The Power of Acceptance

At times, life can be challenging. We are exposed to triggers for anger, stress, and frustration daily. Triggers can be viewed as small (like stubbing your toe or misplacing your keys) or large (like traffic making you late to work). When exposed to triggers, if you already struggle to regulate your emotions, you may be more likely to react in anger. This may result in you behaving in ways you later regret.

Sometimes, you may feel like you have little control over your anger. How can you change the traffic patterns making you late to work? How do you make the long lines at the grocery store move faster? How can you just get that co-worker to stop their annoying habits? The answer: you can’t. This may cause you to feel hopeless and powerless. Those feelings are some of the largest triggers for anger.

There is a solution, however, that is guaranteed to give you more control over your anger. This solution will require you to adapt to a new way of living and thinking. If you can make a commitment to practicing this solution daily, you will have a significant decrease in the anger you experience. What is this solution?


To accept means to be willing to tolerate a difficult or challenging situation. Acceptance means saying yes to the things that most challenge you and no to negative emotions or unwanted behaviors. Accepting something means recognizing what you can’t control and instead choosing to tolerate it and change what you can control.

The most important piece of acceptance is recognizing that, in most circumstances, “it is what it is.” The only thing you can control is yourself, so stop trying to control everything else. Instead, identify what you can control within you and take action. Remember, accepting something does not mean you have to like it; It just means you are willing to make it work to the best of your ability.

Try making this your new motto: “It is what it is.” 

Though this strategy may seem difficult for some, give it a try. First, start with the small things: a line at a grocery store, traffic, or a rude customer at work. Say to yourself, “it is what it is” and try to identify what you can control (within you). As you get better at this, apply it to more challenging situations. Remember, practice makes progress.

Begin to accept and you will realize, all of the control you need lies within you.


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