DirectoryHealthBlog Details for "Mindfulness and Acceptance for Anxiety"

Mindfulness and Acceptance for Anxiety

Mindfulness and Acceptance for Anxiety
Dr. Forsyth's blog outlining how to break free from anxiety, fears, and worry using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


Eliminating Anxiety, Chasing Happiness
2008-04-09 18:19:00
The first thing that often comes to mind when the anxiety monster rears its ugly head is to get rid of it. Our culture supports this too. And, many books and gurus claim that they hold the secret to anxiety, and some go so far as to say "I have the cure." You pay for what you get, and unfortunately what you will often get with these false claims is disappointment. Anxiety is not an emotion that is curable. It need not be cured either. And, it cannot be eliminated so long as you are living. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to you. The science is clear on this point.The language of elimination is everywhere in our disposable culture. And, that talk is a great set up when it comes to the pain we experience in our heads and in our hearts. Think of it this way. If I wanted to get rid of my old clothes, garbage in the kitchen, or the chair I am sitting on now, I could do that. That would involve getting up and tossing out what I want to remove. Once I decide on that ...
More About: Happiness
A New Earth: Awakening Your Life's Purpose
2008-03-27 21:01:00
Some of you may have picked up Eckhart Tolle's new book -- A New Earth : Awakening Your Life's Purpose . Honestly, I am a bit curious about it too because of everything that I've heard and read about Tolle's message and teachings. So, I bought the book and am starting to read. I've also lurked a bit on Oprah's message boards, with two eyes on the difference the book was making in people's lives.Some claim to be awakened and transformed by this book. Tolle's central message is a good one -- that our Ego (or what ACT and others refer to as language or thinking), can serve us well or for ill. And, there's a great deal of value in learning to still our minds and bodies with mindfulness. It helps us fully experience life and to gain something from experience.In short, we learn to be just as we are, and let go of the hooks and snares that our mind and old history creates. This is challenging to do. Showing up to life just as it is and just as we are cuts against much of o...
Your Path Out of Anxious Suffering and Into A More Vital Life
2008-03-18 13:27:00
The other day I heard from someone who started using The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety. Her story was deeply moving and got me thinking about life and what we are here for. You can see part of her story by clicking here. Her experience speaks to the trials and tribulations of living a full and dignified life and how hard it is for all of us to be human -- to be just as we are.I'd like to do something different here. Instead of posting my thoughts, I'd like to hear from you. I've set up the comments section so that you can post and share your thoughts about your experience with anxiety and fear. And, please feel free to ask questions too, or suggest ideas for things you'd like me to talk about on this blog. If you've started using The Mindfulnes & Acceptance Workbook, it would be neat to hear how it's going and how it is impacting your life, even in small ways, and even if your mind tells you that it's tough (watch your mind here). That's ok to...
More About: Life , Vital , Suffering , Path
Anxiety Management and Control
2008-03-09 13:47:00
Over the past few weeks I haven't written much on this blog. The honest truth is that I've had too much going on for my own good. I think we all know what that's like -- life calls us to take care of this or that, and somethings just have to get done. The mountain of tasks can pile up, and it is at those times that it is easy to lose peace of mind and focus. We become reactive and not proactive -- feeling as though we are being pulled and pushed here and there because of external pressures, or fires that spring up and must be put out. Anxiety and fear can seem like that too.The last poll I put up on this page hints that this pull and push with anxiety management and control. I asked folks to think about how anxiety management works in the short-term and long -term. The results tell an interesting story. About 84% said that trying to manage and control anxiety buys them some relief in the short-term, yet 100% said that it doesn't work as a lasting solution. The anxiety ...
More About: Management , Control
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Hope, Not Hype
2008-02-24 00:52:00
I want to write about so many things. Some of what I have to say now is coming from the heart. I tend to find it easier to write that way.I've spent 40+ years of my life learning a thing or two about human suffering and living well by direct experience. That's my life -- a mix of the vital, less vital, and sometimes ugly. I don't claim to have all the answers. As I said before, my intent is to share.The last 20 years of my life have been about learning how to be helpful in a way that went beyond my intentions to help and beyond hype and common sense know how. In that time, I learned that good intentions aren't enough. I needed to learn know how to help, and with that I turned to a science of helping. That led me to cognitive-behavior therapy and ultimately to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT, said as one word).ACT is based on a solid research base, where claims are subject to peer review, scrutiny by others, and replication. You can check that out for yourself b...
More About: Hope , Hype
How Have You Struggled With Anxiety
2008-02-15 22:59:00
For the past weeks or so, I ran a little poll asking folks to share how they've struggled to control anxiety, fear, and stress. In a way, what I was asking folks to consider was the tactics they've use to beat the anxiety monster. I launched that poll shortly after this blog started. About 21 people responded.The sample is a bit small, but I think it reflects some common strategies used by many people who are stuck and suffering with anxiety. I've listed the results below from the most common strategy to the least. As you look the list over, be mindful that most people selected more than 1 strategy.Here are the results listed from most common to least common tactic with the percentages of people who endorsed each: 1. Distract myself from unpleasant thoughts and feelings 80% 2. Avoid activities or situations that may bring on anxiety/fear 76% 3. Try to suppress or push away unwanted thoughts/feelings 76% 4. Tal...
More About: Anxiety
Mindful Acceptance for Anxiety: Some Thoughts
2008-02-12 21:28:00
I have a number of thoughts that I plan to share on this blog in the coming weeks. Much of that will speak to the ways that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT) might be helpful to get out anxiety and back into a more vital life.For now, I just wanted to share a recent interview that I did on the Kathryn Zox show. You can access the podcast by clicking here. The interview is mostly focused on my new book -- The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety : A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy."As I replayed the interview, I had many thoughts about this or that. You'll see that Kathryn Zox (a very smart woman) was trying to wrap her head around some of what ACT and the workbook has to offer. I could sense the struggle for understanding a bit, and I think I know why it is there.Most of us think of anxiety as a problem to be done away with, not as an experience that can be had while we live out our dreams. So,...
More About: Thoughts
What Makes Anxiety a Problem?
2008-01-31 18:12:00
I've been thinking quite a bit about what flips anxiety and fear on its head and turns it into a life shattering problem. If you read and tune into the media and Westernized notions of health and wellness, the answer is clear: too much anxiety is a problem, and that anxiety is seen as a major obstacle to a vital life. I know it is hard to define "too much," but the idea is so entrenched that it makes sense. I wonder about that message.Intense anxiety and other forms of human pain and discomfort are talked about as good reasons for this or that, and particularly for not doing this or that. You can look at this for yourself. Have you ever said something like "I can't go or do _______ [insert something that is important to you or that you would like to do] because I might get/feel/think _______ [insert a thought or feeling that you don't like to think or feel]. As soon as we do that, we are doing two things that are really set ups for struggle.The first is our tendency to t...
More About: Problem , Anxiety
Places Where Our Minds Dwell
2008-01-28 13:29:00
Have a look at the picture to the right. I like that picture because it shows three places where our minds often take us. Here they are:1. A past that once was 2. A future that has yet to happen 3. The present. This is what minds do all the time. Yours, mine, and just about everyone, except for infants and very young children. If you've ever really watched them you will see that they live almost entirely in the here and now. Yet, once they start learning language, their minds gain the capacity to live in the future or wallow in a past that is long gone. This is both a blessing and a curse. Here's why:My life and yours is lived out, moment by moment, in the here and now. That is where we are, and where we can act to make a difference in our lives. This understanding is key. Our minds will often quickly escort us in the past and future. Think about where your head was while taking a shower this morning (assuming that you did), and you'll know what I mean.None of this is neces...
More About: Places , Minds
Problem Solving Run Amok
2008-01-16 18:34:00
Here's a problem: 2 + 2 = ____. Go ahead and solve it.Here's another: what is bigger a nickel or a dime? Answer, a dime of course.Yet another problem: The paint is peeling in your living room. You've decided to do something about that. What would you do? Come up with some options. You can also consider these: balancing a checkbook, buying groceries to feed yourself, getting to work on time, taking out the garbage, and on and on.Now, try out these problems. Think -- how have you tried to solve them?1. I'm really anxious and I need to be calm.2. I'm having disturbing thoughts and need to make them go away.3. I'm in the middle of a panic attack and need to make it stop.4. I'm reminded of painful memories and I need to turn them off.5. I'm really angry and need to get that under control.6. I'm sad and want to be happy.You can even take problems like 1-6, and put them in this form: If I [insert something you'd like to do or a place you'd like to go], then I ...
More About: Problem
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