Is meditation good for social anxiety - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Is meditation good for social anxiety


Whats your experience with meditation?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 05:00 AM
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It's a tool that allows you to become the observer over your own thoughts and emotions. Helps you to cognitively defuse from your thoughts. As such it has a lot of value in other therapies (CBT, ACT, CFT etc). It isn't in itself likely to do much for social anxiety, but when combined with another therapy that helps you to engage with social situations, its very handy, because the last thing you want is to become cognitively fused with thoughts and emotions when experiencing anxiety. It will help switch from threat mode, to drive mode, or soothing mode, or will help you to accept the anxiety and meet your social goals nonetheless.

Its the backbone to successful therapy for SA, in my opinion, but its a tool for other therapies and techniques. Rather like learning to write is a tool for writing posts on a forum. You need to learn how to do it, but spending time learning to write isn't actually going to write those posts (if that is your goal).

Compassion focused therapy audio, guided meditations:

https://balancedminds.com/audio/
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 08:09 AM
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Personally I dont think medication is good ur better off learning to cope naturally without the crutch of meds because u cant take them forever
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 10:11 AM
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Personally I dont think medication is good ur better off learning to cope naturally without the crutch of meds because u cant take them forever

Fair enough.


Now, back to the subject, what do you think of meditation?

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 01:50 PM
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Idk if it's good for social anxiety, but there's a growing consensus that stress contributes to autoimmune disorders and that at least some neurological disorders may be autoimmune. There's also some evidence that meditation is good for regulating the immune system. If stress contributes to social anxiety (by dysregulating the brain), then meditation should help to regulate it.

Your brain responds to stress by pumping out neurotransmitters to deal with the threat. But chronic stress leads to dysregulation and illness. Reducing your stress gives your brain a chance to correct the imbalance. Meditation is about reducing stress. Regardless of the impact meditation might have on your SA, it seems to be good for your health, so you should probably be doing it anyway.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-26-2020, 02:07 PM
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Meditation is good for anything! I definitely reccoment giving it a go. Guided meditations on youtube are a great starting place.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-26-2020, 03:00 PM
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I've tried it but its hard to find time to do it regularly. Then when you force yourself it becomes a chore you try to rush through.

I've had hit or miss results with it. Sometimes is relaxes me, sometimes it does nothing and then sometimes it actually makes me more anxious.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gggggiii View Post
Whats your experience with meditation?
Hey,

You will find a lot of reviews in the treatment section (meditation is in "other treatments").

Many studies have shown it contributes to reduce anxiety and depression. Rigorous studies about meditation and SA are still scarce but it seems that it helps a little. But of course studies only show trends: one may be basicaly cured by meditation, while another may feel no benefit at all.

The safest bet is to at least include meditation in your therapy plan.

If you are interested, I just opened a thread in this section in wich I will give feedback on my experience with meditation. I'm just starting.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 03:09 AM
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I've tried it but its hard to find time to do it regularly. Then when you force yourself it becomes a chore you try to rush through.

I've had hit or miss results with it. Sometimes is relaxes me, sometimes it does nothing and then sometimes it actually makes me more anxious.

Really, you cant find the time ? It doesnt have to take long.


With meditation actually you are not trying to get anywhere, its not about making you relaxed or more anxious etc, its about being in the present moment with acceptance and non judging as to how you are doing. If that means you mind is going crazy everywhere and you cant focus on your breath, thats fine, you are arent doing anything wrong.


I recommend anyone new to it does some reading up, maybe attending a course, or at least with a guided plan you get with a lot the books now.


Look up Jon Kabat Zinn and listen to some of his videos or buy his book Full Catastrophe Living. Its very easy to think you are doing it wrong cos you cant stop thinking, or you cant feel any sensations in the body to focus on, and there are loads of little things like this that can make you think that you cant do it, so you jack it.


Also, its about bringing the awareness into your daily life and this will happen to a certain extent as you practice the actual sitting or lying meditations....but formal practice wont be enough to make you mindful all day so..pick some tasks at first like brushing teeth and make those a mindul practice so it becomes second nature..and you will also need to set some reminders or alarms or just some post its lying about telling you to drop back in and focus on what you are doing right now.


Takes time and im not anywhere near being mindful for most of the day, but you do make progress.


*I'm doing it to try and be mindful all day, and I dont have anxiety or depression. You will see the benefits for anxiety and depression suprisingly early if you practice a lot, like weeks..not the years its taking me to get to my goal with it.



The thought of being fully focussed on the present, on who you are with, on what you are doing, with how you respond etc sounds ****ing great to me and surely must change your life for the better.


A good online course with loads of reading and videos etc



https://palousemindfulness.com/


and just a video to start you off ha



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 10:50 AM
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Really, you cant find the time ? It doesnt have to take long.
It's hard to fit it into my daily schedule. I often work until 7 or 8 PM and I'm also taking a few graduate level classes which take up like 8-15 hours a week, at least. And with whatever time I have left over I honestly would rather listen to music or do something online, to decompress. I feel like in order for meditation to have any effect I'd have to do it for at least 30 minutes per day

Quote:
With meditation actually you are not trying to get anywhere, its not about making you relaxed or more anxious etc, its about being in the present moment with acceptance and non judging as to how you are doing. If that means you mind is going crazy everywhere and you cant focus on your breath, thats fine, you are arent doing anything wrong.
Sometimes it actually makes me more anxious because I can feel my heart race and that is a trigger for me. Also when I focus intently and I'm not distracted by music or TV or a book my mind tends to click on so to speak and I start to think of and anticipate stressful future events which triggers the anxiety. This doesn't happen every time I meditate but it's not unusual for it to happen. Normally when I meditate I'm trying to relax myself so obviously I don't want to end up more anxious than I was to start.

Quote:
Look up Jon Kabat Zinn and listen to some of his videos or buy his book Full Catastrophe Living. Its very easy to think you are doing it wrong cos you cant stop thinking, or you cant feel any sensations in the body to focus on, and there are loads of little things like this that can make you think that you cant do it, so you jack it.
I actually own that book and have read the majority of it and have like 2 of his CDs. Unfortunately his program didn't really help me. I think I need a very specific type of guided meditation to be able to fully engage with the practice and I have yet to find that.

Quote:
Also, its about bringing the awareness into your daily life and this will happen to a certain extent as you practice the actual sitting or lying meditations....but formal practice wont be enough to make you mindful all day so..pick some tasks at first like brushing teeth and make those a mindul practice so it becomes second nature..and you will also need to set some reminders or alarms or just some post its lying about telling you to drop back in and focus on what you are doing right now.

Takes time and im not anywhere near being mindful for most of the day, but you do make progress.

*I'm doing it to try and be mindful all day, and I dont have anxiety or depression. You will see the benefits for anxiety and depression suprisingly early if you practice a lot, like weeks..not the years its taking me to get to my goal with it.

The thought of being fully focussed on the present, on who you are with, on what you are doing, with how you respond etc sounds ****ing great to me and surely must change your life for the better.
Maybe it will be something I can pursue in the future when I have more time in my life, but for right not it just seems to me like another chore in my already busy schedule. Like something I just need to get through.

I did try to practice some mindfulness in the past, i.e mindful hiking (I hike a lot) where I could focus intently on every step and really try to sense my foot hitting the ground and the feel of my breath through my mouth and the smell of the air and the sounds in the woods. etc. and just be with these sensations. And it was generally a positive experience but the crazy pace of my days just sorta got in the way of all of it. I think it's something that is hard to maintain for most people though I can see how it can be helpful if you can keep with it.

Quote:
A good online course with loads of reading and videos etc

https://palousemindfulness.com/

and just a video to start you off ha

Thanks for sharing, I'll check them out!


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 11:21 AM
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It's hard to fit it into my daily schedule. I often work until 7 or 8 PM and I'm also taking a few graduate level classes which take up like 8-15 hours a week, at least. And with whatever time I have left over I honestly would rather listen to music or do something online, to decompress. I feel like in order for meditation to have any effect I'd have to do it for at least 30 minutes per day


Sometimes it actually makes me more anxious because I can feel my heart race and that is a trigger for me. Also when I focus intently and I'm not distracted by music or TV or a book my mind tends to click on so to speak and I start to think of and anticipate stressful future events which triggers the anxiety. This doesn't happen every time I meditate but it's not unusual for it to happen. Normally when I meditate I'm trying to relax myself so obviously I don't want to end up more anxious than I was to start.


I actually own that book and have read the majority of it and have like 2 of his CDs. Unfortunately his program didn't really help me. I think I need a very specific type of guided meditation to be able to fully engage with the practice and I have yet to find that.


Maybe it will be something I can pursue in the future when I have more time in my life, but for right not it just seems to me like another chore in my already busy schedule. Like something I just need to get through.

I did try to practice some mindfulness in the past, i.e mindful hiking (I hike a lot) where I could focus intently on every step and really try to sense my foot hitting the ground and the feel of my breath through my mouth and the smell of the air and the sounds in the woods. etc. and just be with these sensations. And it was generally a positive experience but the crazy pace of my days just sorta got in the way of all of it. I think it's something that is hard to maintain for most people though I can see how it can be helpful if you can keep with it.


Thanks for sharing, I'll check them out!

Yeah sure it does seem like you have no time sometimes and you naturally think just a few minutes wont do anything but better than nothing I guess.



Regarding your heart racing, you could try just getting up and, get some deep breaths going, maybe a walk around the room or something. When I first started it, I still had some reminants of the GAD that I had suffered from, and I would have times where the thoughts were just too overpowering or upsetting to want to just sit there, so this is when you could choose one of those mindful walks, or some mindful yoga. It really helped me to continue on with it.



And Jon Kabat Zinn's program was initially designed more around pain reduction than anything related to mental health, and its a good point actually re not helping you. I think it is just body scans, breathing and yoga from memory, so you wouldn't have been doing sound meditation, thought meditation and loving kindness.


I would definitely include thought meditation for someone with anxiety, as this is where you get to label and watch your thoughts, see them come and go, and see how they effect the body, and how you dont have to get caught up in them. I dont think it took long for my thoughts to start losing their power and grip, knowing that they arent real, and soon move on. You start to just see them as events, and the more you just watch them unfold the less impact they have and the quicker they come and go.


Sound meditation helps you prepare for thought meditation, as you just listen, no silent narrative, or wondering what or where they come from, you just learn to listen as they come and go.... its exactly the same thing you learn to do with your thoughts.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 12:06 PM
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Very very big part of SA consists of irrational/negative thoughts.

I dare say it's as obvious that it helps as it is obvious that you can lose weight by doing cardio. It's simple, but not easy. Though harsh reality is that most people are too lazy to practice it enough.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 12:31 PM
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I used to go somewhere where there was meditation and a teaching with a friend. We was sitting in the cafe at the end having a free tea and biscuits and she said one of the guys behind us, when everyone in the room was meditating, was breathing so heavily he sounded like Darth Vader lol.

I do find the meditation and teaching really helpful. Except for when I am tired, then it is a struggle not to drift off lol. I would go to the place now only it's not on because of the virus. I really like it because you can be with people and not have to talk to them. I used to initiate conversations with people. I feel like it is easier there because you do not have to talk. I started a conversation with one guy there. A couple of days later he spotted me walking back from the supermarket and crossed the road to talk to me. I wasn't expecting it though so then it was awkward.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 12:39 PM
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After I have been to places and done meditation the next day I am lighter and I feel people can sense it. I was walking back from just doing meditation one time with other people and some body just started talking to me in the street and there was this lad with his friend and his friend started skipping a bit lol A lot for me though probably has to do with the fact that I feel I can be around other people but there's no pressure to talk; so then I kinda wanna talk
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