mental rehearsal/vizualization is a very simple but highly effective technique for overcoming social anxiety
think about every single event you experience in life - getting out of bed , eating breakfast, going to work, having a conversation. all of those events are stored in your unconcious mind as memories. every single thing you do in life is recorded in your mind .
now the thing wth the uncocnious mind is that - IT DOESNT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REAL OR VIVIDLY IMAGINED EXPERINCE. thats why why you get get scared watching a horror movie or you get an erection when watching porn. in both cases you are not actually having an experience of sex or beeing chased by a mass murderer with an axe , you are just vizualizing the event. yet your mind thinks its real and creates a response in you
now the mind stores different types of memories together. it stores all of your happy memories together, all of your sad ones together. and guess what ? it stores all of your social memories together.
when you experience a social event what happens is the mind filteres the event through your memories and beleifs. thats why a person may have a sudden fear of rejection when in a group of people - its cos his mind has filtered the event through memoires of the past were that person has experienced rejection
now if you were to vizualize yourself in a social situation and you vizualize yourself feeling great and relaxed and having a ball with everyone then guess what ? your mind thinks that actaully happend. it stores that vizualization as a memorie.
the next time you encounter a social event the mind filters the event through past memories and guess what ? the memoire of you having a ball pops up therefore chances are that you will feel great in the present situation cos of your past ''memorie''
obviously it takes time and repetition but if you did this every day you would see results.
lets say that your current goal is to smile at people and open your body language to them instead of looking away and giving off an unaproachable vibe.
well what you would do is everyday vizualize yourself acting the way you want to , see yourself opening up your body language to people and smiling and giving off an approachable vibe. this will make it ten times easier to develop a new habit .
think about someone who has a habit of eating cheeseburgers. they are addicted to it. how did they become addicted ? simple - they took action. they took the action of eating a cheeseburger. not once, not twice, but many times, repetition. everytime they eat a cheese burger theyre habit and addiction grows stronger
how to you develop the habit of smiling at people and being appraochale ? you take action. you smile at people and open your body language , you do it not once, not twice but many times and it eventually becomes second nature
well gues what ? by vizualizing yuorself smiling at people what are you doing ? you are taking action. well not really but your mind doesnt know that . when you vizualize yourself smiling your mind thinks that actually happend, its stores as a memorie. the vizualization is just a valuable as the actual action.
the best time for mental rehersal is first thing in the morning and right before bed as at these times the unconscious mind is very primed and receptive to programming.
you should only be working on one habit at a time so if your habit is to smile at people then how long will it take to mentally rehearse that ? less than 5 minutes right ?
so do you have time to spend 5 mins in the morning and 5 mins before bed to do this ? i think its worth the time as doing this is just as good as taking physical action cos your mind thinks they are both the same thing