Tag Archives: Acceptance

面对焦虑

焦虑就像一只老虎,你为了避开它,减少它可能对你造成的伤害,你给了它一块肉,希望它吃了肉可以离开。是的,它可能离开一会儿,可是,猜一猜,给了它那块肉以后,它真的不再回来了吗?可能一两个小时,可能一两天,这回它又饿了,可能更饿了,更强大,要更多更大块的肉。

焦虑也一样,你越是逃避它害怕它,越是为了它作出不必要的牺牲(害怕在社交场合被拒绝,干脆不去参加舞会;担心无法把工作做好,花更多的时间在担心而不是完成工作,甚至最后真的无法完成),它下一次再出现,只会变得更强烈,让你更不舒服、更恐惧、更害怕。

可是如果你选择和焦虑处在一起,它固然让你感到不舒服,但它并不危险,一段时间后,你的焦虑感会开始下降,下次再面临一样的处境,你也不再那么焦虑,即使还是有一定程度的焦虑,你的头脑也能告诉你,基于上次相处的经验,其实这个焦虑感可能让你感到不舒服,但它并不危险,你并不用逃避它。

那不逃避,就是怎么做呢?如何直接面对它呢?如何接受情绪呢?首先告诉自己,这感觉可能让你感到不舒服,但是它不会对你造成伤害。你可以感受一下它处于身体的哪个部分,比如胸口闷闷地,颈项后方有点紧、心跳有点快、或肚子有些不舒服等,识别它们,并容许、允许它们存在于那里,就像一个朋友带了一个你不太喜欢的客人来到你家一起聚餐,但你并不因此把他赶走,或者为了他一个人,不去招待其他客人,你还是允许他的存在,继续享受你的聚餐、继续做你想做的事。对任何情绪,其实都一样,都可以这么做。

接受不确定性

生活中很多人不太能接受“不确定性”(uncertainty),比如担心孩子老公的安全,担心睡不着,担心明天工作报告的表现等。很多人用担心与忧虑来应付不确定性,感觉上担心的事的不确定性在你担心后就变得比较能够预测,比较可以确定,这往往导致你继续担心与忧虑。

但是事实上,你的担心与忧虑,真的能使事情更确定更能预测吗?

挑战对不确定性的接受程度

  • 生活所有事都能肯定确定吗?有可能吗?
  • 对“确定性”的需要其实有多重要呢?有什么好处与坏处?
  • 你是否常常因为事情的不确定性而总是预测坏事会发生?这样合理吗?坏事以外的事发生的可能性不大吗?
  • 你所预测的事,发生的机率有多高呢?如果发生的机率很低,这样一直担心下去对你好吗?生活会快乐吗?
  • 你能尝试接受“不确定性”吗?能怎样做到船到桥头自然直的态度呢?
  • 问问你周围的人,他们怎么接受“不确定性”呢?

接受与警觉

当你无法忍受“不确定性”时,你都把专注力放在“未来”。现在就要学习如何活在当下,对当下警觉注意,并接受这个“不确定性” -三个步骤:

  • 警觉:清楚自己目前的思维与感受。用呼吸的步伐来让自己感受当下。当你总是想要确定性时,它给你带来了什么感受或问题?
  • 放手:放弃这个对确定性的需要,告诉自己“这不过是个需要确定性的想法,我可以放手让它走”
  • 不批判性:让想法在脑海里走过,不要批判它,或尝试改变它。然后把注意力放回当下,体验现在,注意你周围的声音,身体的感觉,或你的呼吸,或专注于你现在需要做的事。

 

N.B. 在我看来,除了广泛性焦虑症(generalised anxiety disorder, GAD),不能接受“不确定性”(就是凡事都要百分百确定,不能冒一点险)也是强迫症(obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD)的一个明显特征,只是除了在脑中担心、不断思考,强迫症患者会对不确定性做出(反复的)行为反应。

新的一年,不妨把这当成今年的目标之一,学习与练习“接受不确定性”,活得灵活自在些!

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Introducing “The Happiness Trap”

by Russ Harris

by Dr. Russ Harris

I completed this book in 2014. It was bought at Popular Bookstore at the price of RM34.90 (before 10% off for members). Just thought it’s really a good basic and entry book to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that I’ve been mentioning everywhere in my blog, also an easy read, and the chapters are really short. It definitely gives a grasp and basic concepts of ACT, using metaphors (so it can be a bit like reading stories!).

I’ve introduced and lent it to non-psychology backgrounds readers. What I realized is that they can usually get the ideas and benefit from them, but they don’t really know how to practice these concepts in real life (how to accept? how to defuse from my thought? etc). So if you get the ideas and are liking ACT after reading this book (just like me), you shall take a look at “Getting out of your mind and into your life: The new ACT.”

Introducing “Freedom From OCD: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty”

By Jonathan Grayson PhD.

By Jonathan Grayson PhD.

I picked this book from Kinokuniya Kuala Lumpur in September (RM80.36), out of the desperate desire to really help the patients in the clinic and people out there with Obsessive and Compulsive Disorder (OCD). And I have to say this is really the book that I’ve been looking for; so much that I contacted the author Jonathan Grayson, got his permission and translated the materials into Mandarin Chinese so that it can help some non-English populations **.

The author is a definite advocate of Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. With his extensive experience working with people suffered from OCD since over three decades ago, his writing made you feel that he really understands you, your OCD and how you feel, BUT he gives you no certainty, no absolute answer, no 100%, in fact he provides almost no reassurance in his book, unlike many other OCD books that I’ve read. And this is why I like it about, and why I think it’s helping people.

Not just that, the book also contains various scripts and examples that you can record and listen to, and this is really important to help you in doing ERP. He also provides you with great details as of what to do when you’re in doubt, what to do if you slip during the treatment etc. For those CBT trained therapists, the book also tells us how we should adapt CBT to make it more workable and effective for OCD, and how traditional CBT may make the problems worse.

So whether you have been suffering from OCD, have a family or friend who suffer from it, or you’re like me, have been looking for a good OCD treatment book, this is definitely worth reading!

Are you willing to learn to live with Uncertainty? 

**For the downloads of materials, worksheets and tools in Chinese, please check here!

The English versions are available on the author’s website www.freedomfromOCD.com

Is being positive that good?

Not related to the topic, you may skip this: This is the 100th post! And my site is now over 2 years old!  :)

I came across this website few months back, and I’d really been too busy to write any quality post. It’s in Chinese, but don’t worry if you can’t read Chinese, because I’m going to briefly talk about what it’s about…

I remember a Buddhist friend once told me that Buddhism is nothing about being positive and all good, but accepting who you really are and how things really are. In the website, the Japanese psychiatrist consultant has found that people who get depressed are mainly those who had been overly optimistic and positive.

So telling people to be positive, to stop thinking negatively, to do things that make them happy and feel positive. This is what we all have been doing.

“Don’t be sad!” “Don’t be disappointed!”

“Let’s do some exercise! You’d feel better”

“Come on! Be positive! It’s going to be fine!”

“Just ignore the bad feelings. Let’s get a drink!”

“You need to learn to be more optimistic and see the good side of things” etc etc

I’m sure it helps some times. Some clients did report to me that they felt better after sports games or exercise.

I always say that I’m really not one who would support Positive Psychology or anything like that. I don’t really know what it’s about (sorry!), but from what it’s called, it’s not something that seems likely to work to me (more like repression or denial?).

If you have been reading my blog, you’d know that I learnt and practiced ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), where we see positives and negatives are almost equally likely to happen in our lives, and so we accept them, live with them, in accordance to our values.

Related ACT posts on huibee.com:

Thought Challenging or Thought Accepting?

Can you control your thoughts and feelings?

Little Activities on Mindfulness & Acceptance

More on ACT coming soon. 

Learning Psychological Flexibility since Young

Our education taught us to work so hard to​ score 96 on maths, 95 on Chinese, 100 on moral, 90 on science etc. On top of that, it’s very common in Asian countries that children are​ sent to tuition classes, music, art​, martial art​ classes etc.

We’re a generation with blessings​(?)​, nothing much to worry about, parents,​ teachers, or the government will plan the route and do the worries for us, what’s better, problems are solved before we even​ realised it.

But what if we fall? Fall so badly​?​ ​Being in big trouble? Facing major life challenges?

​Sometimes we read in the news – A teenager of 17 years old committed suicide because “my girlfriend wants to breakup with me, life is meaningless”, the other one because she is one A short to make it a straight As in SPM. We see depression, mood swing, anxiety-related problems, OCD, insomnia in younger and younger age. We thought they are supposed to be having fun at that age​, but they don’t seem to be able to have fun?!

​Why never we learnt psychological flexibility since young? Why the environment was never created to learn that since young? Why English, Maths, Science, (even) Moral, Volley ball, etc, but never about how to bounce back, how to be emotionally resilient? ​Or in other words, how to stand up when we fall? Why for over 10 years we’ve been attending schools and universities, but the educational system never taught us this?

Prevention is better than cure, but we aren’t even preventing the happening of mental disorders, quite often people only start to learn about resilience after they suffer (like our patients who wished that they knew this and that long time ago).

How do we create that kind of environment for our next generations? Where (whether positive or negative) thoughts and feelings are taken lightly; where we understand negative and positive events, thoughts, feelings are just equally likely to happen as the positive ones, so we face them all and accept them all; where we allow children to explore their feelings and thoughts during difficult times; where even a young child understand what value is and changing or persisting his/her behaviour in serving of the values; where we are able to adapt to changing environmental and situational demands and get the balance in them?