11 people share how acceptance led them to a happier life.

What have you learned to accept that has made you more content?

I have a habit.

It's a quirk, if you will, that likes to creep up once in a while: I have the involuntary urge to type the dialogue I'm watching on TV (like, on an imaginary typewriter).

This sounds odd, I know. I don't like it. It distracts me. But I've learned to not let it bug me when it happens. I've realized that the habit exists, so I recognize my feelings of resistance to it, and I ultimately accept it as my reality. Over time, it passes, and I've noticed that when I'm not thinking about how annoying it is, it doesn't bother me as much.


Acceptance is one of the most difficult steps when dealing with any unpleasant situation that's affecting our lives.

All of us handle it differently. We have ways that work for us when we're trying to come to terms with an issues that causes us harm — emotionally, physically, or psychologically.

And on Sept. 6, 2016, the thought-provoking hashtag #IveLearnedToAccept started trending on Twitter, inspiring an interesting conversation about this very thing.

These 11 tweets perfectly capture the powerful range of responses:

1. Like coming to difficult realizations.

2. Or not caring about what others think.

3. And learning to love yourself just the way you are.

4. Some observations made me chuckle.

5. And they made me think about unconditional love, like Regina and her dad.

6. Others were powerful reminders that a lot of things are out of our control.

7. And there were lots of reminders that we can't please everyone.

8. Other tweets spoke about the timing of our lives.

9. Or put it very simply...

10. Sure, life can seem unfair sometimes.

11. But as soon as we accept that, we can learn to better appreciate the little things.

Dr. Steve Taylor, a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Becket University, explained to me that acceptance can actually be the difference between well-being and unhappiness.

"The act of acceptance releases frustration and resentment and connects us to the present experience of our lives. We are no longer in conflict with our experience, but embrace it," he says.

He even came up with four steps that can help get you started when something's bugging you and you realize you need to face the issue head-on:

  • Become aware of your negative feelings and thoughts. Acknowledge them.
  • Give your attention to the reality of the situation. Maybe if you're irritated waiting for an appointment, notice the artwork in the office or listen to the music they may be playing in the waiting room.
  • Consciously replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Catch yourself when you're being a negative Nancy and do a 360 on that train of thought. That tends to get easier with practice.
  • If you still feel any resistance to what you were having trouble accepting, make like "Frozen" and let it go! Instead of running from your reality, run toward it and give it a great big hug.

These steps may not work for everyone, but they can help kickstart your acceptance streak.

Here's to the path to a freer, more relaxed, and happier you!

Family

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture