Has anyone had success supplementing the actualism method with ‘conventional’ mental health practices? I’m thinking of things like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and interpersonal therapy.
I came across a book called ‘Ten Times Happier’ by Owen O’kane, which piqued my interest and it uses some of these techniques. Since the actualism method is ‘enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive’ then I’m wondering if some of these methods could boost success of implementing the method. Particularly for really stubborn aspects of the identity that can cause us to spiral into negative thought patterns and moods. We have silly/sensible and investigation as tools for dealing with negative emotions but I still get stuck at times.
I realise this is potentially a can of worms, since the AFT is dead against actualism being ‘watered down’, however I don’t see any belief systems being bolted onto actualism here. It just seems like some practical frameworks for improving your mental health and making you happier - and potentially letting go of some negative emotions.
I also have been having some issues related to my adrenals and my doctor is keen for me to keep my stress levels down. She suggested meditation as one possible solution (gasp ) but I’m reluctant to try it in case it interferes with my actualism practice. Would 10 minutes a day of quieting the mind interfere with actualism? I’d obviously steer clear of any vipassana type practices.
It’s an interesting question. I was in analytical therapy for a number of years right up until the time I became actually free. I found it useful in terms of making me more aware of my emotional makeup - especially about things I was barely conscious of. I definitely don’t think its a must. Don’t think anyone else who became actually free did so, but hey, that’s what I did.
I think it’s fine, but there is a problem in terms of a conflict of paradigms which needs to be carefully thought about if you are going to make actualism work with x-therapy. Even more important if your aim is actual freedom. On the downside arguably therapy can enhance attachment to self and prolong the transition to actual freedom. I suspect this may have happened with me. Most dynamic therapies are about minimising self conflict and increasing cohesion after-all. There are always more issues to work through, more defences to explore, more relationships to analyse and optimise. But then that never-ending merry-go-round also drove home the point that this was was a forever war that I just could not win and getting out of the human condition was the only solution. CBT and EMDR are more circumscribed and potentially less problematic for that reason - but I’ve always tended to find them a little boring
Hey, this is my first post. My nick in slack was rasengan(pretty much a lurker, though I participated in the last video chat with @geoffrey ).
This post has been a long time coming, so thanks for the nudge.
I want to preface everything with my understanding / theory of where wellbeing / stress-management fits within the framework of actualism. I’m curious about you guys’ opinions about it, especially @Srinath (as he’s a mental health professional and has more knowledge). So here it goes.
It’s my view that the feeling-bad / feeling-good continuum is completely orthogonal to the feeling-bad-feelings / feeling-good-feelings continuum. My intuition is that feeling-good is basically about the autonomous nervous system’s(ANS from now on) evaluation of how bad/good the current situation is.
Thus, imo you need a healthy(well calibrated) ANS in order to consistently choose to enjoy and appreciate. Even if you don’t agree, with this view I’m confident that most of the practices I’ll outline below are complementary to actualism practice and can only help.
What follows are various physiologically based practices that have been working for me. Think of them as a quick guide to wellbeing. Some of these apply to everyone, and others are a kind of Pre-Actualism - stuff I do to get my baseline to a level when feeling-neutral / feeling-good seems like a real posibility. I mean this both short long term and long term - that is both within a single day(when I’m good I can apply the actual actualism method) and on longer timespans - in order to be able to more consistently apply the method. Now I’m perfectly aware that’s not the way it is to be done, but I also know where I’m coming from and where I stand right now.
Standalone practices - that is stuff you gotta make time for and gradually improves your baseline / processes nervous energy:
Zone 2 aerobic workouts - basically you do whatever aerobic activity you like and keep your heart rate around 60% - 70% of you heart rate maximum. There is a more formal definition involving blood lactate concentrations, but this is irrelevant here(for more details check this)
This gets me feeeling pretty well, both whilst doing it and after. It also improves my breathing practice(more on that later) Plus there’s added self-regulation if you try to keep you pulse down consciously(that is without changing tempo). My intuition about how it works is that it improves heart rate variability, thus regulating the ANS.
Hrv breathing - belly breathe, inhaling for 4s, exhaling for 6s. Do it for 10-20min 1-2 times a day. There are more details, like the “perfect” breathing frequency which is individual. I “heard” about it from Tim Ferris, who recommended this book. The book is a bit bullshitty american stuff, but the breathing works.
It was a bit hard for me to get it going for me and it’s still improving but it definitely helps, to the point that the stress reduction lead to my lifelong digestive issues improving and I can now eat stuff that I couldn’t before. There is much much more depth to breath practices and I recommend Iyengar’s Light on pranayama for a very robust - even if slightly tinted by spiritual dogma, the practices themselves are purely physiological.
Stress innoculation - use some physiological factor to create a controlled level of acute short term stress. This works by calibrating your nervous system to what is actually a high level of stress, thus shows it that it doesn’t need to overreact for everyday stuff, cos here is what “real stress” looks like. Also probably makes your parasympathetic NS compensate.
Here are some examples. What is paramount here is that you don’t overdo it and keep calm during the whole thing - the physiological stuff will generate enough stress. Err on the side of mildness. If you do too much you’d just stress yourself and achieve a negative effect.
Interval training - for example sprint for 30s, walk for 30s, repeat 5-10 times. I feel great afterwords(when I don’t overdo it)
Cold exposure - have a brief cold shower. You can gradually scale both the time and the coldness.This is just great after you do it a few times - highly recommend.
Wim hof breathing - instructions. This is also pretty nice (when you don’t overdo the breathholds ). This guy is a bit of a whacko, but the stuff works(I personally do it only ocasionally to be honest), and it also has some scientific studies on it if that’s your thing
Napping - no need to explain, a quick 10-15min mid day does wonders for me when I have the time. For me the biggest benefit comes from just from “touching” the hypnagogic state and stopping there. This can be done in like 5min.
musculoskeletal tension - stretching can help a lot, when you relax your muscles you also relax your nervous system. There’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence of psychological trauma getting released with deep flexibility work.
fascial adhesions - these are places where the fascia(a.k.a. connective tissue) doesnt slide or stretch in the way it’s supposed to. They also generate a ton of nervous tension for me. Getting rid of them(still in the Loong process) has improved my well being a lot. This can be done by a professional(MFR for example), or at home with massage balls, foam-rollers etc.
All day long practices - quick / easy stuff you can do periodically to nudge yourself into feeling better. This works similarly to the actualism method - when you notice yourself dipping too much into feeling bad or dissociating too much - try and self regulate. Now here the intention is the most important thing and you don’t need to do something concrete, sometimes just noticing with intention is enough. That being said here are some physiological tricks that can give you a gentle kick in the right direction when you need it:
Rosenberg’s basic exercise - instructions. Basically interlock your fingers on the back of your head and look to the side. It exploits the physiology of the cranial nerves to elicit a parasympathetic activation. This works for me but not for some people - probably intention makes the difference.
Instruction video for next 4 - all these work quite well for me
tapping - works for me, but not consistently(may be just placebo, but does it matter). You can also just put gentle pressure on these points.
laughter - watch some cat videos :)(also important to not overdo)
inversions - like a headstand.
cold water facewash - triggers the dive reflex, really refreshing for me. Works better if you get the ears and neck also
There are probably lots more, but intention and habit are key.
Sleep - sleeping well and enough makes a big difference in my wellbeing
A simple trick - that calibrates your circadean rythms and improves your mood in the morning is to see direct sunlight(that means not while driving or through window) for around 10min each morning not more than 1-2 hours after waking up. More on that here
Diet - I don’t wanna open the gates of hell, so just sharing some simple diet-religion agnostic stuff that helps with being more stable
Avoid large doses of fast carbs (that is high glycemic index) - these will spike and than crash your blood sugar and make it harder to start burning fat again. All of this makes for a pretty unnecessarily worsened mood
Intermittent fasting - Give your body a break and don’t stuff your face all the time your awake . I definitely feel better since I started doing it, my mood is much more stable, and I experience much less hunger than before. Choose a window of hours and eat only than - for example 10am to 6pm. No need to go overboard but it’s be nice to not eat for at least 12 hours. (some aficionados will say I should say time restricted feeding…)
These may not be exactly what you had in mind, but I do think they help a great deal and are not in conflict with the paradigm of actualism.
Yes, absolutely, but with all the interesting things that @Srinath and @proporcrutch have said and recommended, I want to see what you think, if you have already practiced some of that and if you can/want to add some more specific comments.
This is an interesting discussion. When I started actualism a year and a bit ago, I was having daily chronic stress reactions (imagine a cup of cortisol being poured into you and flushing your body). Some people have said that’s a panic attack - I thought a panic attack is more when you start hyperventilating and stuff.
Anyway, with my personality, and suffering as I was a lot at the time, I do wish I had been less “hard core” actualism wise and used more normal everyday things to facilitate a return to feeling good. I was prescribed an SSRI at the time (and again 6 months later) which I never took as I was worried about possible long term effects on my brain (are there any?). In retrospect I probably needed it even if actualism has eventually been working over time. But what was also lacking was rest, social life, fun etc. Rather than PCE walks where I was going out for hours and literally yawning from anxiety. I was completely out of whack.
I do think this was a sympathetic nervous system thing, which can make practising actualism difficult if it’s chronic - especially whilst having to keep up a fulltime job on top of that. Hence that quote on Slack about how being well-adjusted is important to actualism. I wasn’t aware of any methods to make positive changes on my nervous system - but exercise definitely wasn’t working, that only exacerbated chronic stress. Also I remember being “triggered” when I went swimming in a cold lake. This has all got better over time but it has taken ages. I haven’t had a panic attack for about 2-3 months and I now experience REM sleep every night, whereas for like a year, I didn’t. I do still have a kind of residual exhaustion which I am making lifestyle changes to deal with (holiday leave, 4 day work week) - whilst keeping firmly in the picture that ‘I’ am the cause of all this and that any havoc or stress on the body is caused by me. That’s the main thing. By the way before I wouldve gone on holiday and made it just an abandoned beach or something “for actualism” lol, whereas these days - I will just go to a nice resort haha.
Anyway, the list that proporcrutch (seriously that name? ) provided includes a couple of things I do. The 2 breaths in long breath out is a good one. I also do “legs up” which is supposed to activate the parasympathetic NS - you literally just hang out with your feet against a wall or up on a couch. Walking is always good. Or just sitting - going to a park and leaving the phone. I was thinking of getting into yoga for flexibility.
BUT - nothing works like a proper PCE walk when done right. The level of naivete etc experienced the other night, I fell asleep like a baby. It is much more calm inducing than pretty much any other activity because it’s YOU making everything stressful or exhausting or exhilirating so when you are thin or go away, that"s the best thing you could do for your body.
Anyway, my point is that I don’t think it’s bad to have supplementary activities to actualism. There aren’t rules to actualism about what you can and can’t do. If you want to meditate you can. If you want to ice bucket challenge yourself every day you can. But it’s up to the individual to be cognisant of whether these things are really diverting oneself from the real problem, which is you. And also whether you are really doing anything actualism wise. For example CBT is more likely to change your beliefs rather than get rid of them. But for a majorly traumatised individual who can’t face their feelings, this might be a good first step for actualism. No point just doing the real world stuff with no actualism though - PCE walks, triggers, getting back to feeling good etc.
Also people can talk about all thiz stuff on here - mention it to the group etc about what they are doing and sound out what others think.
Thanks Srinath, great to hear your perspective especially given your professional background. I think some of these techniques could definitely be helpful as long as an ‘actualism first’ mindset is kept in place.
Great (first) post @proporcrutch, thanks for taking the time to collate all of that! My thinking has been similar - that using various techniques to improve our physiology and general mental wellbeing can provide a solid foundation for practicing actualism - and make us more successful at practicing the method. I’ve actually practiced a few things on your list but there are a few others that I’m going to integrate, like the HRV breathing to keep stress levels down.
Your situation sounds similar to my own @Felix. My doctor suspects I have problems with cortisol and the HPA axis, so I’m in the process of having a bunch of tests done related to the adrenals, nutrition, metabolism etc.
I’ve lived quite fast, which is the norm for someone who grows up in a council estate in the UK. Alcohol and weed during teenage years, terrible diet of fried foods and sugar (sometimes combined, deep fried mars bar anyone ), MDMA in later teens, then onto working too much in adulthood and far too much stress, lack of sleep from having kids etc. It’s no wonder my body is fucked, lol.
I’m trying to turn it around now, massively cutting down alcohol, healthy diet, 4-day work week etc. You’ve given me extra motivation to crank up the PCE walks too. It feels like I’m being held back by this adrenal stuff and if I can get over it then it should be much easier to be consistently happy.
I’m going to start meditating 10 mins a day also using the book Ten to Zen (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ten-Zen-Minutes-Calmer-Happier/dp/1509893679) because I’ve seen lots of reports that meditation can really help with adrenal issues. The book seems quite practical and grounded in conventional medicine rather than buddhist in nature. The guy who wrote it is quite high up in the UK National Health Service.
If you think of any other tips for adrenal issues then I’d be happy to hear them.
@Felix, sounds like you had anxiety for sure, the panic attack does have that feeling too but there seem to be different level panic attacks with that feeling (I think of it as how you feel when a wasp flies in your face, except continuous rather than a few seconds) then you have the really intense ones which have the problems with breathing, insane heart rate and shaking on top of it, truly a sense you are dying.
I have finally weaned off of my SSRI’s this year after over a decade of on and off treatment. They have helped me at times when really needed, to get back to a better baseline. They do interfere with your adrenaline levels it seems, appetite and sleep. The only medical side effect I definitely know about their long term use is that they started to impact the blood vessels in my eyes.
You mentioned lack of rest and in hindsight I think this is super important. What I can say is that all my periods of panic attacks, worst periods of anxiety and depression all seem correlated to times of insomnia, or general poor quality sleep and rest, as well as lack of relaxation due to life stresses, work, commute, young kids etc. I think sleep is now super important, where as previously I would feel guilty sleeping, like I was wasting my time.
CBT has helped me too during bouts of heightened anxiety and depression and agree with what @Felix says about helping to deal with unresolved traumas, but I can see limitations in it as well. I think the problem with high levels of anxiety is that it seems to interfere with your ability to think or remember instructions (such as HAIETMOBA), it can be like a fog. It takes far more effort to get to current time awareness, at least for me that has always been the case.
Exercise is helpful, during lockdown I have let myself put on weight and get unfit for the first time in my life and it is a real struggle at the moment to get back to fitness. Something to definitely maintain and keep up.
During my recovery when run over, I found the EFT Tapping technique helpful for distracting myself from the anxiety and pain. I still tried my best to do the actual freedom method during these tough periods, but I was a mess to be honest.
@carpe_vitae, I didn’t realise (or don’t remember) that you were from the UK too. I haven’t had a deep-fried mars bars in years lol.
I grew up on a council estate too, but I understand what you mean about the fast life. Though my parents cooked home food and very healthily. (A lot of friends wouldn’t stay for dinner at mine because it was proper food lol).
I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, I was probably exposed to more bad habits by being in this environment where it is more normalised. As soon as I started earning money from jobs (15 yrs old) I would fund these bad habits, excluding the drugs.
My dad was strict on healthy food and minimal sugar. However, my dad was totally liberal on the use of alcohol and drugs. Its so cliched, but I can see I abuse the things my dad was more strict on. I have real bad relationship with sugar which has come to the fore since lockdown.
I have tried a few things drug wise but never really got into anything other than alcohol, more so because I was too uptight and fearful, I would be convinced I would be the sort of person who would die or end up in a coma. I was too paranoid to enjoy them. I never trusted anything manufactured like MDMA either. Though all around me my friends have been impacted by lifestyle, bad diets, too much alcohol and drugs. This is the reason my friend died last year, who introduced me to actual freedom.
It’s weird how you end up with these weird food relationships associated with how your parents treated you.
I never really thought about how some of these bad habits might have contributed towards slowing my recovery as well, on the anxiety side especially.
What kind of symptoms are you having with the adrenal stuff?
Yes, I think it’s a good idea to try it because of all your symptoms. I have practiced Mindfulness for several years after taking the traditional course “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the pioneers in scientifically researching of non-religious meditation. MBRS was basically created so patients and research subjects could practice meditation in clear and repeatable steps, and its benefits could be measured consistently in relation to their illnesses.
As a complement, he is one of those who removed the limit that mindfulness can only be practiced sitting and in certain conditions (“formal meditation”), so he proposes to reach the point of being able to practice it while walking, washing the dishes, etc. (“informal meditation”).
Considering that he defines mindfulness as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”, I was not surprised that at least in me it boosted and improved my results with AF (it’s good to clarify that I did the MBRS course after practicing AF for some years, due to chronic stress and somatic problems that I wanted to address with other methods too).
Books like “Wherever You Go, There You Are”, “Full Catastrophe Living”, “The Mindful Way through Depression” may be useful also for reflection and to hear about success stories from those who have experienced similar problems.
Yeah, definitely more normalised in this environment. I suspect that more upper classed neighbourhoods had less of these problems with diet and alcohol / drugs. Good that you had healthy meals though, that’s a good thing in hindsight though you maybe didn’t appreciate it so much at the time.
The adrenal issues (or HPA Axis Dysfunction to give its proper name, also sometimes gets incorrectly called Adrenal Fatigue) have given me symptoms such as being tired all the time, brain fog, trouble staying asleep. Some more info here: HPA Axis Dysfunction and Hidden Stress - Ann Shippy MD. Tackling is going to take some major lifestyle changes, with regards diet, minimising stress, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, sugar as much as possible, trying to get proper sleep every night etc.
We live a life so detached from our evolution, which I think is the cause for so many modern illnesses. Our ancestors stress response was only triggered rarely when being chased by a bear etc, whereas we can spend much of our lives in high stress, sat at a computer screen all day, eating garbage - it’s massively taxing on the body.
Secondly, regarding “non-judgmentally” – in the context of mindfulness meditation this means something else and is not compatible with actualism.
The goal of what has become known as “mindfulness meditation” in the West, is to simply be “aware” or “mindful” of all phenomena – and what this means, precisely to each person, varies so much that it "has become a “floating signifier” (aka “empty signifier”) whereby it attracts meaning rather than provide specific reference" [Richard]) – to the point where “nothing is to be done” about any phenomena, regardless of what it is, whether it is a pleasant sensation or unpleasant, or notably, whether it is a good feeling, bad feeling, or felicitous feeling.
That is, the purpose of “paying attention […] non-judgmentally” is not to minimize the good and bad feelings and maximize the felicitous feelings, which facilitates the enjoyment and appreciation of being alive that the actualism method is – but rather to simply “pay attention” and not do anything else about it.
While the idea with actualism when being aware of your emotions is to not ‘judge’ them in the moral sense, of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’… it is certainly to be exceedingly discriminatory and perceptive to differences such as to accurately judge, indeed, whether it is a good, bad, or felicitous feeling, among other things.
Because of this among other things, mindfulness meditation is contraindicated for supporting the purpose of actualism.
Personally speaking, this was very destructive to my own life and well-being, as it made the altered states of consciousness resulting from my meditation becoming, via conditioning, an ongoing part of daily life, as opposed to just occurring in limited settings, making it a very hard mess to get myself out of.
While this snippet, out of context, might apply to the actualism method, in the proper context, mindfulness leads to an entirely different thing. My recommendation is to drop it entirely and employ the actualism method directly, instead of attempting to find similarities to the actualism method as part of another practice which is derived from a spiritual practice that is actually 180 degrees opposite from actualism.
“compassion” means roughly “suffering with” (“from com “with, together” (see com-) + pati “to suffer” (see passion).”, [etymonline], as in to experience and therefore suffer with somebody else’s pain in order to trigger someone to an action that is supposed to be beneficial for the other.
Harmlessness in the context of actualism is inseparable from happiness and any form of suffering, be it on your own behalf or someone else’s behalf, will of course diminish from that happiness which will therefore equally diminish from that harmlessness. Harmlessness is not about compassion, but rather, about the absence of malice – just like happiness is about the absence of sorrow.
“Being your own best friend” simply refers to not having malice towards yourself.
While a spiritual person might describe compassion as “being kind to oneself and others” and, if you squint and tilt your head and blur the edges that looks like it might superficially resemble something in actualism… it is far more prudent to keep your eyes wide open, look at everything in context, see the essential differences, and then embark on the path that is repeatedly proven to get you to where you want to go (actual freedom), as opposed to going down side-paths that have repeatedly been shown not to get you there.
That being said it is all about seeing it for yourself, so I write this as advice but also as something to keep in mind while you are still attracted by and interested in a somewhat de-spiritualized “mindfulness”.
I cannot speak to their efficaciousness at repairing health issues, but in my experience actualism can’t really be practiced effectively until these semi-spiritual trappings are dropped.
It was not my intention to equate the two disciplines (not even the definition I quoted) because I think I understand the theoretical and practical differences (some less subtle, others more subtle; I even knew that quote from Richard).
So your clarifications are good in case my answer leads to believe that I made an analogical parallelism between one discipline and the other (especially my statement that “I was not surprised that at least in me it boosted and improved my results with AF”, after mentioning KZ definition).
I meant to say that Mindfulness greatly improved my stress and somatic problems, attributing it to the aspects it does share with AF and in spite of its differences. Therefore, I must have managed to keep the two disciplines correctly separated so as not to fall into the “semi-spiritual trappings” into which indeed, as you said, one can fall.
On the other hand, the informal practice (at least as I did it) indeed enhanced my AF practice, so I attributed it to the aspects they share rather than what they don’t (but I may be wrong).
Because of the detriments you say Mindfulness produced for you, obviously in that we had different experiences/results.
So I tried to respond to @carpe_vitae about supplementing actualism with conventional mental health methods adding (perhaps confusingly) that Minfulness had not in my case been negative to my AF practice.
Similar to how Srinath was “in analytical therapy for a number of years right up until the time I became actually free”; and that he “found it useful in terms of making me more aware of my emotional makeup - especially about things I was barely conscious off”. But he still warns that “there is a problem in terms of a conflict of paradigms which needs to be carefully thought about”.
So your comment helps to warn that the same problems could happen with Mindfulness or other practices with respect to AF.
I’m not a fan of invoking either the ANS or the adrenals/HPA axis - at least not with the confidence and specificity some here have suggested as I don’t think the evidence really backs it up as yet. Although no doubt they are involved in some way. I still think that stress and unhappiness is primarily a ‘self’ issue. The ‘self’ isn’t necessarily reducible to physiological processes.
I’m also not a fan of the ‘kitchen sink’ approach that @proporcrutch has suggested. Although I would not want to pick on him.
And while I did embark on therapy - as an ‘insider’ I probably understood its theoretical underpinnings, benefits and shortcomings in a way that few people undergoing therapy would. Also I think there is something to be said about a technique that focuses on marketplace issues and of problems that result in ones embeddness in society. I thought it made for a nice complement to actualism. Having said that the AFT is not big on therapy: Peter SC Therapy. However Peter’s analysis and conclusions here don’t entirely make sense to me. My mentioned caveats from previous post applies.
Like @Felix said I do think that the actualism method requires that minimum that one be able to face ones feelings. Someone who is traumatised, severely depressed or anxious would this difficult and the last thing I would want to do is deride someone in a tough spot desperately looking for help.
Maybe it’s a question of the quantum of energy and attention invested in these other things. If someone is doing some reasonable ‘self-care’ on the side then I don’t think its a problem. But if the actualism method is so inadequate as to necessitate the use of a 101 other things to keep oneself afloat then maybe we need to look at application of the actualism method and how it can be made more effective for that particular person?
Rather than focus on other methods (which lets face it we are not going to be able to ban or abolish - assuming we even think thats a good idea) It might be good to discuss the difficulties that people are having applying the actualism method. We have a habit over here of saying how great the actualism method is and so on, but not so much is said on how difficult it can be to apply it in practise. Its so simple and open that it can actually be quite tricky to apply. As a feeling being I often found it difficult. Maybe we can have a discussion, a clinic if you will about this?
As for mindfulness and MBSR … whatever @claudiu said
. I think this makes sense. There’s rarely a really super nitty gritty working through each aspect of a particular thing for someone or walking through practical application of it. And as I would say it only relatively recently started having huge benefits for me , after almost 10 years of exposure, it seems warranted.
And yea I don’t think we should try to ban or abolish other methods. Firstly we can’t control people (or why would we want to if we could) and so if someone finds something interesting they will explore it anyway. I think better to allow people to do it but with being forewarned with the ways in which it is not Actualism and the potential pitfalls that await. As the only way people will see it is for themselves. So i see it more like providing a “safe space” for exploration where we minimize possible “dangers” and pitfalls and consequences and maximize efficaciousness of exploration. Better to allow these discussions and provide a place where everything can be discussed in the context of Actualism , IMO.
Indeed I think this would be more effective. One of the reasons I write about why this and that isn’t Actualism or isn’t compatible is to simply inform people so that they are capable of making the choice. And indeed if you are spending time on not Actualism then you won’t get “better” at Actualism. I think better people know what they are getting themselves into so they can choose to focus on Actualism instead … or on other methods if they think that’s best for them at this point.
Indeed not sure how to handle cases of trauma or severe anxiety etc … I was perpetually anxious for extended periods a few years ago. That has stopped happening now but I would say a lot of it was life changes… but I may not have made those life changes if not for Actualism. And I certainly for many years now have been thinking about , contemplating and guiding my life with Actualism in mind. But again only recently seeing really rapid and huge effects (as opposed to gradual being much better off)… but I also would say I only really recently started applying the method properly. Might be a chicken or the egg problem lol.