I'm trying to figure out how to put session 3 into practice. Most of what I have are automatic feelings and not necessarily automatic negative thoughts. When I get nervous in social situations I get VERY red and my neck and chest get blotchy. Yes, it is very noticeable to others because it is so prominent. I have had many comments on it. Most of the time it happens upon meeting someone (introductions) or running into someone in public (the element of surprise). It started to spiral out of control and is now consuming me and spreading out into other areas of my life...for example now I am terrified of going to doctors because it keeps happening with doctors too. So I obsess about it. I have a friend's relatives coming into town in the next month and the last time I met them I was practically purple. LOL! So I am DREADING them coming again and will have to spend several days with them and do the DREADED DINNER OUT!!!! LOL! Having dinner makes me feel so trapped that the anxiety alone from that is crippling. Then I can imagine having dinner with them and having someone I know come to the table (the unexpected situations). That would probably make me spontaneously combust from the heat on my face. But I know that my brain has remembered my last encounters with them and it's on auto pilot and unless I do something I will have the same thing happen again.
So I guess the problem is that the automatic feelings come on very suddenly and then once I start going red there is no way to stop it. I can TELL myself I will be fine when I know I will be introduced to someone...I can TELL myself that I will be just fine at the doctors office...and I can TELL myself that all of this is irrational when I know someone I haven't met is about to come to an outing (introductions) but then boom...out of nowhere I go red. And yes, if I THINK about going red then I will go red as well. I can be as calm and peaceful beforehand as I possibly can but ultimately when I get face to face with that person it happens. The only thing that saves me is if it's a really hot day and I'm already hot or if it's super cold weather. Then I am not affected at all. I guess I just don't know how to stop feelings that come on so strong when many times (as far as I know) I haven't had a thought about going red...it's just the nervousness that I feel causing it. The automatic negative thoughts I have about it are mainly "I hope I don't go red" or "what can I do or where can I escape if I go red." So I'm just not sure how to take this session 3 information and put it into practice for me.