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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm new here, just thought I should share this idea since I used to lurk on here. Yeah this is a long post, but it's definitely worth reading especially the boldfaced part.

Ok so I used to have severe social anxiety for about 7 months. I was so self conscious i couldn't hardly move my hands, couldnt manage to speak except for a high pitched squeak and everything in life felt like a scary lonely disgusting lie. I had nothing better to do but think and try out new ideas and did some ABC sheets for CBT. The latter was a huge help, and totally changed my thoughts to better ones after a few weeks(CBT for dummies has an ABC section and it really works). So the ideas I came up with rarely worked except for a few times and were mostly like a heroin addict trying to get a fix, kind of worked but just let me down eventually. Well I finally figured out the literal answer to (at least personally) social anxiety. Here it is its kind of long but simple:

As long as you are here right now in the vicinity of other people (even within like 35 feet not even talking or making eye contact) you are absolutely socializing, more than you realize. At that point, the only thing that makes it awkward is "are you being yourself and letting it happen" to do so, all you have to do is to be alive in the vicinity of others. You might say, "well i feel awkward still, or im nervous, etc." but the point is you are socializing. Whatever happens will happen, and as long as you don't die, it will be okay. This grants 100% freedom of creativity and being able to just chill. You can let go of your control issues, so that even if you're the loser sitting alone, you're still socializing, its okay you don't have to stress youll survive.

But at this point, there is still a problem of: "Well I'm alive right now in the vicinity of others, but then again I always have been, and I'm the same old me. In other words i'm really nervous and im getting crap thoughts bringing me down." Here's the answer: those negative thoughts are only thoughts. No matter how true they may be (they probably arent still) they don't change reality, and in reality anyone can socialize, nervous or otherwise.

If you want to know what is better than xanax for these stressful thoughts then here's the most important part: when you get stressed or nervous and would die for a line of xanax, pay attention to what you are hearing. Thoughts will come up naturally, just like they do for anyone else. Just keep listening, the thoughts are just sort of there or whatever. No matter what, if you keep listening to your surroundings the thoughts will eventually float on to something else. Just stay paying attention to hearing no matter how clunky it might feel. You ultimately can simply listen at any given moment, and it has an incredibly calming effect.

You don't have to listen all the time (that would be unrealistic), just when you feel the need for stress relief. Besides, in social situations, anything goes, just sometimes you get nervous, so this calms you down when needed. I also feel way more honest when I do this, and my voice relaxes. I feel like I can communicate as well as possible at that moment, even if there are still misunderstandings I can usually communicate okay. When there is understanding there is calm, and calm kills anxiety. You dont have to talk to get by and understand your surroundings, but when your thoughts happen to express themselves, just let your guard down, talk and keep listening at the end so you don't say something then get all nervous and awkward. Stay cool and listen.

I swear this works, give it a try. Just remember, unless you're socializing often, you're going to still have anxiety. The only cure to a snake bite is snake venom.
 

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I don't really get your method of self help, but I do agree that in general self help works well. It takes a few months to change thought patterns, but I think it can be more effective than drugs. The problem is, that different self help / CBT methods will work on different people.

Congrats on learning how to control your anxiety. Hopefully your post will help someone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah even when no one's talking though its really helpful to listen it keeps your thoughts more relevant to the situation. I mean, don't bash it till you try it as a lot of people on this forum tend to haha. Just sayin I think it could be helpful to some
 

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yeah even when no one's talking though its really helpful to listen it keeps your thoughts more relevant to the situation. I mean, don't bash it till you try it as a lot of people on this forum tend to haha. Just sayin I think it could be helpful to some
I get what you mean. It helps to sit with those thoughts, so that they don't keep coming up. For me, what helps most is to write all my thoughts down.

I wrote a bit about the process of writing for myself in a blog post http://ains-leigh.blogspot.com/2011/12/why-do-i-write.html#more
 

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When there is understanding there is calm, and calm kills anxiety.
This is so true. Which is why I aim to understand my anxiety as much as I can. The more I understand it the easier it'll be for me to accept it for what it is (negative thoughts, usually irrational) and counter it with positive thoughts, or at least less negative ones.

I agree with all of what you said, and I'm glad to hear you were able to get better :yes. Glad to hear as long as I stay positive and keep trying I can get better :)
 
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