Social Anxiety Background
Social anxiety has affected me since I was in elementary school. While it was triggered initially by a traumatic experience, it is something that runs in the family and I certainly had a predisposition for. Some examples of how it manifested itself over the years: avoiding certain types of social situations and friends, avoiding public speaking, avoiding the opposite sex completely, hiding in the library during lunch, the thought of just walking down certain hallways at my highschool terrified me, fear of being around large groups of people, fear and avoidance of going to parties or social gatherings, etc. My social anxiety started to get severe when I dropped out of college after one quarter because of my social anxiety. That's when I started to get uncomfortable just leaving my apartment and hit "the bottom" so to speak. Through treatment with group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) for mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and medication I've been able to live the balanced life that I value and form healthy friendships and relationships.
Alexander Technique is something that goes along with this, although it certainly doesn't have the effect of burning off adrenaline and cortisol like exercise does. It teaches good use of your body. I don't see either is a replacement for the other.
I joke, but I've found exercise to have a profound effect on how much anxiety and specifically, feelings of panick I feel Sometimes I'll start to get anxious just in my apartment sometimes for seemingly no reason, other times when I'm thinking about future events. I can drop down and do 30 pushups and instantly my feelings of anxiety completely go away.
I encourage you to find the form of exercise you enjoy so that you'll want to do it regularly. For the longest time I ran regularly because I felt I *should*. The thing is, I absolutely hate running. Now I ride a bike daily to get around and it's great, because when I get to the places I'm going I don't feel anxious because I've exercised to get there. Whatever it is for you, it doesn't really matter, the important thing is you find something you'll want to do regularly.
To go back to my humorous title, unfortunately I can't always exercise to reduce my feelings of anxiety. I don't think it would be appropriate to drop down and do pushups during a first date to burn off that adrenaline and cortisol, do you?
Edit: I've been using a stationary cycle that allows me to EXERCISE and USE MY LAPTOP at the SAME TIME. I highly recommend it to others: