07-22-2012, 08:43 AM
Status: Isolated Observer
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
I have gotten better, anxiety has decreased!
Hey guys, I havent been on here in a while but I felt like sharing some of my progress with everyone in the hope that maybe I might be able to help someone else. About 2 months ago I turned 22 and I decided that my life was wasting away and that I had to do something to start faciliting change. I realised that change will not happen unless I make it happen.
So for the last 2 months, I've been doing some pretty simple things that seem to have helped with my anxiety. I encourage you to try them. I apologise for the wall of text!
1. The first thing I did is go to a website called Omegle where you match up with random people around the world. Simply chatting to these people via text noticeably got easier the longer I did it. Granted, in my case, I had very little anxiety chatting over the internet in the first place but it was still a worthwhile stepping stone.
2. Eventually, I moved onto the video chat option for Omegle. This means random people around the world can see my face! This was a lot harder to deal with but I constantly reminded myself that I'm just on the internet. I will never see these people again and theres no possible downside by having them see me. Seeing someone of the opposite sex on there is a lot harder and when they disconnect on you, the 'rejection' can shake you up. With time, rejections seemed less of a big deal.
3. The third component is exercise. I had avoided exercise for years but I knew that I could not change who I was without adding exercise to the mix. I came to the conclusion that I am 22 years old, my youth will not last forever and I still have the potential to be in a near-peak physical condition if I work hard right now. The exercise I chose for myself was walking/running for at least 30 minutes and then I eventually moved onto weights. Physical progress has been slow but it has certainly helped me mentally as well.
4. Avoidance is a cyclic evil. We avoid situations because we are afraid of the anxiety that comes from it. However, because we keep avoiding these situations, our anxiety that comes from that situation increases even more. In order to try and fix this problem I realised that I would have to be outdoors more often than 0 hours per day. And so, I made sure that every day, without fail, I spent at least 1 hour outside (whether it be in my backyard or elsewhere) even if I was doing nothing except sitting on a chair with my laptop. Outdoors is not my comfort zone so I guess you could call this exposure treatment.
5. Eye contact is difficult for me and I'm sure its the same for many of you here too. So I tried to think of a way where I could look into peoples eyes without having to speak to them. To do this, I wore sunglasses when im out walking as part of my exercise. With every car that drives towards me, I look at the driver. If they look at me, I force myself not to turn away. Eventually, I was able to drop the sunglasses and can now look at them without my protective shield. I feel like I'm a lot better with eye contact now after having done this.
6. I started eating healthy foods. I drink a lot more water than I used to and have left all the junk food in the past. I also take vitamins, calcium and a fish oil every day. I dont know if this has had any effect on my anxiety but nevertheless, its a change I have made.
7. I also tried to quit masturbating. Unfortunately, I couldn't stick to this one haha. After about 3 days it becomes near-impossible to keep this going.
These are the changes I've made over the last 2 months and I can honestly say that there has been a noticable improvement. I haven't taken any medication and I didn't see a psychologist. All I did was make a concious decision to make change and I am seeing results. Progress is slow but it is there. I am not even close to being 'normal' yet but I am hopeful that with enough time, maybe one day I can say that I am.
If you have any similar experiences or if this post gives you any sort of inspiration be sure to post a message or a PM. Likewise if you have any ideas that might also help that I havent thought of then please share them with us if you can