ACCEPTS is an acronym for a distress tolerance technique that involves distracting yourself. Sometimes, a great way to see yourself through a crisis situation is to separate yourself immediately from the problem in the short-term. This allows us to step away momentarily and come back refreshed to whatever challenge or crisis we’re facing. It’s important to remember though that there’s a big difference between simply distracting yourself over a short period of time as opposed to consistently avoiding an issue over a longer period of time, which could make things worse.
There are various distracting techniques we can utilize.
A – Activities: Watch an episode of your favorite Youtube channel, go for a walk or exercise, play video games, clean up a room or area in your home, hang out with a friend or your family, read a book, or complete a puzzle.
C – Contributing: Sign up to do some volunteer work. Help a buddy or family member with a project. Donate items you no longer need, or simply do something nice for someone else such as providing words of encouragement or giving someone a hug.
C – Comparisons: Think about how you feel now as compared to a different time. Watch a humbling documentary on crime or poverty. Remember how fortunate you may be, and think of the different people in the world who may be dealing with your same issue.
E – opposite Emotions: Sad? Read a funny book. Bored? Watch an emotional movie. Listen to a powerful song or album. It can be all types of emotions to distract yourself from a distressing one. Watch a scary movie or a comedy or listen to relaxing music.
P – Pushing away: Whatever the situation is, simply push it to the side for a while. Deny the problem for a moment. Block out painful thoughts or images from your mind and refuse to think about it.
T – Thoughts: Count something, whether it’s to 10 or the number of flowers in a pot. Repeat words of your favorite song in your head or watch or read something thought-provoking.
S – Sensations: Squeeze that stress ball. Take a hot or cold shower. Or crank up some loud music.
Why Do People Watch Crime Documentaries?
Though it might seem horrible, it is normal phenomenon to watch or dwell on the misfortune of others. Us humans actually do this as a coping mechanism and survival technique when going through a stressful scenario. Whether they mean to or not, avid crime watchers engage in wise mind ACCEPTS through comparisons. They see that they are much better off where they are than say the crime victim or the family of the deceased. They also engage in ACCEPTS through pushing away. Because of the nature f crime shows, they often grip you and allow you to forget your life for a while, thus pushing away your concerns. I wouldn't recommend too much though as they can be depressing and leave you anxiety-ridden and locking the doors! If you find that it is too much negativity all together, try an animal documentary instead which some may find relaxing. Or not!