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Three Acceptance Tools to Cope with Anxiety.

Whether it’s a situation or a choice, we often get fixated on never-ending list of questions as an attempt to cope with the anxiety. It may look like we are in a deep thought process, with inner statements that look like If only I think about it long enough, I’m sure I will find a way.” “If I don’t think long enough, I may miss the answers that may occur suddenly” 



“That’s not what I expected to happen.”

“I can’t deal with the fact that I didn’t get that job.”

“What have I done for my partner to leave me?”

“How will I manage to live without this now?”

“I can’t tolerate this at all.” 

The purpose of Anxiety is control. Things that lead us fearful or uncertain about people, places or events in our life; is more likely you will want to control it. Because you are not ready to face those uncertain feelings. When this happens, you will find yourself – running away, fighting against, chasing after things that don’t appear to be modified or changed.

Acceptance as a coping tool may sound cheesy to you. But what it really means is to help you figure out a way to meet your destination.

 

Draw a line between acceptance and giving up.

Ask yourself “Am I assuming that by accepting this, I will ultimately have to give up/approve of something that I don’t want to?” Most of the times, unconsciously that’s what we pick as our first assumption. Followed by fear and control, as a consequence of it.

Pick a pen and paper. Draw two columns.

1.      The first column may involve “Things that I don’t have to give up and still make space for me to accept.”

2.      The second column will involve “Things that actually means giving up but I won’t have to accept those.”

You can also play with this when journaling by adding columns like:

“Things that I have to accept and give up.”

“Things that I don’t have to accept and give up those”

“Things I find hard to give up but is something that I want to”

“Things I don’t want to give up, but I still don’t mind giving it up”

“Things that I can’t give up, but modify the path and attempts towards it”

 

Allow your brain to go back and forth into the reality, especially when you are in a constant state of anxiety. Help yourself to re-evaluate the information that you have been processing in your head.

  

De-ruminate and un-fixate.

Whether it’s a situation or a choice, we often get fixated on never-ending list of questions as an attempt to cope with the anxiety. It may look like we are in a deep thought process, with inner statements that look like

If only I think about it long enough, I’m sure I will find a way.” or

“If I don’t think long enough, I may miss the answers that may occur suddenly”

“I can gain insight if I keep thinking”

It start as an attempt to answer thoughts like “what if…” or “what’s the worse that is going to happen?”

Such a (gain insight or analyze) thought process not only interferes with normal functioning, but also prevent you from actually coping effectivity with anxiety. One way to block this form of thought process, is by taking a pause and making a distinction.

By asking yourself:

“Am I ruminating about a situation that is solvable?”

“Am I ruminating about a situation that’s unsolvable and unchangeable?”

The former question will allow you to stop ruminating and brainstorm ways to manage the situation. While the second question will demand you to realize your anxiety and distress and categorize onto things that can and cannot be controlled. Further making your attempts accordingly.

Sometimes, it’s just not easy to break the cycle. In those instances, we can use adopt the distraction method. It involves achieving temporary relief from distressing thoughts and attending to these later again.

Some helpful ways to do this is by adopting simple activities like watching a movie, getting some sleep, or meditating. Try and test what is not working for you. Eliminate those and add the ones that you find helpful.

 

Coping Statements

Keep a few coping statements handy to help you encourage Acceptance. Feelings of anxiety, uncertainty may pop up at any time of the day. It’s hard to process in such moments. But having a few coping statements, it can be found helpful to stay with those uncomfortable feelings for a longer time.

Try and brainstorm what works for you. Re-evaluate every three days. Cut out those that aren’t working for you.

Here’s what they look like:

“I can feel anxious about it and still deal with it effectively.”

“I am allowed to feel angry and still perform in a calm manner.”

“I may not be able to change things, but I can move forward with a different strategy.”

“I don’t any idea what to do ahead, but I’m still in the process to figure out what works for me.”

 

Which one of the three acceptance tools are you able to resonate with and planning to try out this week?

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