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Tips for Coping with Anxiety/Fear/Phobic Avoidance:


Fear is a bully. Don’t let it bully you. Stay in the situation, in spite of your fear.

The more you let fear win, the bigger it grows. Face your fear by staying in the situation for 5 minutes. Later, increase this practice time to ten minutes.

Fight the bully by acting brave.

Expect to feel scared, but try to act brave anyway.

Tolerate bad feelings. Don’t let them bully you. Get mad at the physical symptoms of anxiety (stomachache, lump in throat, nausea, trembling.) Try to tolerate the bad feelings and stay in the situation anyway.

Rehearse & role-play situations that scare you, especially the ones that are a
1, 2, 3 or 4 on your anxiety scale.

Try not to seek reassurance from others. This destroys your ability to reassure yourself.

When possible, ignore the worry monster by focusing on something pleasant in the present moment (a pretty color, a nice feeling fabric you are wearing, your relaxation breathing, a nice sound in the room, etc.)

When possible, ignore the social anxiety monster, by asking other people questions about themselves or commenting on something another person is doing or offering to help with a chore that needs to be done. (In other words, focus outside of yourself.)

Also, don’t forget to smile in social situations. This helps other people with social anxiety feel better. At least half of the people in the room have social anxiety. You can help them!

You are not alone. Many people feel anxious (about 1 in 4 people have an anxiety disorder) but they hide it by acting brave. They are true heroes, and when you fight your fear you are a hero too!