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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've endured with social anxiety my entire life. It's terrible. I know how you all feel. I've comprised a plan for you in sort of a list form of things that have helped me exponentially over the last year. I've taken small lessons and things I've learned and put them into an easy to follow system that will make your life 100 times better than it currently is.

If you stick to this, and live by it, you will change. I guarantee it. The biggest thing is having a positive attitude through the entire thing and not let anything stop you.

Take this seriously, consider this a personal boot camp.

So here it is, follow these things in order, and your life will change forever.

CONQUERING YOUR BODY
*Health/Diet*
1. Eat 3 solid meals a day. Only eat what your body needs, no extra sugar, caffeine, snack foods, or soda. Stop eating those things completely. Things you should focus on are vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, things like that.

For example my daily diet consists of this:
A. Breakfast: Assorted fruits, oatmeal, and water.
B. Lunch: Sandwich on whole wheat bread, and a V8.
C. Dinner: This kind of varies, but some meat like fish or chicken is always a good choice.

Get creative! You don't have to follow exactly what I eat, that's just an example.

2. Never eat after 7pm. That's pretty straight forward. Fight your cravings, and don't do it. Make it a habit of not eating after this time. No exceptions.

3. Drink plenty of water. You don't really have to follow a set limit of how much water you have to drink every day, just drink enough so you are constantly flushing out your system of its impurities.

4. Exercise every day. If you're not physically able to run 5 miles every day, start out small. Go for a 1 mile walk. Get fresh air. Do some jumping jacks. Slowly push yourself until you can do more of more. The point is to get the blood flowing, and exercise your heart. If you don't feel tired afterward, you need to push yourself. Make yourself sweat, make yourself breathe heavily. Good news is, the harder you push yourself, the sooner you'll be able to endure more and more with ease.

5. STOP SMOKING. This won't apply to all, but for those of you who do, stop now. I don't want to hear any excuses. I was a heavy smoker for 4 years (that may not seem like a lot, but I was very addicted and relied heavily on it.) and I quit. There are many websites that can help you quit, or try some nicotine gum or something. I won't go into the details, but anyone can do it. You need to push yourself to do it, even though you want anymore more in the world than to have a cigarette.

6. STOP DRINKING. People who suffer from SA know all about alcohol. Its nice. Its a temporary fix. But you all know that drinking makes things worse, yadda yadda. I'm not going to get into that, you know its bad, you know what it does. But you need to actually stop now. Quitting alcohol is far easier than quitting tobacco. Just like any addiction, it can be stopped. Alcohol is actually one of the easier addictions to quit. A lot of you may drink casually, and that's fine. If you're going to a party with some friends, go ahead and have a beer every once in a while. There's nothing wrong with that. It starts becoming a problem when you're drinking for the wrong reasons, like ridding your anxiety, or escaping reality. That's a serious problem, realize this, and stop.

7. Learn good hygiene. Brush your teeth 3 times a day. Take 1 or 2 showers daily, or when you need one. Use deodorant, body spray, colonge, whatever! Trim your nails, shave, clean your nose! Scrub your body man! To most this is a no-brainer, but for those who have kind of just stopped worrying about it, don't! It makes you feel really good about yourself to know you look, smell, and feel good.

8. Get enough sleep. Get enough so you're well rested, but not too much or you'll be groggy and still feel tired the next day. Get to bed early, wake up early. No more going to bed at 4am! I typically get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night, and that's what I suggest you do. Go to bed around 10 or 11 so you can wake up early in the morning and get off to an early start.

9. This isn't really a health related issue, but its important to keep your bedroom, house, working area in a tidy, organized fashion. Clean out your car, clean your windows, organize your desk, do laundry, wash dishes, etc. It's one less thing to worry about, and it keeps you busy and your mind off other things.

Here's the bottom line, you're doing this for yourself, not for others. You're not getting into shape to impress some girl at school, or work. To continue on with your battle against SA, you need to first feel good about yourself and your own body. Once you do this, other things will become easier. When considering your health and appearance, do it to make yourself feel better. Style your hair how YOU want it. Work out and run for your own personal gain!

A NEW STATE OF MIND

First of all, I'm in no way a certified psychologist, so I'm not going to go into all the details of cognitive therapy, but I can outline some major things.

1. Be postive in anything that you do. Always have a positive attitude. This isn't easy, but like anything, it can be learned. Quit beating yourself up! If you can't make eye contact with a girl you like, hey its alright man! Don't tell yourself you're worthless for not being able to look at her or talk to her. Instead tell yourself, next time, i'll look at her and smile. Small steps! And when you do it, pat yourself on the back. Seriously, throw yourself a party! Tell yourself you are very happy for going through with it and look forward. (Probably a poor example, but you get it!) Having a positive attitude about things is probably the most important thing you will ever face with your SA.

This should be assumed, but stop thinking negatively as well. For anything. Whenever you start thinking negatively stop yourself. Get busy, get your mind off it. Go clean something, build something, play some guitar! After a while, this will become automatic and the negative thinking will almost disappear.

2. Set a time EVERY DAY for a period of relaxation. This does not include watching tv, surfing the web, or other entertainment/time wasting activities. Those can be done in your own free time, consider this period of relaxation mandatory and one of your responsibilities.

This is almost a period of mediation. Sit in a nice comfy chair for 30 minutes. For the first 10 minutes, just relax and get settled in while breathing deeply almost to a state where you are asleep. Don't fall asleep though! When you're thoroughly relaxed, start visualizing yourself as a positive person in society. Imagine yourself doing the things you really want to do. Imagine doing something fun, something fulfilling. Something that really makes you want to enjoy your life. After a while, you'll start taking your visualized self, and putting it into action in your real life. Its automatic, you don't even have to try.

3. Don't overthink things. I know a lot of you are going to tell me to stfu right now, but just like everything else, its also learned. There are just some things you need to repeat to yourself in order for them to become ingrained in your mind and realized.

A. Everyone is different. Don't try to understand every tiny thing someone is doing, try your hardest to perceive things at a surface level. For example, if a guy comes up to you and says "Hi, how are you today?" with a frown on his face, try to realize he's greeting you and being friendly. If he wanted to come up to you and ask how you were doing, then he probably likes you. Don't worry about the frown! Maybe that's just how he looks! Point is, yes, body language says a lot, but most people with SA misinterpret it. Most would say he had a frown on his face because he hates you, and not even listen to what hes saying. Stick to this, and you'll gradually become more comfortable with different kinds of people, and will understand body language correctly through experience. Focus on what's happening, not what could be happening! Forget everything you've learned about being prepared for certain things, and expecting the worst. If you really do want to be good at expecting things and being prepared for things that might actually happen, you must start with this first. You'll enjoy, and be very pleased with your progress.

B. This kind of goes along with realizing everyone is different. Its like a real life thing you can test. When in a social environment, try to think of everyone else around you also having SA. Treat them as you would like to be treated. It helps you to think that you're not alone, and you can tell yourself that everyone else might be having the same problems as you. It gives you a small boost of confidence. You'll feel like you fit in better, and that you're not weird or something. This isn't a way to cure your anxiety, but it can help in certain situations. Just try it!

There's much more I could add, but I think you might get the point from this. Take what you've read and implement the ideas into your own life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
(I had to split this in 2 posts)

SOCIALIZING

By the time you get to this step, you'll be comfortable with your self and probably eager to actually getting out there and working proactively against your SA. Its time to take your new mind and body into the real world! Finally! What you've been waiting to do your whole life!

1. Take small steps. It would be ridiculous to just go up and ask a girl out first thing. This must be done in steps. Each step, get comfortable with the situation, and continue on when you are confident. From just one experience you will open up a whole new world of opportunities, you can use your new skills in any situation you find yourself in. If you have a problem making eye contact with grumpy people and saying hi to them, try it! If it doesn't go as planned, keep a positive attitude and try again with someone else! After a while you'll gain confidence in yourself and realize that you can now greet any grumpy person, and with a smile! Again I'm poor with examples, but you get my point right? Haha. Slowly you'll build yourself into a sociable, happy, friendly person.

2. Say yes to things you've usually said no to. With this new born confidence, you don't have to say no to things you didn't want to do before because of your SA. Its time to enjoy life! If a friend invites you to a party, say yes! You'll enjoy this, and with your new self, you won't even encounter any problems with your SA.

3. Meet new people. Its important for you to get out of your comfort zone, or the people you know, and meet other types of people. See what they are like. You'll very much appreciate meeting new people and you can learn a lot!

By this time most of your symptoms of SA will disappear. You won't even know what happened. Its like it was there, and now its gone, just like that. And the greatest thing is, you don't even care! You're just relieved that you've finally came out and can do the things you want to, and be the person you want to be.

I could sit here and talk about more, but it would just be mostly boring talk haha. I really suggest you guys try this out, it did a hell of a lot for me. Sure you might experience some SA'like symptoms here and there, but that's now normal. Everyone experiences stuff like that sometimes. The thing is, now its not controlling your life and bringing you down.

If anyone has any suggestions, or anything they would like to add, let me know! Let all of us know!
 

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Thanks, really good advices. I already started doing most of this on myself. It's going quite well so far. I am taking small steps at lots of things and when I fail at somethin, I just remind myself that I am not perfect like everyone and this is just the begining in conquering my SA.
Also in CONQUERING YOUR BODY section, I think you should add - 9. Get more rest and sleep.
It helps when you get some, short rest-sleep after hard day of work or school. Then you feel more energetic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is the body part about looking better thus having more confidence?
Its feeling good about yourself and feeling good. If you're in shape, clean, and look nice, you'll feel good about yourself. Its the first step to building confidence around others, being confident with yourself.
 

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Thanks i think that i'm going to try this tomorrow. It looks really difficult, but i'm willing to try. Guess i better down all my junk food tonight
 

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(I had to split this in 2 posts)

2. Say yes to things you've usually said no to. With this new born confidence, you don't have to say no to things you didn't want to do before because of your SA. Its time to enjoy life! If a friend invites you to a party, say yes! You'll enjoy this, and with your new self, you won't even encounter any problems with your SA.

No way. And the rest of the advice is "easier said than done". Its so bad for me, i dont want to have to "jump in the deep end" to get to know people.

But right now i am completely isolated.

There must be a step that is between going out, and staying in.
 

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A jagged pulse
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I love to see the motivated people on here. its seems like most of the people are rolling in self-pity. i am going to try this out starting today. it very positive and motivating:clap:)
 

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Simon Says...
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There must be a step that is between going out, and staying in.
Staying in getting drunk with friends? :D

Of course, getting friends then is the hardest part... bah.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
(I had to split this in 2 posts)

2. Say yes to things you've usually said no to. With this new born confidence, you don't have to say no to things you didn't want to do before because of your SA. Its time to enjoy life! If a friend invites you to a party, say yes! You'll enjoy this, and with your new self, you won't even encounter any problems with your SA.

No way. And the rest of the advice is "easier said than done". Its so bad for me, i dont want to have to "jump in the deep end" to get to know people.

But right now i am completely isolated.

There must be a step that is between going out, and staying in.
Yeah, you don't just jump into this yet. You gotta feel comfortable with your own body, and practice changing your state of mind first. The socializing part comes later.
 

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breaking free
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Great advice and aweosme job overcoming your SA! I wish you the best of luck in your new life. I always love reading inspiring posts such as this one :)
 

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Sounds like a good plan.

Sleep is the most difficult part for me. It's also perhaps the most important - when i don't sleep i find i'm irritable, anti-social, perpetually hungry, lack the willpower to exercise, can't concentrate on work, act anti-social, etc.

I'm gonna see if cutting out caffeine works. Last time it led to me being so tired i fell asleep at like 9pm every day but that's better than the current situation i think.
 

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I decided on the 'say yes' thing myself a while back. I did end up going to a few parties and things.. and it was mostly good :) But i don't really get that many opportunities either...
 

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If you're in shape, clean, and look nice, you'll feel good about yourself.
How do you get the emotional part of self esteem by just feeling comfortable with your body, looks, apperance, etc.
 

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A jagged pulse
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How do you get the emotional part of self esteem by just feeling comfortable with your body, looks, apperance, etc.
this is what ive been trying to figurew out. okay i can clean myself up do my hair,do mymakeup........look nice. but how do i FEEL self-esteem
 

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Wow - great post :) Thanks for the motivation.

I've been taking somewhat similar steps to what you've outlined, but it's been through a lot of trial and error. I started off just trying to feel better about myself - getting lots of exercise, eating right, doing yoga, making sure my environment is neat and that I'm on top of the things I need to do (paying bills, etc.). I do get a lot of confidence from being at a weight that I'm happy with, feeling strong and athletic, and from feeling like a responsible and reliable person.

I've recently started tackling the mental parts of social anxiety - and trying to maintain a positive attitude is really hard but so worthwhile. I've realized that one of my main issues is with a lack of assertiveness, and tackling that has been amazing. Dealing with social anxiety is such a head game, and once I got that I had to play the game and make it work for me it really changed my outlook. I can choose to think good things about myself, tell myself "no" to indulging in self-defeating thoughts, and see the world as a more accepting place - just because it's challenging and difficult is no reason not to. I have quite a ways to go, but I'm really excited and feeling better every day (and your stage 3 sounds so much less intimidating than it did even a month ago).

But thanks again - and congratulations on making such great changes in you life :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
this is what ive been trying to figurew out. okay i can clean myself up do my hair,do mymakeup........look nice. but how do i FEEL self-esteem
Well the getting yourself into shape and stuff is all about learning discipline. You do feel good, but the main part is about learning how to control yourself. Later, the mental part will become easier. While I guess its not completely necessary, I've found it to be the most help for me, and its a great way to start if you're serious about beating SA.
 

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Good Stuff! I try to live by this code for today!
Just for today I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appal me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for Today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strenghten my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I weill read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do someone a good turn, and not get found out: if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I dont want to do-just for exercise. If my feelings are hurt I will not show it.

Just for today I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, I will get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything and not try to improve or regulate anybody escept myself.
 
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