f. Practicing

Run after the bus, sometimes.

Hi there, Group. Great week. Question for you: When you are half a block away and people are getting on the bus you’re about to miss, what do you do?  Your answer helps us understand your experience during incidental exposure.  The short answer is run after the bus, sometimes. Flexibly. Humorously. Like your life depends on …

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Intentional Practice – Part I

You’re wondering if you are doing ERP correctly and if it will make you better. Great question. There’s a lot to discuss, so we’ll break this up over the next several weeks.  ERP stands for exposure and response prevention. It is a cognitive behavioral treatment technique. Anxiety is created, maintained, and intensified by experiential avoidance. …

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Paradoxical effort

Try to remember that your present is a gift. Don’t try too hard. Let’s talk more about paradoxical effort.  As we’ve discussed, if you try to use mindfulness to suppress or control your thoughts and feelings, they will increase and grow stronger. Mindfulness in any given moment is not meant to alleviate psychological suffering. A …

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The present is a gift.

Let’s elaborate on building a compassionate attitude towards the present moment.  While anxious, so many sufferers have critical thoughts like, I’m supposed to be mindful right now. I should be using my skills. I’m not doing this right. It makes everything worse. If this is you, try cueing yourself with My present moment is a gift I can offer myself right …

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Of course I suffer.

Let’s talk more about self-criticism and self-compassion.  Your suffering isn’t just because of recurrent unwanted intrusive thoughts, chronic worry, a depressed mood, or another uncomfortable private experience. The interpretation that you shouldn’t have such an experience and that there is something bad, weak, or crazy about you for such experience creates, maintains, and intensifies your suffering …

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When in doubt, write it out.

 I suggest writing as homework frequently. There are different types of writing exercises that are likely to be helpful for different types of suffering. Here’s a working list. We can add to it when we talk more about it.  Writing for OCD and anxious doubt Self-monitoring for daily anxiety and OCD. This writing has a really …

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I’ll do it scared.

“I’m not sure what will kill me, but it won’t be shame.” The content typically matters when you’re feeling is shame. If you think a component of your suffering is shame, find a way to get some words around that, either by talking or by writing or both. Then, share it with someone you trust. Use shame …

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Predicting anxious patterns

As you set yourself up to relate effectively to anxiety, you want to predict the phases of your anxious pattern, so that you know what strategies you will need. The phases tend to be different depending on whether the trigger was external or internal.  Anticipatory anxiety, situational anxiety, and post-event processing In the case of …

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