Traditional CBT encourages techniques like thought-challenging and distraction in order to stop automatic negative thought patterns.

And certainly this can be effective, I’ve used it myself and it’s helped me a great deal.

But if you’ve ever tried stopping your thoughts or distracting yourself, sometimes you might notice that either it doesn’t work, or you can still feel it bubbling under the surface.

I’m also quite certain if you ever tried just using positive thought to overcome your social anxiety, you’ll have probably noticed it doesn’t work very well (not talking about rationalization here).

Why is that?  I explain what’s going on here in the video about the difference between the two approaches of “thought changing” vs. “thought allowing”:

The relationships we have with our thoughts and feelings is a powerful one.

If we learn to change that, then we are building a skillset that not only helps us get over social anxiety, but also helps us with any emotional difficulty or challenge that arises in our lives.

It’s quite an amazing thing.  But it definitely takes A LOT of practice.  I think it’s well worth it.


P.S. I’m working steadily on my Dissolve Your Social Anxiety program.  It’s a lot of work and I want to get it right, so excuse the delay.  But I’m really hoping it’s going to help a great number of people in the coming year.

    2 replies to "What If Your Social Anxiety Thoughts & Feelings Are NOT the Problem?"

    • Ken

      How do you let go of negative thoughts if you don’t rationalize them. Do you just say it’s no big deal that I’m having this thought. It seems to me that the negative thought will keep coming back if you don’t try to rationalize them. Can you give an example how a positive thought can trick you.

      • David H.

        I like rationalization very much, but I find it has limits. I explain in the video a couple of techinques of allowing the thought to be there but distancing yourself from it. One is the “having/noticing” exercise. Let me be clear that rationalization and positive thought are two different things. Rationalization includes both the positive and negative, which is why overall I believe it to be a better route of the mental methods. However mindfulness is different than rationalization even, and has to do with not trying to change the content of the thought, but allow it to be there, and do what matters to you anyway. I believe there’s great value in both rationalization, and mindfulness. Some positive thought stuff, but only advocate a select type of this, and in certain situations.

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