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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, now that I got your attention :)

Here's my approach, which I hope may help you.

a) CBT

I know, I know... this has been kicked to death. But read the books, try the tapes, take the pieces that work for you and put the work in. Some of this will help.

b) Stopping watching TV and using the Internet

I found that I also have secondary issues with compulsion. In fact, negative thoughts (and the poor ability to stop them) is a form of compulsive behavior.

TV and the Internet are pleasure givers. It's like being a lab rat compulsively clicking a button for more stimuli. You keep doing it and doing it until your brain turns to mush.

To be clear, COMPLETELY STOP. Stop the complusive behavior. It leads to intellectual lazyness and f's with your sleep!

Use the Internet cautiously as a tool (only when you need something).

c) Exercise

Again, it's been said a million times. Must have some truth to it. Try just a little. If you have physical issues, try light daily stretching. Hopefully you can advance to walks around the block, and then maybe a light jog.

d) Nutrition

Kind of complicated, but one easy thing to do is avoid sugar as much as possible. You can't always. But don't buy it and have it laying around the house. That will only tempt you.

Allow yourself to eat as much of anything else as you want as a reward for avoiding sugar. And once you wean yourself away from sugar, try to reduce other unhealthy foods (i.e. fried foods).

Go slow. Allow yourself to screw up. But try to get back on the horse then next day if you have a binge.

Also, no coffee! This is hard, but work on it. Start slow, but work on it. For some reason, I can handle tea and diet coke, but coffee f's with me.

e) Meditation

This is hard to get into, but start with 1 minute each morning. Just 1 minute. Go on youtube and learn how to if you don't know.

g) SLEEP!!

I can't emphasize this enough. If you have "insomnia" you will continue to suffer with SAD. The only way to fix SAD is by addressing your insomnia.

Here's how I did it:

I set my alarm for 4:30am. No matter what, I wake up at this time! NO MATTER WHAT! I force myself at all costs.

It's super hard, but once you do it, force yourself to stay up until at least 9-10pm and go to sleep then. No naps in between.

If you end up staying up past that time fine. But wake up the next day at 4:30am again! Always wake up at this time.

If you stop watching TV, f'n around online, and avoid sugar and coffee, you should be able to get into this routine.

h) Humor

This is the MOST important one of all. I'm not going to tell you to be funny and take it easy. That's BS. So read on and give me a little trust on this one...

One of the problems we have with SA is that we're actually partly right with our self criticism. This is a hard pill to swallow, but yeah, we are kind of boring. We're not very fun to be around. People do think we're weird. That's why CBT is hard to accept, because we feel like we're lying to ourselves.

But here's the deal. We're only that way (i.e. boring) because we've been so focused on our fear/anxiety and in general, on ourselves, that all of our thoughts revolve around it. We don't think about anything other than this crap!

Once we get around others, we have nothing to say, 'cause we haven't been thinking about anything other than TV, the web, video games, and our anxiety and how much we hate life and people. Of course you're gonna sit there like a lump and have nothing to say. You can't share that with anyone -- it triggers all sorts of shame and self loathing.

So you need to have things to talk about! To get those things, you need to stop thinking about your pain and anxiety. Easier said than done, but here's what I've done.

Each day (starting when wake up at 4am for my morning jog), I begin looking for a "daily funny". I work at observing the things out there in the world that are funny.

It's hard! I'm not going to lie.

But with practice, you begin to find little things. Stupid things. But with practice, it becomes easier to find them.

Once you come up with something, write it down! I keep a daily log of funnies! I'll admit, some aren't very funny. But some are pretty good. Either way, each day I set a goal to write at least one!

Here's the one for today (though I may come up with more):

"When I was a kid, the school I went to was so poor, they didn't have a track. They only had a field. You want to go running, you had to go running in the field. We couldn't try out for track & field -- only field. You want track, you gotta run on the sidewalk around the field."

I know, kinda lame. But so what, it's a little silly and in the right situation, people would laugh at dumb stuff like that.

Why does doing this help?

1. Looking for funnies force your thoughts outside of yourself. We're way too focused on our anxiety.

With CBT, I never knew what to "distract" myself with, so my mind would always drift back on the anxiety. By looking for funnies, it helps you stay focused away from anxiety.

2. Throughout the ages, people have used humor to distract from discomfort. Some are better than others at it, but if you can laugh at a joke, you have a sense of humor. You've probably just lost touch with it.

Like any muscle, the more you work it, the stronger it becomes.

3. Making someone laugh is powerful! You earn their trust, respect, and you actually have influence over them. You control them by making them laugh.

It's hard to not like someone you just had a good laugh with.

4. It gives you something to talk about in those awkward uncomfortable moments. A mind conditioned on looking for funny things, will soon be able to pluck a funny observation out of any situation.

Practice, practice, practice!

Buy books on humor, stand up comedy, etc. Download stand up routines. Try to learn the science and the art of it. Work at it and you will slowly see, you'll distract from the anxiety and arm yourself with a tool that will work better than any drug at making you feel easy around people.

CAUTION: Don't jump into a comedy routine before you're ready. This is just one piece of the puzzle. You gotta get the sleeping, exercise, and eating down too. All of these work together.

Take it slow. Don't push yourself to be funny with others. Be funny for yourself. Add to your daily funny journal and keep it private. And when a chance appears, try a small comment -- when you feel up to it.

Also, if funny just isn't your thing, then make your journal about "happy" things. The important thing is that it should be about something outside of you. Don't observe how happy you are, but how happy or cool it is that they have those new express checkout lanes in the grocery store.

Make a point of looking for at least one happy thing, and write two to three sentences about it.

Although, I highly recommend "funny" -- just seems to help more (at least in my case).

Hope that helps!

Peace.
Sativo
 

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People think I'm hilarious and I still feel they don't like me. I agree with you on sleep and I would like to cut down on my tv/internet use but of nothing else to do atm.
 

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Sleep is a big thing. So is good nutrition and exersize. for me, only more sleep helps with anxiety. the other 2 tend to keep me in a good mood, but they dont directly lower my anxiety. I really want to get into CBT. My belief is that people who dont believe in it havent put in the effort or the time. It can take months to cure SA with CBT.
 

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Stavio, welcome to SAS! You gave a lot of great advice. Of the things you listed, I've been mostly working on exercise and nutrition lately. I've become too addicted to the internet. Not only is it aiding my SA, but it is also interfering with things like homework.

Great first post! :)
 

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I agree with the rest of your post, but there is no way that I am waking up at 4:30am.
 
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