Today Billy and I talk about the basics of what exposure therapy is, how it fits into the overall scope of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and how its important to have proper expectations for what exposure can do for you. Near the end of the episode we take some time to answer questions and comments from past episodes.
A panic attack isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, when you’re doing exposure work and trying to learn how not to be afraid of panic and anxiety, having a panic attack is virtually a requirement at some point. Only be experiencing panic without bracing, fighting, avoiding or fleeing can we truly learn that while our fear is real, the danger is not. This is the key to success, so welcome your panic and embrace panic attacks as chances to practice not being afraid!
Lifestyle choices can influence your panic disorder positively or negatively. Eating a healthy diet can go a long way toward making you feel better overall. Avoid alcohol and mind-altering substances like recreational drugs. Anything that changes your mental state can be an anxiety trigger when you’re in a hyper-sensitive state (as many in the grips of panic disorder are). Get regular exercise and expose yourself to sunlight for at least 15 minutes every day if you can (use sunscreen when needed of course). Get plenty of sleep. Learn effective time and stress management techniques. Don’t ignore your emotional and spiritual needs. Living a healthy lifestyle make you feel better physically and mentally, and can really contribute to boosting your confidence and the feeling that you are in control of your life!