Since I was a kid, I have always been scared of meeting people, and I have been struggling for many years to solve this very uncomfortable condition.

So how to overcome social anxiety disorder?

The Internet helped me a lot. After much searching, I finally found something interesting that definitely made me take a step forward on my situation, hence improving my self-confidence.

Reading the nuggets on http://www.psychologylive.net/blog/finding-cloud9/201308/5-quick-tips-reduce-stress-and-stop-anxiety/

really taught me a lot and compelled me to take action almost immediately.

Also this helped me http://psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-right-here-right-now/00017762/

Last week I was able for the first time to talk in front of 65 persons at my daughter’s birthday party! (I know it may sound sillhappinessy, but for me it was a very important achievement)

I wanted to join a social anxiety disorder support group to share my own success story and to try to improve my results on how to overcome social anxiety and general depression, but because in my city there isn’t one of them, I felt that writing in a forum may be a valid alternative to share my story (that’s therapeutic for me) and I may have the rare opportunity of helping others suffering from the same problem.

Well, how did I achieve this?

It’s impossible to explain everything in this post, but I will write some hints that will help people get the same results as I had.

Relaxation and “living in the present” are the keys, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, at least it wasn’t for me, a good aid was the book, “The power of now” (I forget the name of the author, just google it and you will find it) it’s quite interesting.

Another practice that made miracles for me was “visualization”, I just visualized myself in those situations that frequently causes me to experience social anxiety, visualizing the situation’s ending with a very good outcome.

I am dedicating about 1 hour everyday to this visualization practice, and I can assure you that it really works if you practice it constantly!

I also read another very interesting book, about self improvement and on how to overcome social anxiety disorder.

What’s the story? Countless books promote mindfulness meditation. ‘Just be present’ sounds good, but exactly how do you do that? You try to follow the instructions for ‘relaxing in the moment’, but try too hard and you’re not relaxing at all. In this classic text I read, the writer, who helped introduce mindfulness to the secular West, approaches matters indirectly. Each of his short reflections, interspersed with exercises, is just a glimpse through one face of the multifaceted diamond of mindfulness. Yet, at the end, you get it.

The message: We’re constantly seeking techniques for self-improvement to ease anxiety and depression. But that improved self is always a future self; we’re forever working towards it, rather than getting there. It’s more beneficial to learn to stop. This is simple, but not easy, as we’re all deeply conditioned to do the opposite.

Key quote: ‘It often seems as though we are preoccupied with the past… or with a future that hasn’t arrived yet. We look for someplace else to stand… As a result, we may never quite be where we actually are, never quite touch the fullness of our possibilities.’

Practical lessons I learnt from it:

– Just stop. The simplest meditation technique is just to stop once in a while during the day. Simply sit and become aware of your breathing, without trying to control it. You’ve heard this a million times and always put it off. But what if you did it right now?

– Build in ‘mindfulness reminders’. Choose an activity you perform several times a day

– walking through a doorway or getting into your car – and resolve to bring your attention to the present every time you do it. This combats a paradox of mindfulness: in order to remember to do it, you have to be mindful already.

– Get up earlier. The writer is not recommending sleep-deprivation. But being awake during the hours before others around

Awakening can be magically conducive to mindfulness.

And gently holding yourself to regularly rising earlier is mindful in itself. ‘I don’t want to get up’ is just a thought – you don’t need to let your thoughts push you around.

The downside: All books on spirituality deal with things that are, ultimately, beyond words. The only way to grasp what meditation is really about is to meditate – no book can be a substitute for that.

Why it beats the competition: Mindfulness, in a sense, is boring. The whole point is to counteract the mind’s tendency to flirt around in search of stimulation.

But he meets you halfway. He offers enough intriguing angles and different techniques, to keep even the most distracted reader happy – yet all his paths lead back to mindfulness…

of course all of this MUST be supported by a psychologist to get the proper results.

I took some time to write this post, I hope you got inspired to take immediate action.
that is the key to success in anything. Just starting somewhere like I did.

Cheers

Advertisements