Go to: http://ecouch.anu.edu.au/welcome Select "social anxiety" for free Cognitive Behavio(u)ral Therapy. An exercise which may help you is called "Act as If." When you are in a social situation, act as if you are outgoing. Talk more; smile at people, ask questions, speak in a normal or excited tone, not a meek tone. Watch some of your more outgoing peers, and imitate the style of their social behavior. (PRETEND that you are an ACTOR, PLAYING a PART). Research shows that when you "act as if" continually, your image of yourself begins to conform to your new behavior. In this case, you will gain self-esteem and self-confidence, and begin to see yourself as socially normal, not shy. You will become more socially successful, and this will motivate you to continue your new social behavior until it becomes a habit. A form of therapy is to go somewhere that nobody knows you, and deliberately make an utter fool of yourself: put on a paper hat, and yell out: "I'm queen/king of America!", or something else ridiculous, (make up your own - have some fun, safely) then get back in the taxi, (warn the driver of your intentions, first) or car, and leave. People will point, and say: "Look at that idiot". Or, possibly in the company of a friend, or family member, on a different train, or bus route to your regular one, call out the names, or numbers of all the stops. It will teach you that, although it isn't actually pleasant, (EXPECT MODERATE DISCOMFORT/EMBARRASSMENT) you will survive; be stronger for the experience, and the next time (should you need to repeat this type of therapy) will be considerably easier. Remember: "A fear avoided is a fear strengthened; a fear faced is a fear reduced." Regard it as your final test: once you have accomplished it, the barrier will be broken; just don't go too far, the other way! Learn to laugh at yourself, and give a big, cheesy grin when others see you do something foolish, as we all do, occasionally. It is endearing, if you don't do it too often. Use positive affirmations: for example: "I am very likable and other people feel comfortable around me".
Write down all of your self limiting beliefs; then write down, or print, in large type/capitalisation, the positive counter of them, (exact opposite) and repeat them and imprint them into your mind. Put it in a prominent position, where you will see it regularly. Most importantly: Force yourself to approach somebody and initiate some sort of communication. Start out small by asking the time, or directions and gradually go bigger. Although there are anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics) available, these come with risks, and the possibility of side effects, habituation, even addiction, and withdrawal problems, and are unsuitable for young people. Try having a cup of "Tension Tamer", (from supermarket tea, or health food aisles) or make some at home, and cool, then bottle, and drink as needed. C(h)amomile tea tastes better. As with all herbal/green teas, use lemon/lime, and/or a little sweetener (NOT ARTIFICIAL!!!) but no cream, or milk. Xylitol, or Stevia is preferable, from health food stores. Valerian has also been recommended, but some people experience "valerian hangovers". Ensure you know how you react to it, before doing something potentially dangerous, like going out on the roads. The idea is to use the above products like water wings, to provide initial, short term support, while you become proficient in those techniques. Use a relaxation method daily, like http://www.drcoxconsulting.com/managing-stress.html or http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/mindbody/a/Meditation.htm or http://www.wikihow.com Meditate or Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or yoga. Give the EFT a good tryout, to see if it helps you. It is free via the searchbar at http://www.mercola.com "EFT" & "EFT therapists" or www.tapping.com (13 free videos). Professional is best. - There is a version for use in public places, (if you want to, you can claim to have a headache, as you massage/lightly tap your temples, but you would then be restricted to subvocalising: saying it to yourself in your mind: "Even though I suffer from social anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself."
Read: Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by Gillian Butler, & Managing Social Anxiety: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach Client Workbook (Treatments That Work) by Debra A. Hope, Richard G. Heimberg, Harlan A. Juster, and Cynthia L. Turk. Hypnosis is merely a heightened state of suggestibility, in which you are better able to communicate with your subconscious mind. 85% of people are suggestible, to some degree, so you could either seek professional hypnotherapy, or more along such lines is at http://your-mental-health.8m.com/blank_4.html about social anxiety. At Amazon.com enter "social anxiety + shyness; CD, & VHS" See http://www.wikihow.com/Special:GoogSearch?cx=016562026678751929112%3Aohfdgqnedms&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=shyness&siteurl=www.wikihow.com%2FMain-Page#1254 Those with $: up to 6 months of CBT, and group therapy with similar sufferers is recommended.
· 9 years ago