Hi! We don't have that many actual emotions about six or seven you know things like fear, happiness, sadness, shame, and a few others but emotions are pretty strong and it's really hard to ignore emotions even if it's not really helpful.
Now, in the case of anxiety what do you think the emotion is that is driving your anxiety? Well, it's not happiness it's probably not shame, its fear. Fear is the emotion that drives anxiety. Now, if you listen to fear and if you believe fear is legitimately telling you something that's important to you then you're going to make decisions based on fear. If however, you're able to just take a little few steps back and I just take three steps back but take a couple of steps back from the emotion and recognize that the emotion is being generated probably just by habits of thought or it's been generated by beliefs that you have about the world, etc., such as you know I will be exposed, I'll get found out, I'll get singled out for ridicule, you know some kind of negative and unhelpful thought.
If you can recognize that your emotion is being generated in a sense artificially and therefore any response you make to that emotion is incorrect and unhelpful.
You can create the emotion of fear
So, let me just put that different way. You can create the emotion of fear sitting in your bath drinking a glass of wine with candles all around you by putting some effort into your imagination you're gonna create imaginative scenarios, they will make you feel fearful.
A lot of times of anxiety but do that and we don't know we're doing it but if you respond to that fear then as if it's a legitimate emotion as if it's kind of accurate, as if it tells you something about the world you're going to make decisions based on fear and when you make decisions based on fear you reinforce the fear.
Okay, so fear is a very powerful attention-getting emotion you can't help but pay attention to fear so what we have to do is we've got to take a few steps back and say hang on a minute I do feel fearful but my fear isn't legitimate, right. It's not telling me anything and therefore you have to do something against the fear so you've got to do something to challenge the fear.
Do the very smallest thing that you can do
Now, I would suggest to you have a think about it. Do the very smallest thing that you can do that would challenge your emotion of fear so for instance and this is obviously a silly example but if you're frightened that you couldn't go out of the house and I have actually met people over the years that without fearful frightened of simply going outside of the house, at the time my suggestion was put a chair outside the back door and sit in the chair.
So, have twenty minutes in the sunshine with a cup of tea sitting outside of the house if going outside of the house is the fear and it's a simple thing it's not a big thing but it challenges the fear. And if you chip away at the fear, the fear retreats and as the theory treats your world expands so another example would be for instance not being able to go out because of being fearful of trying to find a bathroom.
Okay, so we we go out for a small period of time and we know where the bathroom is let's say but we're out and we're exposed to the world. So, we go let's say from here to a garage where we know this bathroom. It's a decision that is pushing the fear and now else we've got a bit of safety behavior in there in a sense of knowing there's a bathroom.
We're pushing the fear a little bit and we're taking back our life so you always have two choices, you can make decisions based on fear which is always a mistake unless of course dessert even mad as killer in which case you definitely should make decisions based on fear right. So, we can make decisions based on fear because the fear is not validly telling us something or we can make decisions base and all our own best interests on our way sorry, our kind of goals for the life that we have.
So, my suggestion would be do the smallest thing that you can find that pushes against the fear and expands your world. Thanks for taking the time to watch and listen.
Join the Active Self Help Community here.