YouTube Videos on Social Anxiety Disorder

Vladimir has recently overtaken the Shy and Quiet blog if you’d like to read a personal account on getting to grips with overcoming social anxiety. He’s also bravely posted some videos onto YouTube, which you might  find helpful, in which he discusses the causes of his problem and his determination to overcome them.

Whilst on YouTube I also stumbled upon this video featuring a former sufferer who has managed to overcome his social anxiety by realising why certain situations made him feel uncomfortable and then learning what he needed to do to overcome his social phobia.

I hope you find the videos useful, and you might also like to read some of the comments underneath to remind yourself that you’re not alone and that social anxiety is more common than you might think.

Originally posted 2009-02-07 19:55:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

YouTube Videos on Social Anxiety Disorder is a post from: How You Can Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder

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Is There a Chimp Causing Your Unhelpful Thoughts?

The Chimp Paradox

BBC radio show The Daily Bacon recently featured an interview with sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters about his new book ‘The Chimp Paradox’.

Dr Peters has helped the British Olympic Cycling Team to improve their mental processes and has worked with hospital patients suffering from depression and other mental health issues for 20 years. So when he shares his insights on how you can improve your thought processes and quality of life, you tend to listen.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here (or right clicking and downloading), and then fast forwarding to 20 mins 40 seconds (after an interview with Simon Mayo). The reason I’m writing about this is because of the parallels between what he describes as the ‘chimp’ part of the brain and the unhelpful, negative and irrational thoughts that cause social anxiety.

It’s the chimp that causes impulsive and inaccurate thoughts and reactions

Dr Peters describes the brain (based on a simplification of clinical research) as having three parts:

1)      The human front – our rational thoughts and how we’d like to feel and behave
2)      The chimp – our irrational thoughts that cause us to think and behave in an unhelpful manner i.e. feel anxious in social situations
3)       The computer – all the knowledge and experience we’ve accumulated over our lives

It’s the chimp part that causes us to react impulsively to situations before our rational part kicks in. And research shows that social anxiety is caused by irrational and unhelpful thoughts that are rooted in our fight or flee mechanism. So to reduce your anxiety, you need to be able to counter the chimp part of your brain.

Dr Peters doesn’t go into details on how you can do this on the podcast, other than that his model incorporates elements of cognitive behavioural therapy. I haven’t read the book (I managed to beat my social anxiety a few years ago through a combination of CBT, exercise, living a more active lifestyle and taking up social hobbies which involved interaction with other people), but it gets a five star rating based on 39 reviews on Amazon. You can find out more by clicking here (yes, it’s an affiliate link, but I only recommend products I genuinely believe cam help you).

The podcast also features a clip of former England rugby international player Brian Moore (skip to 30 mins 50 seconds) talking about his inner golumn, which used to cause him to suffer from negative thoughts but it’s a voice he’s now learned to ignore.

‘Don’t engage your inner golumn on a long, fruitless discussion you can never win’

When I first started on my journey to beat social anxiety I had no idea it was even a treatable condition until I started researching it on the web (and when I visited a doctor they just put me straight on medication!).

But there seems to be a growing understanding amongst psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals on the fact that its inaccurate, unhelpful and irrational thoughts that cause issues like social anxiety disorder, and as such they need to be challenged or simply ignored.

Originally posted 2012-03-16 17:11:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Is There a Chimp Causing Your Unhelpful Thoughts? is a post from: How You Can Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder

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Think you’re lazy? Here’s how to be more active to combat social anxiety disorder


[Photo courtesy of Ingorrr]

One of the (many) problems with social anxiety disorder is that it can affect your motivation to get out there and do things. The fear of negative evaluation by others might mean you prefer the safety of your bed, rather than face (usually misinterpreted) stares of disapproval.

However, human beings by nature need to be stimulated. And avoiding activities will simply make you feel worse rather than better. Being isolated can make you feel depressed. So the best antidote to changing the way you feel is to change the way you think and behave.

If you lie in bed all day waiting for the motivation/desire/energy to do something then you’ll be waiting a longtime. Instead you’ll find that doing literally anything other than nothing will raise your mood, boost your confidence and give you the drive to be more active.

Why am I so lazy?

First of all, don’t make the mistake of ‘labelling’ yourself ‘lazy’. As a human being you’re too complicated to define yourself by a single word or phrases. You might be lazy ‘sometimes’. But that doesn’t mean you have some sort of genetic imprint that prevents you from getting dressed and doing stuff.

Here are a few of the common excuses (particularly if you suffer from social anxiety disorder) that might pop into your head to avoid getting stuff done:

  • ‘I don’t feel like it’ – it’s a myth to think that you have to wait to ‘feel’ like doing something before you can do it. It’s only after experiencing the rewards of achieving something that you’ll find the motivation to do more. Even little things, like cooking yourself dinner rather than eating dry toast, will improve your mood because of the beneficial outcome from your activity.
  • ‘I’m too depressed’ – you feel the way that you think. So if you lie in bed all day staring at the ceiling tormenting yourself over your latest (perceived) social faux pas then you’re not going to feel like going on a 10k bike ride. The best way of fighting your depression is to change the way you think. Being active and pursuing fulfilling goals, whether it’s teaching yourself Spanish or learning to cook, is what will banish the black clouds in the long run.
  • ‘I might fail’ – So what? Nobody is good at everything. And we all have our strengths and weaknesses in life. Thinking you shouldn’t play tennis or attend a job interview because you might not get the outcome you want is only going to be a self fulfilling prophesy. To get better at things you have to practice. And there are enough hobbies, sports and jobs out there for you to find one you get satisfaction from.

Remember that thinking you must win at something or must get the job is a rigid way of looking at things. You should give yourself some flexibility and have preferences for the outcomes you’d like rather than rigid success/failure demands.

So how do I get myself out of bed and combat social anxiety disorder?

A tried and tested method of beating the bedridden blues is taught by Dr David Burns in ‘Feeling Good’. He suggests writing out a time table for what you’d like to get done each day.

This can include the minor things, such as getting dressed and reading the paper, right up to shopping or attending a dinner party. At the end of the day you then rate out of five the satisfaction you found in the completion of each task. The easier tasks might only rate as a one, but the more demanding challenges could rate as a four or five.

What you should find is that the sense of accomplishment you get from scoring your activity each day will drive you to do more. Having a schedule also helps you to structure your time and keep yourself occupied.

Gradually, you should also find that you start pushing yourself to keep improving your score and pursuing ever more demanding tasks.

The list of things you could do is limitless. But here are a few ideas:

  • Learn a new musical instrument
  • Learn a new language
  • Read a book (I’d highly recommend ‘Feeling Good’)
  • Take up jogging (exercise is a great anxiety reliever)
  • Start an eBay shop for some extra cash
  • Decorate your bedroom to create a bright, warm atmosphere
  • Learn to cook spicy Thai dishes
  • Start writing a blog (doing something creative is always recommended for providing an outlet for expressing your social anxiety disorder)
  • Practice meditating (also recommended for anxiety treatment)

So, if you’re currently lying in bed, feeling glum and reading this on your laptop – start writing a list of all the active things you could be doing.

Remember that you feel the way that you think. So start giving yourself a daily dose of uplifting brainwaves from pursuing fulfilling goals, and banish the bedridden blues for good.


[Photo courtesy of SqueakyMarmot]

Originally posted 2008-06-26 18:38:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Think you’re lazy? Here’s how to be more active to combat social anxiety disorder is a post from: How You Can Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder

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Creating Your Campaign For Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder

climb your way out of social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is a difficult problem to overcome. But not impossible.

Once you’ve accepted that it’s inaccurate thoughts causing you to feel anxious you can start working on changing them. Because changing the way you think will change the way you feel.

My advice would be to look at it as a long term campaign you’ll need to engage, rather than hoping for a short term ‘miracle’ cure from medication.

Here’s my suggestion for steps your campaign to defeat social anxiety could take:

1. Read as much as you can about social anxiety disorder

Luckily, it’s no longer an unknown problem, and there are plenty of websites and books on the subject.

I can personally recommend these books:

Overcoming Social Anxiety – Gillian Butler

Feeling Good  – Dr David D. Burns

The Dummies Guide to Social Phobia  – Rob Wilson and Rhena Branch

2. Talk to your friends and family about it

Not easy I know, but confiding in someone else and explaining why you sometimes feel overly nervous will help release some of the pressure on yourself. They might also be able to help and will be more understanding when you start feeling anxious in social situations.

3. Take up new hobbies and be more active

Filling you life with new interests can give you more of a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction and self confidence. Humans are inherently doers, and lying in bed all day hiding under the bedcovers will simply make you feel worse in the long run and prevents you overcoming your problem. If you don’t feel comfortable joining local sports teams or special interest clubs then take up a hobby you can work on at home, such as a new musical instrument, reading or teaching yourself how to cook delicious gourmet dishes.

4. Exercise

I can’t emphasise how effective regular exercise can be at relieving anxiety. I’d recommend jogging for half and hour everyday if you can manage it, otherwise just go for a stroll or exercise at home (press ups, situps etc). Getting in shape will boost your confidence, help you be more active and there’s truth in the old adage ‘a healthy body means a healthy mind’.

5. Gradually expose yourself to the situations that make you feel nervous

Although this can be a struggle, this is the strategy recommended by cognitive therapists for gradaully overcoming the inaccurate physical and mental symptoms of social anxiety. Write a list of the situations your afraid of. Put them in order from the least scary to the terrifying worst and then gradually try to work through them, exposing yourself for a little bit longer each time.

At the end of the day, you’ll need to find your own path to overcoming social anxiety. But always remember that you can learn to change the way you think. And changing the way you think will change the way you feel, and behave.

Originally posted 2009-03-25 18:16:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Creating Your Campaign For Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder is a post from: How You Can Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder

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Releasing Yourself From Anxiousness With Natural Remedies

With regards to anxiety you are going to find that a lot of men and women actually have this issue but a lot of them won’t ever comprehend exactly why they become nervous or anxious. For individuals who have anxiety there is a good possibility that your doctors have you on some sort of medication. Anxiety does not take loads of medication to find relief, and neither is it a thing to be ashamed of. Many men and women are finding powerful relief from their anxiety with the usage of natural solutions. Something you ought to be aware of is that just about every person is different so one remedy won’t work for every person, this means you may need to experiment with different natural cures before you find a thing that works for you.

People have reported being much less anxious by stoping drinking alcohol. Something which will help more individuals is to be well rested by receiving as much sleep as you can because anxiety attacks have been attributed to individuals who generally don’t get enough sleep. There are also plenty of people who have a vitamin B deficiency in their body, so by simply taking a vitamin B supplement you could wind up reducing this problem. Another thing you need to comprehend is that it may not just be vitamin B that you’re lacking in, so taking a multi vitamin can in addition be a good idea.

Sugar and also artificial sweeteners are also something that you may want to begin to cut out of your daily routine simply because this is something that may result in anxiety attacks. You need to watch what your reaction is when you employ certain substances mainly because some sweeteners are worse than others, so if you can find one that does not affect you, stick with that one. You should probably avoid them all, but at least avoid the ones that make your anxiety even worse. Anything that is high in caffeine ought to be avoided as well, since it’s going to raise your nervousness and anxiety seems to be spiked when people who are anxious have something with caffeine in it. Something that may surprise you is the vast amount of people that have found huge relief by getting rid of caffeine from their diet plan. If you enjoy coffee each and every morning, begin to use decaffeinated coffee, and see if it changes just how you feel.

For people who can feel an anxiety attack developing, it’s always best to get exercise as soon as possible, because it can help take your mind off of your stress and anxiety and may help the episode to pass quicker. If you do not have the ability to exercise try and look for something else that will help get your mind off of your anxiety.

Something you need to comprehend about the different medications which are available for anxiety is that a few of them can actually end up making your anxiety even worse, so try and avoid them. You can also search for other types of natural cures for your anxiety and once you find a thing that works, stick to it.

Your Diet Plan Can Have A Massive Effect On Your Anxiety Issues

I am sure you recognize that anxiety will strike everyone at one time or another. One thing you need to realize is that no matter how often you may have your difficulties, there are men and women who have accepted that this anxiety will be with them for the rest of their lives. If you want to lower the anxiety in your life you will notice that the foods you eat or don’t eat may be having an effect on your anxiety. Right here we will be going over some of the things you will both want to avoid eating along with the items you will want to eat.

The one thing you should attempt to steer clear of if you have troubles with anxiety is caffeine. Men and women use caffeine to try and give themselves a quick boost of energy but they do not think about the fact that it raises your heart rate. This also results in losing sleep and this will also end up causing peoples anxiety to be worse because of the lack of sleep. Another thing you should realize is that you do not only find caffeine in coffee as it is additionally in soda and also chocolate. By keeping away from these items that contain caffeine, you may be able to decrease the effects of your anxiety.

You will also find that alcohol must also be avoided for anyone with anxiety issues. Dehydration is only one damaging effect alcohol will have, but this too will end up effecting your sleep patterns. Due to what alcohol is capable of doing to your system, it is advisable to avoid it as not only can it make your anxiety even worse, but it can also have adverse side effects on your overall health if you drink too much. So steering clear of drinking too much can help reduce your anxiety.

With regards to things that can help you with your anxiety, you will find that carbohydrates will be able to help you loosen up. These carbohydrates such as potatoes as well as pasta, will end up taking longer to digest, and this will help to keep your blood glucose levels at a steady level. Even though it has not been proven yet, research has shown that these types of carbohydrate foods might end up escalating the levels of serotonin in your brain, which is just what your body uses to relax.

Lots of fruits and vegetables or perhaps vitamin supplements can also be good for your anxiety. The B-vitamins will be likewise be able to improve serotonin levels, as we talked about earlier these elevated levels can have a relaxing effect on your body. While we talked about the B-vitamins, you will also find that by getting all the appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals, you will be able to assist your body to function as it should and will also help to reduce stress related anxiety. As I am sure you must realize, if your body is properly nourished, it will be in a much better position to help you deal with any anxiety you may have. When taking your supplements, you should also be certain that you’re drinking no less than 8 glasses of water per day. Being dehydrated can result in anxiety problems and the proper amount of water and necessary nutrients will be able to assist you with your anxiety.

While there are many other things you should make sure your body is getting everyday to help battle anxiety, these few recommendations should start getting you on the correct track. Many men and women have noted that following these guidelines has made it possible for them to live a much more normal life with lowered anxiety problems. And you may also learn that these suggestions will also be able to help you the same way that they have helped many others.

Could Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Have Helped Kurt Cobain Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder?

Yesterday I watched the biopic ‘About a Son’ in which Kurt Cobain discusses his childhood, music career and views on life. An edited version of 25 hours of interview tapes recorded a year before he committed suicide, the film offers some insight into the negative thought patterns that seemed to be driving Kurt towards taking his own life.

From the film  I got the impression that Kurt exhibited many of the characteristics and symptoms of someone who suffers from social anxiety disorder.

Unhappy childhood

His childhood was blighted by an unaffectionate parent and problems at school from feeling isolated and bullied by the other kids. He comments how he used to feel constantly paranoid and threatened by other people, and even had thoughts of violence because of it.

If you suffer from a lack of affection, a difficulty to connect with other people and social awkwardness then this can lead to an irrational fear, distrust or hatred of other people in adult life. And it’s believed by psychotherapists that the underlying thought processes which lead to social anxiety disorder are formed by unhappy childhood experiences.

Kurt was known to be a recluse, withdrawn and rarely engaged with other people if he could avoid it, typical symptoms of someone who suffered from social phobia.

Kurt’s answer to his troubling thoughts and his chronic stomach pains was to self medicate with opiates and heroin, which would have offered temporary escape but exasperated his problems in the long run.

A life without hope?

Nobody really knows what drove someone who was wealthy, successful and had a baby girl to feel that life was so futile that suicide was the only escape from their misery. But it’s likely that it was his inability to overcome his troubling thought patterns that made his life seem so intolerable.

Now I’m not an expert on Kurt Cobain and haven’t read any of the books on his life, but from my perspective it seems that he could have benefited from cognitive behavioural therapy.

Social phobia and other social anxiety disorders are driven by irrational, negative thought patterns. If Kurt could have been helped to understand how it was the unhelpful childhood experiences driving his subconscious hatred of people and gloomy outlook on life then maybe he could have been directed onto another path.

You feel the way that you think

The way our brains respond to the world around us is a complex puzzle which psychologists and therapists are still making sense of.

But if the brain has been programmed to think in an unhelpful way because of a troubling childhood then, with practice and patience, it can be reprogrammed to think in a more, realistic and helpful manner.

Perhaps if Kurt had learned to challenge his negative thoughts and to replace them with more objective ways of thinking then he might still be with us today, and writing more optimistic songs filled with life and hope because of it.

Originally posted 2008-12-08 17:14:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

from How You Can Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder