Anxiety disorders come in many shapes and sizes within mental health issues, but they all have one thing in common.
A belief that something bad is going to happen, and you won't be able to cope with it when it does.
Anxiety is usually future focused, because you are thinking (or catastrophising) about what might happen. It can create a huge swell of panic and adrenaline, and for some people that can take a long time to subside.
Anxiety makes people feel scared. Scared of embarrassing themselves, scared of being triggered, scared of having a panic attack.
Living like this isn't living. And the only option is to face your fears.
Are you a lion or a bunny rabbit?
When facing your exposure therapy, your success is largely determined by your mindset.
Hear Dr Al talk about the difference between our prey and predator mindsets.
Social anxiety is no picnic. When you’re socially anxious, the party is a monster. It feels like they are judging you and making you small and inferior. It feels like any interaction will probably degenerate into mortal embarrassment. That will confirm your feeling of inferiority and while you bleed shame your blood imbues disgust. No picnic.
The only real solution is exposure therapy.
Exposure therapy doesn’t make you less afraid, it makes you more courageous. Deliberately and voluntarily attacking the challenge taps into our primordial predator stance. We need to do that repeatedly and frequently to become courageous.
That’s not simply going to the party and hiding, although that’s where you might need to start. Competency might entail going, having an agenda, executing that agenda and then leaving. If you do that, You’ve turned the party from being your predator to being your prey.
- Dr Al