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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Exposure, meds, therapy - these can all help with SA. They are probably the best ways to deal with it. However they are not always practical, they do not work for everyone, some people are too anxious to even try them.

In this vein, here are some observations on my own anxiety:

  • I am less anxious when I haven't slept, it is as if I am too tired to be anxious.
  • I am less anxious when I am sick, like with a cold, or otherwise in pain or discomfort.
  • I am less anxious when I am in a different part of the country to where I live
  • I am even less anxious when abroad, especially if in a country that does not speak English - thinking about the language seems to consume the energy my mind normally uses to be anxious
  • Anxiety leads to procrastination, according to wikipedia, and I can certainly identify with this.

There are times at which there in a single thing you need to do, it might be making a phone call, sending an email, some sort of exposure excercise, - something like that - which your anxiety is making difficult. From the above list of observations, here are some practical get-arounds which psychologists and medical people will disapprove of, but which work to varying extents for me:

  • Skip a night's sleep before tackling whatever it is you have anxiety over, don't allow yourself to sleep again til you've done it. Your desire to just get it over with will increase, whilst you will be increasingly too tired to be anxious about it.
  • When you are ill is a great time to try to exposure therapy or do things you have been putting off, because your anxiety will likely be reduced - nobody cares what other people think of them when they are feeling like ****.
  • Try going travelling, it may allow you to do exposure things you would not have attempted otherwise. Hell, if you have the money you could always start learning another language and move to another country, you might be less anxious there.
  • When you are close to doing something, like picking up the phone or walking in to an office to talk to someone, but you are putting it off, high-caffeine or high-sugar products sometimes can help, so you could always try knocking back a coffee/energy drink or two.

And a separate point that medical people would approve of:

  • Excercise can temporarily make you feel better, less depressed, less anxious etc and in the long run improve your body image, so you could try taking up running or weights or something.

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I certainly push for people to try travel to get away and explore, the 3 months I spend on my own working in Malaysia and again the week holiday I took on my own to Canada and the US last year were the single greatest beneficiaries to the progress I have made.

Just being away from the same landscape and people and problems and that feeling of genuine freedom and independence really does make you feel like you ARE in control of your life and you CAN actually go and fend for yourself and it really does do wonders for your confidence.

Yes it is batsh1t scary when you leave, but overcoming SA is not easy and you have to take risks and face challenges to move forward but it can be done. Sure everyone faces different challenges with their SA and some will benefit from things which others do not but it's worth giving it a shot because what do you have to lose? If it works then you make massive steps forward, if it doesn't work then you just land back where you were and try something else. But you certainly won't ever make any progress if you never try.
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