Now that you have learned how to identify, challenge, and change your anxious thinking patterns, it is time to move into the next phase of your treatment plan – facing your fears head on. You are going to put yourself into the social situations that you fear.
It may sound scary, but now that you are armed with the knowledge of how anxiety works and how your thoughts can run out of control if left unchecked, you will be able to face your fears. You won’t feel so overwhelmed when hit with an anxiety attack because you know the three components of an anxiety attack – thoughts, physical feelings, and behaviors.
Once you are able to break anxiety up into its components so it’s not so confusing and overwhelming. Once you truly understand the mechanisms behind anxiety and fear, you gain a lot of control. You see those thoughts for what they are.
Facing your fears will help you see that the things you fear are really not that bad. When you avoid the things you fear, you are actually reinforcing your fears.
The fear you feel is often unwarranted. In fact, the fear is actually more terrible than if the thing that you fear actually happened. If it happened, then you would deal with it – you would be able to cope with it. Fear will make you feel weak and not in control, if you let it.
How do you take away the power of fear? Again, you face your fear!