Contd.: How To Make An Exposure Exercise To Practice Handling Stressful Thoughts
Here continues a summary of my posts on how to recover as quickly as possible from more serious stress and exhaustion symptoms.
This post continues with how to handle stressful thoughts, such as anxiety and rumination, as it is crucial to learn to steer one’s thoughts in order to reduce the stress level and create conditions for recovery.
Last weeks’ posts have contained the main principles of how to make a worry-hour work with the aim to steer one’s thinking in order to make worrying thoughts more manageable.
One can choose from several strategies.
Today’s post continues with exposure, a commonly used technique in traditional CBT therapy. Note that you should only try to do this after reading about how to calm yourself.
If you feel insecure, uncomfortable or fragile, you should only do this with together with a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist.
In an exposure you shall visualize the worst possible scenario.
Imagine in detail what it feels like to be in the situation:
What you and others around you would think, feel, say and do. Just like watching a movie.
Ask yourself what is the worst thing about experiencing this while watching the situation unfold before you. Breathe calmly and be relaxed.
Keep pushing your movie by visualizing your answers to: “If that happened, the worst thing with that would be… and then X would happen and the worst thing about that would be… and then Z would happen… and then….”
More about what to do during an exposure next week.