I'm trying acceptance & commitment therapy, anyone want to join? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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I'm trying acceptance & commitment therapy, anyone want to join?


Hi there, I've been struggling with social anxiety for the best part of ten years and I've tried various methods as a result. I've never tried prescription drugs etc as I've always thought I can do this through retraining myself, however my previous attempts don't seemed to have worked very well.

I recently read the book about the happiness trap which takes a subtlety different approach which I found interesting and I'm really trying to embed it into my thought processes now. I thought I would write it on this forum in case anyone wanted to join me on this, as I think it may be able to help, and bouncing ideas off each other may be quite useful too.

For those who haven't heard about acceptance and commitment therapy, the slight difference is that it is not trying to get you to change your thoughts. Instead, it tells you that you can't control your thoughts, and that isn't a problem. The issue arrives when we fuse with those thoughts (or get emotionally involved). If we can stop doing that then we can call ourselves down. There's a lot more to it, and happy to discuss if people want?

Look forward to any replies, Daryl
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 01:14 PM
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I'm down to give it a go.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by freedom00 View Post
I'm down to give it a go.
Great, have you heard of ACT before?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 03:24 AM
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Great, have you heard of ACT before?
I haven't, how does it work?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't, how does it work?
It's quite an interesting take on how we need to adapt out thought processes to be more comfortable. I've read several books on this (some are quite in depth). I've broken it down into two parts for myself at least:

Unhelpful thoughts/Defusion
I'm sure a lot of us have a lot of negative thoughts day in day out. We pay a lot of attention to these thoughts and generally they make us feel really down/anxious and therefore not want to do anything. ACT takes a slightly different approach and instead of splitting thoughts into positive/negative they split it into helpful/unhelpful. A lot of the time the divide will be the same but sometimes different.

So when I have thoughts, I ask myself "Is it helpful?" If it is then there's no problem paying attention to it. However, if it isn't then I try to "defuse" the thought. By this I mean I try to highlight to myself that this is just a thought/story/language etc. The aim here is to stop the thought from having an emotional impact.

Struggle switch


A lot of my problem is that I'm scared of my bodily reactions when I'm in social situations. I sweat a lot and also blush. Because of this I worry about it and in the situation if this starts happening then I panic and try to hide it. This makes it 10x worse so instead I start accepting these feelings/sensations and don't resist.


That's a really brief summary but does that make sense?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 10:33 AM
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If I'm understanding it right, it's not outright choosing to deny your thoughts but to take a logical interpretation of them which will remove the emotion side of your thinking and therefore the anxiety.


I have tried just relaxing my physical symptoms when my anxiety is very mild, I suppose it works but I've never tried it in a high anxiety situation, my mind would be blank and I wouldn't think of it.
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