It’s an interesting question that I’m sure you’ve wondered about before.
I mean, it’s like you don’t want to overcome your health phobia or fear of flying, right? Of course you do. It’s not a lack of desire on your part that holds you back.
More likely, it’s knowing that exposure to your fears could make you feel worse.
But that’s why it’s important to remember that when you use exposure to extinguish your fears it should be done gradually.
That’s the most important lesson I learned from this week’s podcast guest Guy Oberwise, LCSW.
Guy is the mood and anxiety coordinator at Timberline Knolls, a residential treatment facility in Lemont, Illinois.
Guy pointed out that when you use exposure you don’t go directly from a fear of snakes to handling one, for example.
You take small steps towards facing your fears in a controlled manner. The sucky part is that recovery can take a while.
In fact, Guy shared a funny (and insightful) conversation with a resident that wondered why her anxiety wasn’t lowering despite trying meditation a few times.
Well it turned out that she had struggled with anxiety for years. But after just a few attempts at relaxation she expected big results.
And that’s a thing. People expecting quick results when they are wrapped up in a complex problem.
Anxiety reduction, whether through exposure or some other means, comes at a price.
That price includes time, patience and hard work. It may also include a bit of pain and discomfort. That’s just the truth.
But if you are willing to face your fears you will inevitably reap the rewards. You will also find out a lot about yourself and how to move forward.
Not just in terms of anxiety, but life in general. So join me for this week’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show.
Don’t forget to leave your brilliant comments below!