How To Use Exposure To Handle Stressful & Worrying Situations & 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.
After identifying and analyzing your unproductive thoughts/themes according to previous posts, you can choose from several strategies.
Today it is about 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 a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist.
The technique is to make a visual exposure by using imagination and try to imagine, really in the mind see, the worst possible scenario and making it as detailed as possible for up to 30 minutes a day.
For example, being afraid of flying due to fear of being involved in a plane crash, is a typical unproductive but stressfull concern if you still have to / want to be able to travel since you have no control over the plane and it is very unlikely to be in a plane crash.
Statistically, it is more likely to be involved in a car accident than in a plane crash.
More about what to do during an exposure next week.