What techniques are helping you with SA?

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#1
I have experimented with a few different techniques, CBT, mindfulness, EFT etc and for me EFT has worked the best. I really felt more of an improvement quite quickly. :)

I would like to know what techniques have worked for you guys the best? and what techniques haven't worked so well?

Excited to hear from you all! Hopefully this will help everyone in some way or another! :)
 

fate12321

Well-known member
#2
Well I've never done therapy for SA, but I have used my own self anti-SA methods, so to speak. For example, I find exercising makes me feel a bit less anxious and good about myself. Communicating with others, and going out to public places also helps.
 

planetweirdo

Well-known member
#3
CBT has been helpful, but confronting my fears is still very difficult for me to do.

Distraction helps me a lot. When I have fearful or depression thoughts I try to distract myself from those thoughts by refocusing on something else, which is usually some form of escapism. such as creating my own fantasy world, video games and fantasy/sci-fi adventure movies and books.
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#5
Well I've never done therapy for SA, but I have used my own self anti-SA methods, so to speak. For example, I find exercising makes me feel a bit less anxious and good about myself. Communicating with others, and going out to public places also helps.
Yes I've been trying to get out more to public places and communicating with others also. I should probably try exercising more though, I used to exercise a lot but since then I have just slouched and gone all sloppy and lazy :)

Do you go out for jog's? I tried it but found it made me too anxious running in front of people :/
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#6
CBT has been helpful, but confronting my fears is still very difficult for me to do.

Distraction helps me a lot. When I have fearful or depression thoughts I try to distract myself from those thoughts by refocusing on something else, which is usually some form of escapism. such as creating my own fantasy world, video games and fantasy/sci-fi adventure movies and books.
Haha thats great! I should start distracting myself more with interesting creative thoughts. Usually i would get out my phone and pretend to text in those situations which is bad probably. But I will start trying this out.

Maybe ill try to picture myself in some sort of happy fantasy land. But make sure to not get too involved in it. That could end up quite embarrassing :)
 

fate12321

Well-known member
#8
Yes I've been trying to get out more to public places and communicating with others also. I should probably try exercising more though, I used to exercise a lot but since then I have just slouched and gone all sloppy and lazy :)

Do you go out for jog's? I tried it but found it made me too anxious running in front of people :/
I sometimes go out for a jog. When I do, I go very early in the mornings. I also go to the gym in my college. The gym is a bit small, and there are a few people that work out there.
 
#9
I've been participating in CBT for the last 2 years (1 visit per month).
I think the biggest things that have helped me personally, have been;

1) Learning not to ruminate.
I used to worry and go over and over things in my mind. I've learnt to be aware of ruminating too much. I now 'give myself' 5 minutes to go over thoughts on something that's happened, then I will let it go.

2) Thinking more externally.
This one is huge.
A large part of SA is thinking 'inwards', or almost thinking what other people are seeing you as, how they see you. The key to this one is to focus more 'outwards' or externally.
Relearn how to worry less about what people are thinking specifically about you, and think more about what is happening around you.

3) Mind reading, or more specifically, not to do it.
Another huge one.
When we have SA, one of the traps we can fall into is thinking we know what other people think of us. We can't possibly know what other people are actually thinking, we cannot read minds, so why do we do it?

Finally, Being aware of our own thoughts.
Sometimes we need to look at how we are seeing the world around us. This can be a tough one, because it requires us to look at the way we are thinking and admit it's faulty.

Social Anxiety is a learned way of thinking which usually has become set in over a few years. We can improve, but it's not easy.
We have to persist and be open to the fact the way we can sometimes think can be wrong. The true test isn't even realizing this, it's whether we can unlearn those negative thinking patterns, and relearn better ones. A psyc can show you the way to improving, but it's us who must walk down that path.

The old saying rings true in this case; You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink ;)
 

Kiwong

Well-known member
#11
I recently cut out all caffeine in my diet which is helping me feel a little more stable. Not too up and down. I still eat some bad food though :/

What does your diet consist of and what have been the effects? :)
Yeah I am trying to cut caffeine too, that helps me feel more relaxed, but I have developed an addiction to it. I have had some help with increased consumption of Vitamin C, I ate an orange yesterday afternoon, and my anxiety dropped almost straight away. Cutting down on sugar and preserved foods. Drink lots of water,
 
#12
DIY exposure therapy. Within reason, I have thrown myself in situations that cause me incredible anxiety (new jobs, blind dates, meetups.) Just being open to experiences.

Therapy. Although not a technique, but just having someone nonjudgmental to talk to has helped so much. Together we have tried some mindful exercises to calm myself when I am anxious. Lots of breathing exercises. She is also teaching me to question my thoughts/beliefs. Although that is a bit harder. Still working on that.

Diet. I think it is more important than I realised.
Yes, yes, yes. Eating healthy, being at a healthy weight, help me so much at just being comfortable in my own skin. Just feels better too. More energy, lighter feeling. (Sadly, I have gained some weight as of late. It can be one of the major contributors to why I have felt sluggish.)

I want to incorporate exercise. Only good things come from it!
 
#13
Positive affirmations, even when I don't believe a word I'm saying. Throwing myself into the things I'm scared of. Realizing that I have one life only and I don't want to spend it at home scared. The thought of wasting my life scares me more than any social situation.
 

PhillipJFry

Well-known member
#14
What I have found useful is imaging which area of my brain is functioning while making decisions. For example, if I hypothetically decide not to go shopping for groceries because of the irrational fear that I will be in the same extremely large room with potentially hundreds of strangers, all there for the sole purpose of seeing me make a mistake; then I can imagine that my amygdala is functioning, which is the part of the brain that reacts to fear and other basic emotions based on the amount of adrenaline it receives.

But if I imagine that my frontal lobe is in charge by pretending to control the output of my adrenal gland (which is biologically impossible I think, but for some reason it helps to pretend); then I am able to more easily make the rational decision that even if everyone in the grocery store is looking at me, it is not worth not getting the things I need to live just to avoid embarrassment.

I use this thought process in all kinds of scenarios, not just grocery shopping. I think it's like CBT, but I don’t know. I hope that this is helpful to someone somehow, and that no one wasted there time reading it.
 

hoddesdon

Well-known member
#15
CBT helps to an extent. For some people it has no effect, but for others is completely effective. It is limited in that it focusses purely on day-to-day interactions, without looking at the subconscious thinking or assumptions underpinning the original problem. It is about putting a dyke up to keep the subconscious thinking at bay, or neutralizing it without changing it. Presumably that is why people can relapse under certain circumstances when things go wrong and the subconscious assumptions or problems are reinforced, breaking the dyke. In the ensuing flood CBT is inadequate.
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#16
I've been participating in CBT for the last 2 years (1 visit per month).
I think the biggest things that have helped me personally, have been;

1) Learning not to ruminate.
I used to worry and go over and over things in my mind. I've learnt to be aware of ruminating too much. I now 'give myself' 5 minutes to go over thoughts on something that's happened, then I will let it go.

2) Thinking more externally.
This one is huge.
A large part of SA is thinking 'inwards', or almost thinking what other people are seeing you as, how they see you. The key to this one is to focus more 'outwards' or externally.
Relearn how to worry less about what people are thinking specifically about you, and think more about what is happening around you.

3) Mind reading, or more specifically, not to do it.
Another huge one.
When we have SA, one of the traps we can fall into is thinking we know what other people think of us. We can't possibly know what other people are actually thinking, we cannot read minds, so why do we do it?

Finally, Being aware of our own thoughts.
Sometimes we need to look at how we are seeing the world around us. This can be a tough one, because it requires us to look at the way we are thinking and admit it's faulty.

Social Anxiety is a learned way of thinking which usually has become set in over a few years. We can improve, but it's not easy.
We have to persist and be open to the fact the way we can sometimes think can be wrong. The true test isn't even realizing this, it's whether we can unlearn those negative thinking patterns, and relearn better ones. A psyc can show you the way to improving, but it's us who must walk down that path.

The old saying rings true in this case; You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink ;)
Thank's for a very informative reply! There is a lot here and i too try to put these techniques into play. Whenever I ruminate I try to do something that will take my mind off it like tidy up or go for a walk. Thinking externally is a real good major help also, I try concentrating on noises around me and sensations as they happen, that usually when made a habit can help in some ways to think more in the now and outside of myself.

And yeah one of the biggest helps out of the three there for me has been simply to be aware of the negative thoughts i'm having. I'm always writing down these thoughts if and when they pop up and try to understand them and write new versions that oppose the negative thoughts. More logical versions. Like for example "Im going to make an idiot out of myself and they are going to hate me" instead I would write down and try to remember "Im going into and unknown situation where anything could happen, good or bad, but whatever happens does not matter because I accept and forgive myself anyway".

I use EFT a lot now to go over these negative thoughts and experiences I have had. The reason I feel it works for me is because I am going over and over these thoughts in my head until I have no uncomfortable feelings towards them. And it seems to work great when I apply it correctly.

Thanks for the info bro! I'm gonna use it to reassess what parts i've been slacking with haha :)
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#18
DIY exposure therapy. Within reason, I have thrown myself in situations that cause me incredible anxiety (new jobs, blind dates, meetups.) Just being open to experiences.

Therapy. Although not a technique, but just having someone nonjudgmental to talk to has helped so much. Together we have tried some mindful exercises to calm myself when I am anxious. Lots of breathing exercises. She is also teaching me to question my thoughts/beliefs. Although that is a bit harder. Still working on that.



Yes, yes, yes. Eating healthy, being at a healthy weight, help me so much at just being comfortable in my own skin. Just feels better too. More energy, lighter feeling. (Sadly, I have gained some weight as of late. It can be one of the major contributors to why I have felt sluggish.)

I want to incorporate exercise. Only good things come from it!
Yes DIY exposure therapy has been a big one helping me. I have had some major ups and downs with it but overall that is one of the biggest things to help in overcoming SA and the hardest in my opinion. I tried going out meeting new people, meeting new friends, talking to girls, going to crowded places, asking strangers questions. It is really hard and I noticed at first been so worn out all the time with worry but it does get better and really is the key factor to overcoming SA as long as your using other techniques to change your thinking.

My first therapist was awesome, she was really nice and actually seemed genuine when i spoke to her. Like she actually cared and when I made progress she really made me know about it :) It's so important having that person to talk to who doesn't judge you and helps you if your thoughts are at all unhelpful to yourself.

As for diet, yes it does help :) i've managed to cut out all caffeine and been drinking lot's of water instead. I eat a lot less lately but really try forcing food down sometimes. I think it's because of doing too much exposure recently, gives me a knot in my stomach and makes it harder feeling hungry.

Are you taking any medication while doing your exposure therapy? I remember it could work as a good crutch in the beginning stages of exposure therapy.

:) thanks for the great info!
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#19
Positive affirmations, even when I don't believe a word I'm saying. Throwing myself into the things I'm scared of. Realizing that I have one life only and I don't want to spend it at home scared. The thought of wasting my life scares me more than any social situation.
That's more like it! That's exactly how i felt last week and decided to really start trying a lot harder than i was.
And really again i guess even in that you have used positive more logical thinking you know "realizing that i have one life only and i dont want to spend it at home scared". That's such a good way of looking at it and very true.

Have you had any therapy yet? maybe that could be a big first step also :) at least in acquiring some tools to help you on your path!

Thanks for the positive message! You can beat this! We all got to grab life by the balls whilst kicking SA in the balls! :)
 

williamreinsch

Well-known member
#20
What I have found useful is imaging which area of my brain is functioning while making decisions. For example, if I hypothetically decide not to go shopping for groceries because of the irrational fear that I will be in the same extremely large room with potentially hundreds of strangers, all there for the sole purpose of seeing me make a mistake; then I can imagine that my amygdala is functioning, which is the part of the brain that reacts to fear and other basic emotions based on the amount of adrenaline it receives.

But if I imagine that my frontal lobe is in charge by pretending to control the output of my adrenal gland (which is biologically impossible I think, but for some reason it helps to pretend); then I am able to more easily make the rational decision that even if everyone in the grocery store is looking at me, it is not worth not getting the things I need to live just to avoid embarrassment.

I use this thought process in all kinds of scenarios, not just grocery shopping. I think it's like CBT, but I don’t know. I hope that this is helpful to someone somehow, and that no one wasted there time reading it.
I really like this way of thinking! You could be onto something new here haha :) I think thats a great way of thinking about these scenarios. I guess its a more factual way to look at it a more rational way. I would keep going with that sounds like a really cool technique!!

I might try that today, I'm going to the supermarket soon and already have these thoughts coming in similar to yours. Right, better start using my frontal lobe! :)

Great idea here! Now to put it to the test! :D thankyou for sharing!
 
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