The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, & Worry Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (Second Edition)
John P. Forsyth, PhD & Georg H. Eifert, PhD
This workbook is designed to move chapter by chapter through changing the way that you view anxiety and the role it plays in your life. Using the ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) approach, with a strong focus on mindfulness, the exercises and text walk the reader through the process of applying this technique to their WAF's (worries, anxieties, and fears). The heart of this approach is in understanding that anxiety is a normal part of the human experience, and then learning a process of incorporating anxiety into your life, rather than try to fight to remove it from your life. This work takes place while simultaneously moving forward toward the things you do want in your life — relationships, goals, hobbies, fun, etc. The text is easy to read and is broken down into small sections with a significant amount of repetition and looking at concepts from various angles to ensure that the reader finds the right metaphor, exercise, meditation, etc that fits them best. The workbook also has links to downloadable worksheets and audio files that follow along with the text. This is a useful tool to use within a therapeutic relationship, or on your own, and encompasses my preferred approach to working with anxiety.
"[ACT] involves active skills that'll help you to respond differently — with kindness, compassion, gentleness, and less engagement — when anxieties, fears, worries, and panic, and other sources of emotional and psychological pain show up. The idea is to accept what you are already experiencing. This skill then disarms the struggle you're having with unwanted thoughts and feelings."
"Thoughts and feelings of panic and anxiety are unpleasant, intense, overwhelming at times, and even terrifying. But they're not the real enemy. The real enemy is rigid avoidance of fear and anxiety."
"Yes, it is true that anxiety often runs in families, but that's because of learned behavior, not because of genes."
"You can learn to have those unpleasant thoughts and feelings and learn how to distance yourself from them just enough so that you can keep doing whatever you want to do — go to a party, meet new people, drive on the highway, take an elevator, see a movie, and so on."
"One of the chief barriers to action is failing to spot places where you have control and places where you don't have much control. Falling back into the old control agenda, where control isn't possible, is a surefire way to stay stuck."
"Many people have successfully let go of the struggle by learning to watch their sensations, thoughts, and feelings as they are, and not as what their mind says they are. Simply noticing what you feel means beginning to acknowledge and allow those feelings to be present. It doesn't mean liking what you feel or agreeing with what somebody has done to you."
"Mindful acceptance is a stance toward life: watching the struggle without judging it, feeling the pain without drowning in it, and honoring the hurt without becoming it."