Catching Irrational Thoughts
Notice irrational thoughts and beliefs, label them for being liars, and gently dismiss them. Find something proactive to do and you are staying on track for overcoming social anxiety. Noticing when you are having these irrational beliefs during the day may be the hardest part of this, so keep reading over "The ANTs Handout" every day in slow talk so that your brain understands this more and more deeply: The more our ANTs thoughts are in control, we are doomed to live with social anxiety. The more we catch these irrational, bullying thoughts and call them out for what they really are (irrational, liars, bullies) then the brain can more easily dismiss them, as you move forward and DO something proactive -- suggestions are on your handouts, but distractions that are positive will always work if you stick with it long enough.
Give everything enough time to work, please. In our groups here, I make sure to have my members read over the ANTs Handout every day for the entire 15 weeks, so that it is gently dropped into the brain and they have a hard time forgetting it. Then, during the day, it is much easier to catch ANTS thoughts and beliefs.
This gentle process is the main way we get in control of our own thoughts and beliefs. It does take time and repetition, but it is calming and gentle to slow talk the truth to yourself. Do not push, battle, fight, or try to force anything into your brain. Your brain only works so fast. That's why gently going over the relevant handouts every day works, and why your brain literally changes over time.
Everyone can overcome social anxiety -- if we do it in the right way. Please choose to follow a tested, fully researched and used practically in real clinical settings. An active, structured program, done in the appropriate way, gives you back control over your own life.