What is an Anxiety Casting Exercise (ACE)?
It is normal to have concerns over our responsibilities and life, but it is not productive to be ruminating our worrying thoughts sometimes. ACE is a technique to help you gain control of your intrusive worrying thoughts and counteract them with Scriptures.
How do you practice ACE?
- Get a journal/ notebook/ open a word document, which should ALWAYS be with you.
- Establish an uninterrupted ACE Time every day (with no internet/ cell phones/checking your mails). Preferably NOT before your bedtime. Try doing it in the morning or early afternoon.
- Give each major area of your worrying thoughts 2 pages (e.g. relationships, finances, future uncertainties, etc.).
- Prepare one page to put down all of your distracting thoughts (e.g. paying your rent, returning a text, feed your pet, etc.) during your assigned ACE time.
- Under each topic of worrying thoughts (2 pages assigned), write down your repeated worrying thoughts on the first page (either in point form or in paragraphs)
- On the second page, write down ideas for rectifying the situation, reframing the situation with Scriptures.
- Refuse to worry outside of your ACE time.
- If a worrisome thought came to mind, open the ACE journal, enter the thought into the corresponding list. Tell yourself, “It will not be forgotten because it is in the book.”
- Review your worry thoughts and repeat the first few steps during your next assigned ACE time.
- Bring your ACE journal to your next session and process it with your therapist (if needed).