Updated: Jun 14, 2022
It's okay if you're feeling anxious about jumping into your Virtual Dating Exposure on Loop. Here are a few tips from our Mental Health Team to help you turn down the anxiety and get the most out of the experience:
✅ Set One Achievable Goal
What is one thing you want to do in this exposure?
Maybe your goal is to verbally participate in an exposure or ask 2 questions. Whatever it is, your goal should be something you can easily measure. Try to pick a goal that challenges you to step out of your comfort zone and practice something you often avoid.
❌ Eliminate Safety Behaviors
Be on the lookout for your go-to safety behaviors (those things you do in social situations to feel more comfortable).
Anxiety is a normal everyday experience, and the purpose of exposure is to practice feeling anxious! To have a successful exposure, you want to practice managing our anxiety without any “crutches.”
🛠 Keep Your Toolbox On Hand
During the exposure, you might feel an itch to turn to those safety behaviors, especially when your anxiety starts to grow. While we don’t want you to use your safety behaviors, we do want you to use your coping skills!
For example, if your safety behavior is scrolling through your phone when the exposure starts to feel too anxiety provoking, you can try planting your hands on your side or on a desk in front of you.
Don’t worry, your Guide and Peer Mentor will be able to help you figure out what works for you!