In this week’s episode, we have an enlightening chat with psychologist Dr. Carissa Gustafson about using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to get a handle on anxiety. Dr. Gustafson provides valuable insights on how a sense of lacking control can drive anxiety. She explains how ACT helps you accept what you can and can’t control, and take action focused on the present moment.
We also dive into powerful ACT concepts like mindfulness, cognitive defusion, and connecting behaviors to your core values. Dr. Gustafson emphasizes embracing all your experiences with compassion as opposed to avoiding difficult emotions. She shares extremely practical techniques to become more flexible and committed to the meaningful life you want. Get ready to learn research-backed tools to develop self-awareness, acceptance, and take value-aligned action when anxiety strikes!
In this episode you’ll learn:
2:30 – Dr. Gustafson explains how anxiety arises from wanting control to feel safe. She emphasizes accepting what you can and can’t control.
7:55 – How mindfulness helps relate to thoughts and feelings with open awareness rather than avoidance.
13:40 – Dr. Gustafson talks about using cognitive defusion to become unstuck from anxious thoughts. She suggests thanking your mind for trying to protect you.
21:15 – Dr. Jay asks about linking behaviors to values to enhance motivation for change. Dr. Gustafson agrees this is key.
31:20 – Dr. Gustafson stresses embracing all experiences, even difficult emotions, with self-compassion rather than judgment.