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How can I learn to confront anxiety provoking situations?

24 Answers
Last Updated: 01/07/2020 at 9:57pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Brenda King, PsyD


I treat life changes, women’s issues, and issues of aging using evidence-based treatments with healthy doses of warmth, empathy and humor to enhance healing and growth.

Top Rated Answers
September 11th, 2014 1:32am
The first step is to admit that these situations are causing stress! From there, you can start to take note of how your body reacts in anticipation of these events - does your breathing become more shallow, does your body language demonstrate less confidence? These physical reactions can create a negative loop in fight-or-flight situations (i.e. you are nervous, you stop breathing regularly, less oxygen flows to your brain, you continue being nervous, etc.). It's also helpful to remember that nervousness and excitement are really the same thing - an excess of energy in your body, meaning that your brain already has the capacity to process this additional energy in a positive way!
November 19th, 2014 4:47pm
A good way to confront it would be to logic yourself out of it. A lot of times in therapy, my therapist will ask me about something that is causing me great anxiety and then keep questioning it to why it is causing me anxiety until I acknowledge that I am having anxiety over it for no logical reason. Logical is the best was to combat anxiety.
October 4th, 2014 3:55pm
By taking deep breaths and counting to ten in your head, it can help calm your anxiety and help you to relax.
October 8th, 2014 4:22pm
I have found that if I am able to think about all of the little things that are causing me to be anxious, and deal with them individually, I find that it's much easier to calm down.
October 8th, 2014 5:40pm
Don’t ever tell yourself that you must not think these thoughts. Let all thoughts come; do not run away from any of them; see them for what they are, just thoughts, exaggerated because of the way you feel. They can do you no harm and they mean nothing. They won’t be around when you recover, so pay them no respect. The best way to alleviate these intrusive thoughts is to allow them their space by NOT trying to force them out.
October 28th, 2014 12:49am
You have to take it slowly, step by step, because throwing yourself into a situation that is anxiety provoking can result in more anxiety.
November 19th, 2014 11:02pm
Sometimes, you just have to do it. It maybe hard and scary, but when you confront it, you learn to deal,with it
September 11th, 2014 1:23am
Using mindfulness meditation is a great way to bring yourself into the present moment and reduce anxiety.
October 25th, 2014 5:16am
From my experience, slowly easing yourself into stressful and anxiety provoking experiences rather than jumping right in has helped me immensely.
October 30th, 2014 8:40am
I think asking the person first if ever the topic your asking is okay to him/her.. if not, the best way is to apologize..her change the subject or if not ask another question. Try to ask light questions and try to lighten the mood. Asking things that he/she enjoys doing and things she/he likes is important to...i think it makes them feel better.
November 5th, 2014 7:35pm
A psychologist told me this once: back thousands and thousands of years ago, humans and animals alike had to fight to survive. As part of this mechanism, we get anxious, or panicked, as a way to fuel adrenaline and make us run faster, fight better, work harder, etc. In this modern world, we don't really experience extreme danger like that (aside from situations such as abuse) all the time. So the best thing we can do when we get anxious is to remind our bodies that we are not in danger. One of the best ways to do that is taking a deep breath in through your nose. Because your breathing is calm and regular, your brain is assuming you are safe enough to stay calm, and therefore there is no need to panic.
November 8th, 2014 4:21pm
I have social anxiety, and I've had many a panic attack in my day. It really helps if you close your eyes and count to ten. You can either whisper it, or say it mentally. When you reach ten, count back down. Count up as you inhale, down as you exhale. Remember that what you're facing can't really hurt you; none of the symptoms in a panic attack can really harm you. Before confronting a situation, you can do the same procedure.
November 11th, 2014 2:04pm
Breathing or cognitive behavior therapy is effective therapies for changing ones view of an anxiety producing event. If it is state anxiety then breathing exercises may be helpful if it is trait anxiety then the behavior, reaction to the anxiety triggers, therapy is possibly more effective. Person centered therapy (PCt) might also be helpful because this therapy is centered on the individual and the individual can decide when therapy ends. So to this point PCt might be a great choice in building ones confidence in regards to coping with anxiety.
November 14th, 2014 5:41am
Take a deep breath or two, drink some water, and listen to a song that you like. Call or text or talk to someone you trust.
November 17th, 2014 8:54pm
You know I ve been fetching answers to this question.. I usually turn my back on anxiety prone situations ...but honestly I too know that I jave to face them by hook or by crook... so I ust let things go.. I dont cling onto one topic..I just let it go..because my mental peace is most important to me. .. :) trust me try things will work out...
July 6th, 2015 4:25pm
Acknowledge that what you're feeling or experiencing could lead to an anxiety attack or feelings of anxiousness, once you know that you have gained control of your thought process. I'm not saying the thoughts and feelings wont come, but you can confront them with a lot more force once you realize you know that what your feeling is because of an anxiety provoking situation and, like all bouts of anxiety, it WILL pass.
October 27th, 2015 11:50pm
You can learn to confront anxiety provoking situations by practicing doing it. Practice with a close friend. When the actual situation comes up, just focus on the surroundings and how it's easier than it looks.
January 12th, 2016 3:51pm
Remember that keeping calm in stressful situation is a muscle that needs exercising - that is, practice makes perfect! You will have so many opportunities in your life to do things that are scary or challenging, so at the end of the day, so what if things don't go perfectly this time? So what if things were a bit embarrassing? There's always next time, and the next time and the next time, and you may find that each time it gets a little bit easier.
February 29th, 2016 12:01pm
1. you can write a thought record about the situation (check how to write one here: 2. What about trying guided relaxation? (link: 3. Or you can simply connect to a listener on the site :)
June 14th, 2016 8:19pm
The only way to learn to confront these situations is by doing them. I know it may seem hard at first, however if you start with something that brings you a little less anxiety and work your way up to more difficult situations it will be much more manageable.
August 30th, 2016 5:54am
One step at a time, in my personal experience! Perhaps make a list of things that are challenging to you. Then start with the least confronting on the list. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge your successes along the way. You can then make your way up the list to more challenging things, but take your time with it and don't rush. This strategy helped me immensely with social anxiety.
November 7th, 2017 5:08pm
Jump in with both feet. Hesitation allows for missed opportunities. Sometimes when the water feels a little too cold when you dip your toe in, if you jump in and put your head under the water you realize that it's not that bad.
May 20th, 2019 12:10am
Sometimes confronting anxiety-producing situations is as simple as practice or even just edging toward a goal. For someone who cannot leave home just the act of putting a hand on the door is empowering. Someone else with Social anxiety may benefit from going to a coffee shop with a trusted friend. Therapy can also be of great help, those with GAD or PTSD can greatly reduce their discomfort when they reach out to a trained professional. In particular, Eye Movement therapy has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing triggers for people with PTSD even when it is considered complex PTSD. Above all else, self-compassion and self-care are vital to facing the challenges of anxiety when we are unfed we cannot exert the kind of mental energy that overcoming obstacles requires.
January 7th, 2020 9:57pm
I would Accept and understand the anxiety provoking situation for just accept it for what it is and then breathe. I would Think logically about how I can deal with the situation and then deal with it based on fact rather than emotion. Step outside of the emotion of the situation and just make reactions or decisions based on facts about the situation and not emotion. Understand that sometimes people enjoy the negative reaction and don't allow myself to be controlled by other peoples emotions or intentions. Confront anxiety provoking situations head on rather than avoiding because sometimes that makes things worse.