Different levels of anxiety can make you feel like you cannot breath or that you are going to die. Exposure therapy can help you confront those triggers that make you feel the way you do. By doing exposure therapy at home, you will help yourself get over your fear so that you can get your anxiety under control.
When you are confronted by your fear for a long time, you are able to adapt to the stimulus that is causing your fear which will stop you from feeling stressed. For example, if you are scared of lizards, a therapist will lock you in a room with a lizard and you may experience a severe fear response but then eventually be able to adapt. Your brain does not like being under stress so it will reduce the amount of anxiety.
Having a panic disorder is an intense extreme anxiety and you feel like you are about to have a heart attack or are afraid you will have one. Your therapist may ask you to spin in a circle to be dizzy and you will learn how to calm down your anxiety. Before trying exposure therapy at home, you should learn as much as you can about your anxiety and why you feel these particular triggers. There are a number of ways to use exposure therapy at home like imagining and describing your fear, writing your fear, and looking at photos or videos. For example, you can imagine seeing the lizard, addressing your fear, and learning your new response to this fear as well as watching the lizard or writing about the lizard and your potential response. Find ways to control your anxiety using deep breathing, muscle relaxation, or yoga.
If you are using photos for your exposure therapy, take a look at the photos when you are ready. Do not switch to the next photo until you have your anxiety under control. Keep doing your exposure therapy to ensure that it does not come back. If you are afraid of getting severe reaction from what you see, do your exercises in front of a doctor. Eventually, you will be able to confront your fear and be less anxious whenever you come across it. Even if you do not do exposure therapy for years, do not feel like it will never be useful. If your fear returns, go back to your exercises.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.