Let’s be honest, Love Island has a lot to answer for – it’s a real marmite programme that you either love or hate and it isn’t short of controversy in the media.
Over the years, this summertime dating show has birthed a number of modern catchphrases including ‘He’s my type on paper’ ‘I’VE GOT A TEXT!’ and who could forget the 2018 classic ‘I’m not your hun, hun’.
But this year the Love Island boys have not only come up with a t-shirt worthy phrase, they’ve brought up one of the best coping mechanisms us humans can learn…without even realising it!
“It is what it is”
In this series, the phrase “it is what it is” has been mainly used by the guys to describe their feelings after being dumped by a beautiful girl. As forcing someone to be in a couple with you is very much frowned upon (even with a £50k prize up for grabs) the boys resign themselves to the situation they’re in and just deal.
‘It is what it is mate’
But have the love island boys stumbled onto a solution for our modern day stresses? Could embracing ‘it is what it is’ actually make us happier?
Resisting reality is exhausting, and refusing to accept the parts of our life that we can’t change only adds to our suffering.
Radical acceptance is the notion of accepting things in life that we can’t change (or refuse to) for exactly what they are.
Accepting the now is one of the best skills we can master to help with our mental health – understanding a situation we’re in isn’t great, but accepting it for what it is, can seriously help to reduce our misery and enable us move on.
You get ‘pied off’ by a girl you like because a new hunk has sauntered into the villa.
You feel the sting of rejection, maybe some jealousy and a big knock to your confidence – all natural reactions that make you feel pretty darn rubbish.
But it’s happened, and unless you kidnap the girl and throw the new guy into the pool, it’s not going to change.
You can sit there and get angry over the betrayal, play the scenario over and over in your mind until it makes you feel worthless and wallow.
OR, you can accept the situation and try to move forward
– it is what it is.
Both options have the same outcome, but one is a lot less painful.
We all have things happen in our lives that are a bit sh*t and often we can’t change them. Sulking over the unchangeable crappy bits doesn’t actually change the crappy bits, it only makes us feel worse and causes extra stress.
As a more real life example (if you don’t have a villa filled with gorgeous singletons to relate to): Imagine you’re on your way to work and there’s an accident on the motorway. You have a really important meeting to get to but you’re stuck in gridlock traffic and there’s no alternative route.
You’re going to be late.
You can either sit there seething, getting angrier and more stressed as the minutes tick by, or you can accept that you’re going to be late and there is nothing you can do about it.
Both end in the same way – you being late for your meeting – but by practising Radical Acceptance you’re more likely to arrive in a calm and collected mood than a frazzled stressed one.
ITS OK TO FEEL SAD
Radical Acceptance doesn’t mean blocking out all the negative feelings and ignoring them – feeling negative emotions is part of the human experience, and it’s natural to have them.
But when we dwell on these feelings in relation to an outcome we can’t change, we suffer tenfold and only prolong the inevitable.
Allow yourself to process these feelings, but also practice your acceptance skills to rationalise the situation and give yourself chance to move forward.
Ok, so while I don’t think the Love Island boys have actually cracked the code to eternal happiness, it’s great to have a relatable anchor to talk about these concepts so we all have a chance at self-improvement.
We gotta stay down with the kids right?
The truth is, it’s not easy to accept our reality and it takes a LOT of practice. But if you can master the art of ‘it is what it is’ then life will certainly be a lot happier…hun.
If you enjoyed this article (and don’t mind a few swear words) you’ll love this book:
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
Expand your mind and have a few laughs along the way. You won’t regret it.