Anxiety can make a person feel out of control or terrified. It’s ironic because when you feel anxious, it’s likely because you want to control things. There’s so much in life that we cannot make our way. There are variables that are out of our control. Nevertheless, what you can do is accept what is happening and respond accordingly. That is called radical acceptance. Here’s how radical acceptance can help somebody who is suffering from anxiety.
Acceptance means you let go of control
There’s a lot of pressure to control things when you’re feeling anxious. When we worry, it’s likely because we want to make sure that things happen a particular way. Sometimes, you believe that worrying about something will make it so that it doesn’t happen. You think doing something preventative by worrying when in reality, you’re just spinning your mental wheels. Instead of worrying, try letting go. For example, imagine you have an exam. You start worrying about whether you will do well on it or not. In reality, you have no control over what questions are on the test. Instead of worrying, accept that you are unable to know the contents of the exam. Shift your focus to studying for the test rather than trying to control it. Radical acceptance is about letting go and relinquishing control.
Radical acceptance doesn’t mean giving up
You may think, “ if I let go of control, am I giving up?” The answer is: “no.” By letting go of your control issues, you are freeing yourself. You’re observing what is happening in front of you and making a choice as to what actions you take. In fact, radical acceptance means getting focused. You spend so much less energy when you don’t try to control things. Trying to micro-manage things and make them the way you want them When you don’t have control can be highly frustrating. That energy can be better spent. You can start improving areas that you do have control over.
Radical acceptance and panic
Panic attacks can be brutal. You feel like the world is crashing down around you. You struggle to breathe and worry that something is going horribly wrong. Unfortunately, you cannot control when a panic attack happens. However, you can manage the symptoms. You can accept the fact that you’re panicking. Do not fight anxiety because it will come back harder and stronger. Accept that you are in the midst of a panic attack and take action. That’s the first step of radical acceptance when it comes to anxiety. Now that you’re aware of the panic, you can start using your breathing techniques. Before you know it, your panic attack will calm down, and you will start to feel better.
Learning about radical acceptance in therapy
Therapy is a wonderful place to work through anxiety and any other mental health issues. You can read more about that here. A licensed therapist cares about your emotional health. They can teach you about radical acceptance and how it will be better for your life. Whether you see a therapist online or in your local area, don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. You don’t have to suffer alone when there is a mental health professional who wants to help you.