Committed action

Committed action involves the specification of actions or goals that individuals pledge to take, in order to move toward their values (Hayes et al. 2012). Taking committed action will likely involve creating an (albeit perhaps informal) action plan that specifies the goal, how it will be achieved, psychological and external barriers that may get in the way of achieving the goal, and perhaps even a time frame in which sub-goals and the goal itself will be met (Bond et al. 2006). Importantly, the concept of committed action implies strongly that problems are an inevitable part of working toward goals, and they should be expected and addressed (Hayes et al. 2011). Psychological “problems” such as anxiety, and other unwanted internal events, are considered “normal” and not something that needs to be changed or gotten rid of in order to achieve one’s goals; people need only approach them from a mindful perspective.

Self as context

Self as context (SAC) is a complex process that has a wide range of psychological implications, for matters ranging from mental health and autistic spectrum disorder to cognitive ability (Hayes et al. 2012). One key function of SAC is that it creates a psychological space from which people can mindfully observe their self-conceptualizations (e.g., “I am a shy person," “I am a good partner”), without having such conceptualizations overly determine their actions (Hayes et al. 2012). Instead, from a perspective of SAC, and the mindfulness it promotes, people are better able to take actions, in a given context, that are more consistent with their values (e.g., intimacy) than their thoughts as to who they are (e.g., an unlovable person) and who they are not (e.g., confident). As we discuss later, SAC also constitutes a more stable perspective from where people can observe their internal events as part of themselves but not wholly themselves; they are more than the constantly fluctuating private experiences that they experience. As research shows, when people view their thoughts, feelings, and memories from the perspective of SAC, then these internal events tend to exert a less problematic or emotional impact (Foody et al. 2013).

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