Using Psychological Flexibility to Improve Your Relationships

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Learn how to use psychological flexibility to improve your relationships in this episode with Dr. Diana Hill.

Dr. Diana Hill is a clinical psychologist, podcaster, and expert in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a cutting-edge, evidence-based approach to living with psychological flexibility. Diana’s new book, co-authored with Dr. Debbie Sorensen, is ACT Daily Journal. It offers an 8-week program that breaks psychological flexibility into practical steps that guide you in living a life that aligns with your values. 

In this episode of Last First Date Radio:

  • What’s ACT and the research supporting its effectiveness
  • What’s psychological flexibility
  • The 6 core components that makeup psychological flexibility
  • What are values, and how are they different from morals and shoulds
  • How is psychological flexibility helpful in maintaining successful relationships
  • What are some specific practices to identify our values and start living them

Psychological Flexibility

What’s ACT and the research supporting its effectiveness?

ACT is a modern approach to therapy. It’s for people who are struggling and want to live more fully. It includes the wisdom of acceptance to pursue a life you care about.

It’s been beneficial to relationships. Psychological flexibility leads to greater sexual satisfaction and people are more satisfied with themselves and their partners. It’s also helpful for health and decreasing anxiety. 

What’s psychological flexibility and the 6 core components?

The six core components are:

  1. Perspective taking. On yourself and others. It helps build empathy and compassion.
  2. Being present. Having a beginner’s mind. Helps you to be compassionate.
  3. Values. They are about actions, verbs, and adverbs, not nouns. How do you want to be in the areas of your life? Process vs. outcome. No end point.Who you want to be vs what you want in a partner. Look at your places of pain or where you’re energized to find your values.
  4. Committed action. Falling on purpose. Being willing to fall and learn.
  5. Accepting and opening up to difficult situations.
  6. Your mind. Your mind doesn’t like to be controlled. We can start to get space from our thoughts. This helps with our self story. When your mind is critical or judgmental, listen to your heart and act from there. Move your hands and feet towards the life you want.

What are some specific practices to identify our values and start living them?

ACT in your daily life. A stands for accepting and opening to the present moment. C is for caring. What’s most important to you? T is to take a tiny step. Tiny moves are much more sustainable. They build over time. 

Watch the video of this episode here:

Get Diana’s journal if you’d like to dive deeper into the 6 steps

Free Gift: Transform Anxiety With These 6 Simple ACTs

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