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

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

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