Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the latest version, if you will, of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). During ACT, we learn how to accept our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, without judging them as being good or bad. We also learn what do we care most about and what are we willing to do in order to follow what we deeply care about, and not what our thoughts or feelings are telling us do to. ACT is divided into six core principles that are explained here by the 6 ACT Superheroes. So if you want to become an ACT superhero, follow this guidance:
1. The Diffuser: This superhero can read people’s thoughts. If you want to be the Diffuser- all you need to do is to focus on your thoughts and say to yourself: “I am having a thought that…”. This way you will start to notice that you feel more detached from your thoughts and more able to observe them and read them as if they were someone else’s.
2. The Accepter: This superhero accepts all his unpleasant feelings and sensations so nothing can ever hurt him. If you want to be the accepter- practice letting your unpleasant feelings and sensations come and go as they wish. When you are feeling anxious, try to focus on the unpleasant sensation and welcome it by saying “Hi anxiety, what’s up?” and when you do not feel it anymore you can say, “See ya’ later”.
3. The Watch Stopper: This superhero can stop the time from moving and only concentrate on the present moment. If you want to be the Watch Stopper- you want to pay attention to your 5-senses in a given moment. Stop reading this article and practice paying attention to 5 things you can see around you, 4 things you can smell, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can touch, and 1 thing you can taste.
4. The Mirror: This superhero can observe himself whenever he feels like it, without using a mirror. If you want to become the Mirror all you need to do is focus on your thoughts again and tell yourself “I am having a thought that…” Then try to imagine your thought and you looking at this thought from the mirror, can you see it? Can you imagine your thought to be looking at you back from the mirror?
5. The Valuer: This superhero is the leader of all superheroes. He is the one who decides what is important in life and what all superheroes stand for. If you want to be the Valuer- write down what are the things that are important to you in your life and what qualities are important in a best friend. This way you will learn what type of person you want to be.
6. The Actioner: This is the Valuer’s sidekick. He decides what to do with the Valuer’s values. If you want to be the Actioner, you should write down a list of things you can do in order to become an ACT superhero.