Anxiety disorders affect millions of people at one time in their lives. Some disorders are subtle; others are life to alter and to paralyse. Luckily, as anxiety disorders have become more understood and accepted in our society, more study has been devoted to helping the millions of people suffering under this terrible burden.
Anxiety disorders are a treatable problem, and some treatments can help you manage your fears, panic attacks, and general anxiety as you navigate through life. We suggest you try out a Social Anxiety Quiz before jumping to conclusions!
The anxiety is normal, we all experience it, and it is a reaction to the stress we experience in our lives. It helps us manage and cope with tense or difficult situations at the office, at home, or at school. It is a coping mechanism. However, it can become excessive, irrational and ultimately disable.
You probably now have an factual understanding of what you are about to learn from this article. But you will be amazed when you discover the true power of purposefully generated emotions like laughter and anger when you use them to beat your social anxiety symptoms with this unique approach.
By now you might or may not have realized that “trying not to feel anxious” doesn’t work. Neither makes an effort to use logic to tell yourself that you are ridiculous. When your social anxiety symptoms strike, your mind is not reacting to your intentional efforts or your logical appraisal of the situation. That’s why you need to use laughter to reduce the automatic reactions of your brain. Laughter reduces both the mind-based symptoms of self-conscious nervousness and the physical sensations of social anxiety. These symptoms come up because your mind labels social situations as dangerous if there is a risk that other’s will judge you negatively. While most people’s brains do not label these types of situations as dangerous, the mind of someone with social anxiety does. Keep reading to learn the basics of how to get yourself into a different state of mind.
What doesn’t work is telling yourself that you “shouldn’t” be having social anxiety in a given situation. If you walk into a party scene and start feeling nervous and shaky, it won’t help to tell yourself to “get over it,” and it won’t help if you try to use logic to stop feeling nervous. The parts of your brain that cause those nervous sensations don’t respond to logic.
Imagine you are playing mini-golf, and you become self-conscious about how the people behind you are waiting for your group to finish the hole your playing. People without social anxiety are rarely bothered by this. People with social anxiety might be bothered by this kind of situation for one specific reason. The difference is that those of us with social anxiety see ourselves through the eyes of other people. We are overly worried about criticism, so we are always involved in self-monitoring from the other person’s perspective.
Here’s what you do. You create absurd images in your imagination. In the mini-golf example, you could imagine what would happen if you suddenly started screaming into your golf club as if it was a microphone. Then you imagine the shocked look you could expect on the faces of the people around you. Or you could imagine what would happen if you and your friends simultaneously stopped playing and turned around to stare at the people waiting behind you. The more absurd the thought, the more it will trigger your subtle internal laughter, and break the spell of the socially anxious moment.
So how do you use anger to overcome shy, anxious feelings? Anger is the opposite of the self-conscious fear that you have come to dislike so much. Social anxiety symptoms respond rapidly to anger. Don’t worry; you are not going to appear angry to others. People with social anxiety symptoms are the most kind and gentle people you’ll meet. What seems like extreme hostility and confidence to you, will be the average range from everyone else’s perspective.