Different levels of anxiety can make you feel like you cannot breathe or that you are going to die. Exposure therapy can help you confront those triggers that make you feel the way you do.
Anxiety can be a very scary feeling. It can make you feel like you cannot breathe or that you are going to die. If you have anxiety, there is help. Exposure therapy can help you confront those triggers that make you feel the way you do. With time and patience, you can overcome your anxiety and live a fuller life.
What Does Exposure Therapy for Anxiety Look Like?
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 put you in a room with a lizard. Yes, you may experience an immediate fear response. However, you will eventually be able to adapt. Your brain does not like being under stress so it will reduce the amount of anxiety.
This is how exposure therapy works, by reducing the fear response over time. It is a slow but effective process that can help people with anxiety disorders live normal lives.
Panic Disorder and Exposure Therapy
Having a panic disorder is intense, extreme anxiety. 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. Some of these ways include:
- Imagining and describing your fear
- Writing your fear
- 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.
Photos Assist in Exposure Therapy for Anxiety Disorder
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 a 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.
An Exposure Therapy Program in Tacoma Can Help
If you are struggling with anxiety, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about exposure therapy.
At Bayview Recovery, we know how difficult it can be to struggle with an anxiety disorder. Therefore, we are committed to helping people just like you. We offer a variety of treatment programs, including:
- Group therapy: This type of therapy can provide you with support from others who understand what you are going through.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Can help you change the way you think about your anxiety.
- Dialectical-behavioral therapy: Helps you cope with anxiety in a healthier way.
- Psychotherapy: Helps you understand your anxiety disorder and learn how to manage it.
- Yoga therapy: This uses the power of mindfulness and movement to help you control your anxiety.
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 at 855.478.3650, as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.