Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Molly Mogren of the blog “Hey Eleanor!” Prior to starting her most recent project as a full-time freelancer and blogger, Molly was featured in Delta’s Sky Magazine, Food & Wine, and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Molly started the “Hey Eleanor!” blog because she wanted to incorporate Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous quote, “Do one thing everyday that scares you,” into her daily life. She felt she had fallen into a rut, so she decided to make a change. Change is difficult for anyone, but Molly also struggles with anxiety, so that added to the “scariness” of making changes. I really liked what she had to say about fear, because it’s consistent with one of the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – that you can often make things less scary as you face your fears:
“It’s not that I was no longer afraid, but as it turns out, you can practice being afraid. The more you do it, the less daunting scary things feel. Also, I learned that nothing is as scary in reality as it is in your head.”
Below is an excerpt from her blog post, Psychologist Dr. Russell Morfitt on How to Deal with Social Anxiety:
What can a Learn to Live member expect from the program? How long does it last? What’s the commitment like?
Dr. Russ: Structurally, the Learn to Live Social Anxiety Program consists of eight interactive, multimedia lessons with practice exercises to complete in between. We recommend completing about one lesson per week. Periodic assessments help members to set goals and track their progress along the way.
Members quickly learn that they are not alone, which is very powerful. Throughout the program, they learn the key tools of CBT and how to apply them in their personal situation. Members also learn how to build up their social support network, a trusted group of friends or family that may support and encourage them throughout the program.
And it’s not just thought-challenges and fear-facing exercises. These are important, no doubt. But sometimes it’s the small things in our lives, the tiny avoidant habits that add up to unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Members learn to identify these habits and work toward changing them. The overall process involves learning online, then applying that learning to one’s life. It’s really the real-world practice that creates results.
If you want to find out more about CBT, the Learn to Live story, and social anxiety, here’s the full interview – Psychologist Dr. Russell Morfitt on How to Deal with Social Anxiety.
Molly has done a great job of connecting with other people who have faced their fears, like Jaimal Yogis of The Fear Project, and has even started her own #HeyEleanorChallenge, “a weekly email encouraging you guys to take itty-bitty steps (and the occasional big leap) outside of your comfort zone.” Sign up for the email list here. You can also like “Hey Eleanor” on Facebook or follow along with Molly on Twitter.