Acceptance, Non-Attachment & Surrender: How Buddhist Principles Decrease Stress

Woman reading a book.

I recently watched an episode of “Portlandia” in which Fred and Carrie, discussing all of the political/environmental/social justice issues one can be concerned about, decide to just “give up”. While the video is obviously a spoof and meant to be tongue-in-cheek, as a Buddhist psychotherapist, I couldn’t agree more with their plea to unburden their minds and let it all go!

Since Trump became President, I have had numerous clients come to see me for psychological distress (anxiety, rage, etc.) caused by our current political reality. And while I would never tell any of them to just “give up” caring about the topics and issues that interest them, I do offer advice that is rooted in Buddhist principles of acceptance, non-attachment and surrender.

Clients often seem confused about these principles, particularly in regard to conflating acceptance, non-attachment and surrender with a sort of defeatist attitude, or a passive condoning. Clients struggle to reconcile these Buddhist notions with ambition or any type of goal-oriented action.

So what do these ideas really mean? And how do they relate to mental health and well-being? Read on to find out!

So today, help yourself out and practice letting go – soon enough you’ll know exactly what the Buddha meant when he said “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

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