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

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

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

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!

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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