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ACT for Anxiety: Accepting Anxiety

a person holds their head while a therapist talks to them in act for anxiety

Chances are, you’ve been there—lying awake at night, mind racing, heart pounding, feeling as though the world is closing in around you. Anxiety is a common human experience, but when it becomes chronic or overwhelming, it can feel isolating. You’re not alone. Anxiety is an adversary that many face daily, and finding effective ways to manage it is an ongoing journey. One promising approach to this persistent challenge is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT for anxiety can help you understand that some things can’t be changed, and that’s okay. It’s how you react to these circumstances that impact your health.

Rockland Recovery Behavioral Health’s anxiety treatment program in Massachusetts incorporates ACT as a core component, recognizing its power to transform lives by fostering a healthier relationship with one’s thoughts and emotions. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized treatment options that are tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Call 855.520.0531 to enroll in our Massachusetts center today.

Understanding ACT for Anxiety

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that emphasizes mindfulness, acceptance, and values-based actions. The core principle of ACT is to help individuals lead fulfilling lives while accepting the pain that inevitably comes with it. When it comes to anxiety, ACT doesn’t aim to eliminate or reduce symptoms but rather to change one’s relationship with those symptoms.

ACT for anxiety teaches individuals to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment and to acknowledge that these experiences are transient and do not define one’s identity. This creates mental space between the individual and their anxious thoughts, making engaging in actions aligned with personal values easier.

Accepting Anxiety

Anxiety often prompts a fight-or-flight response, urging you to either confront or avoid the perceived threat. However, this mechanism doesn’t always serve you well, especially when the threat is an internal emotional state. ACT suggests an alternative approach—acceptance.

Acceptance in ACT doesn’t mean resignation or defeat. Instead, it means acknowledging the existence of anxiety without trying to change or judge it. It’s about co-existing with anxiety and understanding it as a part of the human experience.

Key aspects of accepting anxiety include:

  • Mindful observation – Learning to observe anxiety without being swept away by it. This involves paying attention to anxious thoughts and feelings without trying to change them.
  • Cognitive defusion – Techniques to detach from your thoughts, recognizing that thoughts are not facts. For instance, instead of being engulfed by the thought “I am anxious,” you can learn to see it as “I am having the thought that I am anxious.”
  • Embracing uncertainty – Accepting that it is impossible to have certainty and control over everything in life and that seeking such control can lead to more anxiety.
  • Values-based actions – Focusing on what is truly important to you and taking actions aligned with those values, even in the presence of anxiety.
  • Compassionate self-talk – Speaking to oneself with kindness and understanding, replacing self-criticism with compassionate language.

Accepting anxiety doesn’t mean resignation or defeat. Instead, it entails recognizing anxiety as a part of the human experience and giving yourself permission to feel anxious without being consumed by it. By incorporating these aspects, anxiety becomes a manageable experience rather than an all-consuming state of being.

Reach Out to Rockland Behavioral Health for ACT Now

Our treatment program integrates ACT with other evidence-based therapies tailored to suit individual needs. Our holistic approach addresses not just the symptoms but also the underlying causes of anxiety, ensuring that individuals are equipped with the tools to lead fulfilling lives despite the presence of anxiety.

The program includes individual counseling, group therapy sessions, mindfulness training, and skills development, all aimed at helping individuals reframe their relationship with anxiety and align their actions with their values. Discover the benefits of our anxiety treatment program in Massachusetts by calling 855.520.0531 or completing our online form.