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Mental Health: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: What Are Your Values?

Values are part of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy’s Commitment and Values-based Living, helping to learn to free yourself from the traps and barriers of life and see what you really want your life to be.

A value is a life direction, an internal compass that guides us throughout life. Values are different from goals that have an end-point. Values are often life-long. Perhaps what we would like to be remembered for, or written as our epitaph, our headstone inscription.

Values give life meaning and purpose.

To identify our values, we can think about what it is in life that is REALLY important to us, the most important, what gives our life meaning and purpose.

Acceptance: to be open to and accepting of myself, others, life, etc.

Adventure: to be adventurous, to actively seek, create, or explore novel or stimulating experiences

Assertiveness: to respectfully stand up for my rights and request what I want

Authenticity: to be authentic, genuine, real; to be true to myself

Beauty: to appreciate, create, nurture or cultivate beauty in myself, others, the environment, etc.

Caring: to be caring towards myself, others, the environment, etc.

Challenge: to keep challenging myself to grow, learn, improve

Compassion: to act with kindness towards those who are suffering

Connection: to engage fully in whatever I am doing, and be fully present with others

Contribution: to contribute, help, assist, or make a positive difference in myself or others

Conformity: to be respectful and obedient of rules and obligations

Cooperation: to be cooperative and collaborative with others

Courage: to be courageous or brave; to persist in the face of fear, threat, or difficulty

Creativity: to be creative or innovative

Curiosity: to be curious, open-minded and interested; to explore and discover

Encouragement: to encourage and reward behavior that I value in myself or others

Equality: to treat others as equal to myself, and vice versa

Excitement: to seek, create and engage in activities that are exciting, stimulating or thrilling

Fairness: to be fair to myself or others

Fitness: to maintain or improve my fitness; to look after my physical and mental health and well-being

Flexibility: to adjust and adapt readily to changing circumstances

Freedom: to live freely; to choose how I live and behave, or help others do likewise

Friendliness: to be friendly, companionable, or agreeable towards others

Forgiveness: to be forgiving towards myself or others

Fun: to be fun-loving; to seek, create, and engage in fun-filled activities

Generosity: to be generous, sharing and giving, to myself or others

Gratitude: to be grateful for and appreciative of the positive aspects of myself, others and life

Honesty: to be honest, truthful, and sincere with myself and others

Humor: to see and appreciate the humorous side of life

Humility: to be humble or modest; to let my achievements speak for themselves

Industry: to be industrious, hardworking, dedicated

Independence: to be self-supportive, and choose my own way of doing things

Intimacy: to open up, reveal, and share myself – emotionally or physically – in my close personal relationships

Justice: to uphold justice and fairness

Kindness: to be kind, compassionate, considerate, nurturing or caring towards myself or others

Love: to act lovingly or affectionately towards myself or others

Mindfulness: to be conscious of, open to, and curious about my here-and-now experience

Order: to be orderly and organized

Open-mindedness: to think things through, see things from other points of view, and weigh the evidence fairly

Patience: to wait calmly for what I want

Persistence: to continue resolutely, despite problems or difficulties

Pleasure: to create and give pleasure to myself or others

Power: to strongly influence or wield authority over others (leadership, taking charge)

Reciprocity: to build relationships in which there is a fair balance of giving and taking

Respect: to be respectful towards myself or others; to be polite, considerate and show positive regard

Responsibility: to be responsible and accountable for my actions

Romance: to be romantic

Safety: to secure, protect, or ensure the safety of myself and others

Self-awareness: to be aware of my own thoughts, feelings, and actions

Self-care: to look after my health and well-being, and get my needs met

Self-development: to keep growing, advancing or improving in knowledge, skills, character, or life experience

Self-control: to act in accordance with my own ideals

Sensuality: to create, explore and enjoy experiences that stimulate the five senses

Sexuality: to explore or express my sexuality

Spirituality: to connect with things bigger than myself

Skillfulness: to continually practice and improve my skills, and apply myself fully when using them

Supportiveness: be supportive, helpful, encouraging, and available to myself or others

Trust: to be trustworthy, to be loyal, faithful, sincere and reliable