There are many effective methods for managing anxiety, and one such method I have used is the use of Aaron T Beck’s “AWARE” acronym, to help a person learn how to control their anxiety. Aaron T Beck is a prominent American psychiatrist who is known for developing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to mental health challenges, including anxiety. One tool that Beck developed for managing anxiety is under the acronym ‘AWARE’.
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What does Beck’s acronym ‘AWARE’ stands for?
The AWARE acronym is a cognitive-behavioral technique that can be used to manage anxiety symptoms. The acronym stands for:
A – Accept and Acknowledge the anxiety: The first step in managing anxiety is to accept that it is present. Accept that the response is a natural response. Fighting or resisting the anxiety can actually make it worse, so it’s important to acknowledge its presence and allow it to be there. Experience the emotion without judgment.
W – Watch the anxiety: Once you have accepted the anxiety, the next step is to observe it. Pay attention to how it feels in your body, what thoughts are associated with it, and what triggers it. It can be useful to take a step back and view the anxiety as an outside observer.
A – Act with the anxiety: While it may be tempting to avoid situations that trigger anxiety, it’s important to face them instead. By gradually exposing yourself to the things that make you anxious, you can build up your tolerance and reduce your anxiety over time.
R – Repeat the steps: Managing anxiety is an ongoing process, so it’s important to repeat the steps of the AWARE acronym regularly and try to integrate them into your daily life. Over time, you will develop greater awareness of your anxiety and learn how to manage it more effectively.
E – End: Finally, remember that anxiety is a temporary state that will pass. Even if it feels overwhelming at the moment, remind yourself that it will eventually subside. Focus on positive self-talk and reassuring thoughts to help you cope.
Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence–The Groundbreaking Meditation Practice Paperback
The AWARE acronym is a simple but powerful tool for managing anxiety. By acknowledging, watching, and acting with your anxiety, you can learn to cope with it more effectively.