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.

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The Social Anxiety Association

The Social Anxiety Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to meet the growing needs of people with social anxiety.  The SAA became inactive for several years due to lack of resources.  We are in the process of re-doing our website, listing all active, structured CBT groups for social anxiety, and renewing all our licenses.  Major changes will be happening by the end of 2013.  We publish new web content -- concerning social anxiety -- almost daily on the site now.

The Social Anxiety Institute is the largest website on the internet about social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Therapy programs have run at the Institute full-time since 1994.  Major new help for overcoming social anxiety is under development and will be introduced in 2013. 

For treatment: Overcoming social anxiety: Step by Step   A structured guide to overcoming social anxiety (a "How to" guide to get over social anxiety).

The Anxiety Network explains and describes five major anxiety disorders.

Guidelines for listing social anxiety groups on this site.  We cannot officially endorse groups, so check them out thoroughly.  We ask that they be groups that are operating, have a definite leader, and are thoroughly structured.  Social anxiety therapy groups are very different than the groups that operate for other mental health conditions.