Taking anxiety step by step


#1

Hi all,
So I am on session 7 and I just wanted opinions on my approach to overcoming anxiety. So I consider my social anxiety moderate. It’s not a really extreme case and so not every social situation makes me anxious. I don’t know how to go step by step. I kinda have been just going with the flow of my life and trying to stay calm and be rational along the way. There are a few things that cause me higher amounts of anxiety that I have chosen not to approach yet because I don’t want to flood myself.
I feel that talking on the phone when other people are around listening, causes me more anxiety then just talking on the phone when no one else is around. But it also depends on who I’m talking on the phone with. Also, being the center of attention, or presenting in front of a lot of people makes me really anxious. And being with certain people that I feel inferior or intimidated by make me anxious. These are the highest extremes of my SA. My past experiences with certain people have led me to feel anxious around them now because I have made myself believe that they were judging me negatively when in reality it was only my irrational ANTS lies trying to fool me. I am trying to be more rational but I didn’t know how to approach this step by step. I know that the therapy doesn’t have to be done in a perfect way but I was just wondering if just going with the flow with situations that cause me moderate anxiety is okay. I haven’t done anything that hs reached the high levels yet.

And also just to add, I had a very interesting dream last night. In my dream, I was using slow talk with someone and I was telling myself to calm down in my dream and to take the situation slowly. I wonder if this is just coincidental or if it is a sign or progress? Lol :-):laughing:


#2

Taking things “step by step” applies to all things. Do the therapy step by step - day by day. Use the rational thoughts, calming down techniques, stopping ANTs, the Look Around Technique - (and everything we do always) in a gradual step by step manner. Approach your life’s situations in this same way, too. Don’t let whatever/whenever situation that happens (doesn’t matter the particulars) throw you off, or make you drop all the strategies you are learning slowling through the therapy. USE them. Put them into place in your day, before, during and after an event. There is no perfect answer for each and every social situation that we may encounter - that’s life. Everything you’ve discussed is from social anxiety - there is NOTHING different about that. Keep your mind and your feelings grounded in this step by step expectation, also, so that you avoid false, irrational expectations and pressure that never helps. Simply by doing the therapy daily and, hopefully, applying the concepts, you are in fact approaching this in a step by step way. The whole series is laid out that way - to take it slowly and gradually in a way that the mind can accept - unlike other therapies which would jump to unbelievable positivity too fast for us to digest or even get anything from. This whole process is step by step. When you approach situations in your life, you are looking for ways, already discussed in the therapy, to keep those situations in perspective and to look for easier ways to approach them. Those ways are for you to find/think about/see in the moment. And there’s no need to question yourself on if you’re doing that part right or wrong. You’re doing something that you’ve decided might be an easier step, and if something feels more than that, which will happen because this is life, then you still come back and try to get rational with those feelings. That’s what you’re trying to do each time. We do not have to make it more complicated than that.