The Japanese call this arugamama, accepting reality for what it is.  Accepting reality for what it is implies two things, (1) you accept whatever thoughts and unpleasant feelings you are experiencing at the moment and (2) you accept that experiencing painful and troubling thoughts and feelings is part of being human.

If you can accept these two fundamental truths, you can begin to shift your attention away from these troubling and painful thoughts and emotions and begin focusing on some purposeful work. In time the negative thoughts and emotions fade and are no longer stressful (Krech, 2002).

Accepting something and being willing to move forward while coexisting with it doesn’t mean you necessarily want it. It just means that you admit that it exists and you don’t deny it. It also means that you accept the fact that most of the goals you set for yourself will not come easy and will involve sacrifice, discipline and pain and suffering. You accept the existence of your pain and suffering as a starting point for dealing with it.

Accepting What You Can and Cannot Control

Acceptance training revolves around learning to accept things that are beyond your control. There are two sets of factors related to control;  internal factors and  external factors. Internal factors are the things that go on in your mind; your thoughts, personal scripts, mental images, and emotions. These internal factors come and go like the wind and most are beyond your conscious control. For example, if I told you to “feel happy”, you could not simply close your eyes and conjure up happiness. Similarly you could not summon up sadness, lust, or any other feeling.

 

 

External factors relate to your behavior and your environment. While you cannot control most of your thoughts or feelings, you can control your behavior. This is especially true in relationships. You can choose how you behave in relation to your thoughts and feelings. There is a relationship between behavior and thoughts and feelings.

For instance, you can trigger happy feelings by doing something that you know makes you feel joy. For example, I know from past experience that giving my wife a back or foot rub triggers feelings of love and tenderness in me. If I want to experience those emotions I can’t just will myself to feel them. I can however trigger them by doing something (giving her a back or foot rub).

You also have some degree of control over your micro-environment (living room, bedroom etc.). You can make modifications to any of these to enhance your sexuality and relationship (sensual sheets, candles, good music etc.).

Accepting That Trying to Avoid, Eliminate, or Control Painful Internal Factors Actually Makes Them Worse

The most important aspect of acceptance is the fact that when you try to avoid, control, or eliminate painful thoughts and feelings, you actually make them worse. This isn’t based on speculation or mysticism. It’s based on solid Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-based psychological research that studies the relationships among language, emotions, and behavior (Luoma, Hayes, and Walser 2007).

Another key point is that you cannot control, avoid, or eliminate your troubling thoughts and painful emotions by trying to figure them all out in your head without taking action  You need  to accept that trying to avoid, control, or eliminate troubling thoughts and painful emotions by figuring them out in your head only makes them worse. The more you try to work on them, the more you keep them in the forefront of your consciousness (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes & Roche, 2001, Luoma, Hayes, & Walser, 2007).

You Can’t Figure Them All Out in Your Head

Accepting that the best way to manage painful internal factors is to accept them, and co-exist with them as you shift your focus off of them and onto taking values-congruent action  

Instead of trying to control pain and suffering (and the self-talk that accompanies it), AC Coaching and ACT use acceptance and commitment to reduce pain and suffering by helping you learn how to coexist with it, while taking values-congruent action. In a sense, you take your troubling thoughts and painful emotions with you as you take valued action. In time, you learn that you do not need to control, avoid, or eliminate your pain and suffering to take action and meet your sexual and relationship goals.

A key component of coexisting with troubling thoughts and painful emotions while taking valued action is learning how to shift your focus off of them and onto behavior that is congruent with your values.

Krech (2002)  believes that the best way to do this is to shift your attention away from yourself (and your thoughts and feelings) is to engage in constructive action that involves the large muscle groups working at a moderate to fast pace. Things such as cleaning the house, gardening, going for a run or any kind of work or play that involves this kind of activity will eventually take your mind off of yourself and your problems.

 

 So, if you want more desire and passion, and great sex at any age stay tuned to this Great Sex Blog.

 

Each installment will focus on a different aspect of my Great Sex From the Inside Out Program, a new multi-session home study course for people just like you who have been in a committed sexual relationship for 5, 10, or more years and want to re-ignite the flame of desire or make it even brighter.

 

Thanks so much for reading this blog.

As a special gift I’d like to give you a copy of my free Sexual Mindfulness training session.  It is targeted to people who have been in committed sexual relationship for at least 5 years and are either in a sexual rut and want to re-ignite the flame of desire or are doing ok but would like to make it burn even brighter.                                                                                                   

 

 

This free one hour training session  combines a 30 minute video session about mindfulness and a sexy 30 minute audio session that shows you how to give a mindful back massage. Both sessions show how mindfulness can greatly enhance your sexual response and pleasure.

 

Get immediate access by downloading here:

 

Thanks again for your support,

Dr Rich

 

References:

Antiss, T., Blonna, R. (2014). Acceptance and Commitment Coaching.  in Passmore, J. Ed. (2014). Mastery in Coaching :A Complete Psychological Toolkit for Advanced Coaching. London: Kogan Page Publishing.

Krech, G. (2002). Naikan: Grace, gratitude, and the Japanese art of self-reflection . Berkeley, CA: Stone
Bridge Press.

Luoma, J.B., Hayes, S.C., & Walser, R.D. (2007). Learning ACT: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
skills-training manual for therapists. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

 

FREE REPORT

FREE REPORT

My free report will show you how to relax your muscles, calm your runaway mind, and get more energy and time to live a life filled with passion and purpose.

Thank you! We've added you to the mailing lists you selected.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This