Sunday and Monday
Week 6 Review:
“Last week we started with the handout Attitudes. We wanted to practice saying and feeling these attitudes so that when we find ourselves in an anxiety situation, these short attitudes statements will pop up automatically into our minds. Here are some of the attitudes statements: SO WHAT?, WHO CARES?, WHY AM I DWELLING ON THIS? … When we dwell on our old, automatic negative thoughts we want the WHY AM I DWELLING ON THIS STATEMENT? to pop into our minds.”
“Part of our problem with social anxiety is that we have not seen ourselves realistically in the past. We have had a lifelong tendency to put ourselves down, beat ourselves up, feel guilty about things we don’t have any control over, take things too personally, over exaggerate situations, and to see ourselves as being less important than other people. As a result of all this irrational thinking, we naturally expect our future to be as bad as our present.” SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY
DE-STRESSING STRATEGIES HANDOUT
“These are factual statements we want to get into our minds to cut down on our old habits of over exaggeration, blowing things out of proportion, and escalating our cycle of anxiety. Through this handout we want to slow down, move in a more peaceful frame of mind, take a few steps back, and reassess what is going on around us.”
THE SOCIAL ANXIETY “AUTOMATIC” CYCLE HANDOUT
“If I think others see me as being nervous, then I TRY not to be nervous. That’s more pressure I’m putting on myself. The more we TRY not to be nervous, the more nervous we get.”
“SO WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY DOING TO OURSELVES? We are beating ourselves up over our own internal anxiety—many times that no one else notices anyway. This may, in part, explain why it is so difficult for us to explain our problem to other people—and why other people, including therapists, have such a difficult time understanding social anxiety. We look normally, we talk normally, and no one usually notices our fear and anxiety.”
TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART ONE HANDOUT
“You are not responsible for having social anxiety. But, you are the only one who can be responsible for your healing.”
“If you’re worries about a situation, TURN THE THOUGHT AROUND: “This is not as horrible an event as I once feared. This is an event I’ve had difficulty with it the past. But I’m a different person now. This event may still cause some anxiety, but it will be a little better than it was before.” But I must take it slow; I can’t go from having anxiety to not having anxiety. It’s a step-by-step process that gets a little easier after each situation. Sometimes it’s good to start with neutral statements. For example, this weekend I’m going to a wedding—This may not be a fun event, but I am doing better at it than I used to think.
ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT
“We are not accepting our social anxiety, but it is important that we accept ourselves as people—human beings who make mistakes and know and feel there is nothing wrong with us. We are accepting ourselves so that the social anxiety will have no negative energy to keep it going. The more we can accept ourselves and stop beating ourselves up, the more we move away from social anxiety.”
“Acceptance is a powerful process. When I accept myself, I have opened the door for change.”
Goals this week:
ANTS HANDOUT read everyday
ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT read everyday
FIGHTING PARADOX HANDOUT glance at everyday, constantly remind
TURNING THE TABLES ON ANTS, PART ONE HANDOUT read, remind
Review DESTRESSING STRATEGIES and ATTITIDES
Very depressed; didn’t work on CBT, in other words.
Wednesday to Saturday
I read the ANTS HANDOUT and the ACCEPTING MYSELF AS I AM RIGHT NOW HANDOUT in slow talk and glanced at the other handouts each day.