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I'm pretty sure there was a thread like this before but nothing really came of it. I was thinking... What if we had a thread where we would challenge each other to do things that would normally cause us anxiety? Here's the plan. Every week I'll post 5 "challenges". You must choose 3 of them and complete the challenges over the course of a week. Then, you can post what you have accomplished and you can even explain how it went, what thoughts went through your head, how anxious you felt, etc. I know from experience that exposure therapy does help a bit. I'm not saying that you should just jump in the middle of a group of people and tell them your whole life story. But even doing small things can help you break out of your shell. I encourage those on this forum who doubt that they could do any of these challenges to read a book called "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David Burns or any other positive thinking book. Once you get the positive thinking thing down pat, it becomes easier to talk yourself through these challenges.

This will be a form of therapy. You'll go through the exposure part first and then come back to the forum to talk about what you experienced. By posting which 3 challenges you'll be trying to accomplish, you sort of make a commitment to us on here to complete the challenges. Doing this sort of pushes you to step out of your comfort level to accomplish the challenges. Now, the challenges are going to be straightforward. However, in order to complete the challenges, you don't need to have to accomplish them without having any anxiety. For example, say one of the challenges is to talk to someone at a grocery store. Say you find someone to talk to but you stumble with your words and you blush a little. You have completed the challenge regardless of whether or not you were anxious while doing it. Now if after the challenge you want to come back to this thread and talk about why you were anxious, you may do so.

Again, I encourage those who have severe anxiety to read a positive thinking book before participating as not having these skills can cause your anxiety/depression to become worse. FWIW, according to the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, I have severe anxiety but I don't feel like it's severe because I'm able to get through my anxiety using positive thinking.

So... does this sound interesting to anyone? I'm thinking of posting the first 5 challenges on Monday.
 
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