Combating worry and stress with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Who’s got the control in your life: you or your thoughts? We’re all guilty of letting unhelpful worries expand to the point where we believe they’re truth. Bombarded with concerns (what our friends really think of us, if our job is at risk and the likelihood of failing to achieve our goals), fiction can very much become fact (in your head).
This lack of separation between “reality” and “thought” is called cognitive fusion, and often makes us jump to self-imposed and unreasonable conclusions. To counter this, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages the mindful practice of cognitive defusion, or realising thoughts live in the world of language rather than that of direct experience, and therefore hold no power in the real world.
TRY labelling your worries for what they are. Altering “everyone hates me” to “I’m having the thought everyone hates me” eradicates elements of certainty that undermine the feeling of the physical power of your thoughts, allowing you to feel more in control. You could call it ACT one in a new, more positive, outlook on life.