1) What was the trigger? Was it internal or external? Being at a social event, having critical thoughts about my competence
2) What sensations do you feel? Stomach in a knot, muscle tension, light-headed, pain in chest
3) What thoughts are you having? “What if other people notice how anxious I am and judge me? What if my mind goes
blank when I’m trying to talk to someone? What if I don’t know what to say?”
4) What is your reaction to the sensations and the thoughts? I remembered that I talked about this happening in therapy, but in the moment I just felt so embarrassed that I couldn’t bear it. The sensations felt out of control and I believed my thoughts.
5) What types of avoidance do you want to engage in? Reassuring myself, getting reassurance from my friend who was there, comparing myself to other people there, leaving the party
6) Did you engage in avoidance/neutralization/compulsions? Yes
7) If yes, what did you do? If no, why didn’t you? I did all of them and it just kept getting worse. The more reassurance I tried to get from myself and my friend, the more anxious I felt. Comparing myself to others made me feel awful too.