An important step in managing anxiety involves facing feared situations, places or objects. It is normal to want to avoid the things you fear. However, avoidance prevents you from learning that the things you fear are not as dangerous as you think. The process of facing fears is called EXPOSURE. Exposure involves gradually and repeatedly going into feared situations until you feel less anxious. Exposure is not dangerous and will not make the fear worse. And after a while, your anxiety will naturally lessen.
Starting with situations that are less scary, you work your way up to facing things that cause you a great deal of anxiety. Over time, you build up confidence in those situations and may even come to enjoy them. This process often happens naturally. A person who is afraid of the water takes swimming lessons every week and practices putting their feet and legs in the water, then the whole body and, finally, diving underwater. People with a fear of water can learn to love swimming. The same process occurs when people learn to ride a bike, skate, or drive a car.