Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another Weapon in the Arsenal

Okay, I usually hate war-related metaphors, but I think OCD might deserve one, thus my title today.

I've been doing much better on exposures this week. But I haven't yet figured out how to deal with some of the underlying anxiety I continue to experience. I pretty much always have something I'm worried about running through the back of my head, usually completely unrelated to my contamination fears. My sister's having a house built, and this week I've been worrying about all the things that could go wrong.

About 6 months ago, I signed up to be part of this study of a self-help workbook that utilizes "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" or "ACT" to treat anxiety. (The study is now closed, but they are recruiting for a new one.) As the workbook title notes, it stresses mindfulness and acceptance of anxiety.

I've read the book, but I haven't been all that successful at implementing it to date, because I haven't been able (willing?) to focus on completing the exercises in the book. But mindfulness and acceptance seems like a perfect approach to the type of worry I've been dealing with. And recently a friend has been telling me about the success she's been having with lowering her anxiety using meditation, which is closely related. So I'm going to really focus on this approach in the coming weeks and see what happens.

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