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social phobia

I remember when my social anxiety was at its peak going outside could seem daunting. The solitude and security of home was far more preferable to running the gauntlet of (perceived) threats and negative stares from going outdoors. But staying insider forever isn’t an option for most people, unless you’re a reclusive millionaire that can hide in their luxury apartment without having to go to work. For this reason, social anxiety can often be confused with agoraphobia, when the two conditions are actually different branches of the anxiety disorders tree.

What is agoraphobia?

As you probably already know, social phobia is a fear of social situations and the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings they can trigger. The most up-to-date research believes this is due to our bodies perceiving threats inaccurately and then triggering our ‘fight or flight’ mode. The result is that our heart rate increases, we become more aware of our surroundings and we feel anxious in anticipation of an imminent threat. It’s also believed that social anxiety disorder commonly develops during childhood, as a result of negative social experiences that cause the formation of an inaccurate belief system on the threat posed by other people.

Agoraphobia, on the other hand, isn’t a fear of people but rather a fear of having a panic attack in an open space without the ability to escape. It can be triggered whenever people with agoraphobia feel as though they are in a situation they can’t control, and no longer feel the security of their home surroundings. Like social anxiety, when sufferers are outside of their comfort zone then their ‘fight of flight’ mode is triggered, leading to a sense of panic, anxiety and fear of perceived threats (which don’t actually exist).

Agoraphobia is believed to develop as a result of genetics, life experiences and individual temperament, which cause people to reach a heightened sense of anxiety and a fear of having a panic attack in public spaces. Unlike social anxiety, people with agoraphobia can function perfectly normally around other people in their own home, where they feel safe. They can chat, laugh and feel relaxed around strangers. It’s only when they step out of the door that their threat impulses kick in and they start to panic and feel afraid.

While the conditions differ, treatment is the same 

Social anxiety and agoraphobia both fall underneath the umbrella term of anxiety disorders. While the triggers are different the symptoms and treatment are the same. Both social phobia and agoraphobia can be treated through changing the subconscious belief system that drives them. Both conditions can have a wide range of severities, and as such the treatment required needs to be tailored for the individual.

As always, the first step is to visit your doctor (or in severe cases they should be able to come to your home) for a diagnosis and professional advice on the best course of action. This could include cognitive behavioural therapy, to address the negative and inaccurate thoughts driving the anxiety disorder, medication to dampen the symptoms and other types of therapy, such as gradual exposure or group therapy.

The key takeaway from this post is that both agoraphobia and social anxiety are treatable conditions. They are both well researched conditions with a diagnosis and a cure. As such, you don’t have to live with them forever. The first step is reaching out and asking for help and then finding the path that will enable you to challenge your inaccurate, uncomfortable thoughts and rewire your brain to attend social events and to go out in public without fear.

Originally posted 2013-05-21 10:45:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

[Photo courtesy of kalandrakas]

If you suffer from social anxiety disorder, social phobia or depression then you might think it’s other people or situations that make you feel nervous or unhappy. If people weren’t rude or stared at you then you wouldn’t need to feel miserable or anxious, right?

Well, extensive clinical studies (400+ in fact) have shown that it’s the unhelpful thoughts events provoke which make you feel uncomfortable, rather than purely the situations themselves.

Over the last fifty years, a number of clever people (Aaron Beck and Arnold Lazarus being two) put their heads together to make sense of why some people react differently to things than others.

As a result, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was born, which is a form of psychotherapy for changing negative thought patterns (cognitions) into healthier, positive ones.

CBT is a common sense, problem solving approach to discovering how to think and behave in a more objective, happier manner, and reduce uncomfortable feelings as a result.

You feel the way that you think

If you developed a negative outlook as a child (e.g. from being neglected, bullied or mistreated in some way) then you probably tend to view the world in a gloomy light. You might have grown up thinking that you’re worthless, other people are unfriendly and that only bad things will befall you.

Developing a negative outlook is what can cause anxiety or depression in adult life, because your ability to respond logically to situations is hampered by your unhappy childhood memories. Thinking negatively all the time means you only see the bad in people and situations, rather than responding to them objectively.

As a result, if people are rude to you or if you do something stupid or embarrassing then you probably mull over it for ages afterwards, and think it means your unacceptable or worthless in some way.

Changing the way you think will change how you feel

With depression the world’s biggest (and growing) mental health issue, it’s unsurprising that so many drug companies are offering ‘miracle cures’ in pill form.

However, studies have shown that medication alone can’t mend the deep rooted thoughts and feelings which are making you feel uncomfortable. Medication can only soften the symptoms.

In studies, CBT has proven to be more effective than medication on its own. So it’s no surprise that over the last couple of decades CBT has grown in popularity with therapists, doctors and psychologists because of its effectiveness in helping people to think, feel and behave in a healthier, more positive way.

In fact, a UK government advisor on happiness believes CBT could reduce unemployment by helping more people back into work.

Skills that can help you for life

When people with depression stop taking their medication they can start feeling miserable again almost immediately. CBT, however, teaches people how to challenge negative thought patterns and provides them with strategies for feeling better about themselves. In a way, CBT enables you to become your own therapist.

CBT can be practiced in a group, on your own through a self-help course or with a therapist. As well as practical exercises for discovering how to think more healthily, you’ll also receive guidance on additional strategies, such as the importance of exercise, how to be assertive and discovering how to be more active, which will help to reduce your symptoms.

Overcoming social anxiety disorder or depression won’t happen overnight. In fact, it can take months before you’ll find your new ways of thinking taking hold and improving how you feel.

However, the amount of research, clinical studies and popularity amongst mental health practitioners on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy means discovering it should be at the top of your list if you suffer from social anxiety, social phobia or depression.

Originally posted 2008-09-29 15:59:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

tape measure wrapped around fruits isolated on white background

There are some people who immediately turned to prescription drugs to have a quick fix with their social anxiety. However the problem with prescriptions is that they often have a lot of side effects and can cause additional issues which include dependency and additional stress. Natural cures and remedies for social anxiety have been around long before prescription drugs were even discovered. So before deciding to go for any prescription medicines, why not try some home remedies or treatments for reducing your social anxietyfirst.y

Natural treatments have different effects for some people just like prescription medicines but they have lesser or no side effects at all to your body. These natural social anxiety treatments have been here for thousand of years and their effectiveness are proven quiet well through generations.

So, if you are anxious, worried, upset and your heart is beating fast you may try out these simple remedy treatments at home:

1. Cold Showers
Nothing is more soothing and comforting than a cold shower. So if your anxiety increases having a cold shower always helps to renew your body’s natural temperature and level of blood flow. What I like about this is it offers an immediate relief to calm and relax your senses.

2. Rhodiola

A recent open-label study has supported the use of rhodiola for treating anxiety. Rhodiola is known as “golden root” or “arctic root” that has long been used as a traditional medicine to promote good health, strength, endurance and physical and mental performance.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the most common natural social anxiety disorder remedies you can find in your kitchen is Apple cider vinegar. It contains a number of vitamins and minerals that help restore the natural balance of the body. Apple cider vinegar is best taken before meals because they help break down proteins into amino acids. These amino acids are also instrumental for the creation of serotonin, which is one of our “feel-good” neurotransmitters.

Serotonin elevates mood and helps us to feel relaxed, both of which are extremely important in fighting off symptoms of anxiety and depression.

4. Teas

Teas work great in helping your body process stress, relax and heal from depletion that can occur as a result of long-term stressors. There are a variety of teas that contain components which help aid in the reduction of tension and calm your body, mind and soul, making it one of the best natural social anxiety remedies. Chamomile, cloves, lavender, orange blossoms and thyme are just some of the most popular teas that you can use to help control your anxiety.

5. Childhood Flashbacks

A good way to relieve your social anxiety is by distressing yourself. Some people have calmed their anxiety by transporting themselves back in time and reminiscing happy childhood memories, back when things were much simpler and less stressful. Smelling familiar scents are found to be effective in reducing panic attacks and anxiety. A Research Foundation in Chicago suggests using baby powder, which has been found to work for just about every individual.

6. Vitamin Supplements

A low diet or mineral and vitamin deficiency can lower mood which is a big factor especially if you have social anxiety problems. You can boost your intake of vitamins by reaching for supplements like calcium, magnesium, and B-complex.

7. Avoid refined Sugars and Carbohydrates

You should look out for your diet, learn about the foods to eat or avoid in order reducing your anxiety. Choose food that are low in sugar and plenty of healthy whole grains.

8. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners have tons of side effects to your body and one of them is anxiety and depression. It is suggested to lessen your use of artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Nutrisweet, and Equal.

9. Hydrotherapy

As the name suggest this therapy uses water as a method to relieve you of some of the discomfort that anxiety brings, and is a great natural social anxiety remedy.

10. Warm Bath

Nothing is more relaxing than a warm bath to comfort your senses and relieve the tension caused by social phobia. Next time if you have anxiety attacks try plunging deep into your favorite novel to relieve some of the tension-filled symptoms associated with anxiety. A warm bath is also great if you’re suffering from insomnia as well.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 05:26:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Parkinsons linked to social anxiety

Social Phobia is recurrent in people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This is according to a recent study conducted at Erenkoy Research and Training Hospital for Neurologic and Psychiatric Disorders in Istanbul, Turkey. The study involved 80 patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease admitted to the Parkinson’s disease and Movement disorders Clinic. The result was that among the 80 patients 42.5% were diagnosed with social anxiety, of which 20 of the patients had depression, 18 had generalized anxiety disorder, and 6 patients had a panic disorder. A logistic regression analysis was also done and revealed that social phobia is more frequent in males with high Levodopa daily dosage, early-onset PD and the presence of postural instability.
Social Anxiety is more common in women who are twice as likely to suffer from social phobia and panic disorder compared with men, this is according to Harvard Health Publication. Men, however, are more prone to Parkinson’s disease than women, this was supported in American Journal of Epidemiology. Which is why it is baffling to know that social anxiety is more prevalent to male patients with Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, I have found out that there is a current issue of whether antiparkinsonian medications might be the one reason for some of the anxiety manifestation present in Parkinson’s disease patients. But of course these issues with antiparkinsonian medications have yet to be proven.
At the moment there is no present cure for Parkinson’s disease. Treatments are available to alleviate the symptoms and be able to maintain the quality of life with PD patients. The treatments include Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, medication and surgery. However, the researchers think that these current studies linking social anxiety with Parkinson’s disease may provide an edge for early detection and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and improving the quality of life of the patients.

Originally posted 2014-07-31 10:36:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

dont compare yourself to others

Constantly comparing myself to others has been like an illness that has affected me as long as I can remember. This included insecurities I felt with my siblings, my own mother comparing me to her friend’s daughter (which happened to be my childhood nemesis) and my relatives constantly finding ways to put me down for not having the same physical qualities as my parents. I thought I could outgrow the insecurities and the bad feelings I had with myself, but its been a bad habit that’s stayed with me into adulthood.

While comparing yourself to others can be used as a self evaluation and valuable source of motivation and growth, it can also raise your self-doubts and harm your self confidence. This is the last thing you want to do when trying to overcome social anxiety.

I’ve listed down 5 reasons why you should stop comparing yourself to others if you want to reduce your social phobia.

1. It defies your purpose and could be a hindrance in achieving your life goals

Spending too much time thinking how more skillful and intelligent your coworkers are than you or how successful your high school friends have become is not only time consuming but can also weaken your motivation. It gives you false goals to pursue, thinking you have to achieve the same things in life as other people to be successful.

2. It’s a bad habit that’s emotionally stressful

I know habits are hard to break. But recognizing that comparing yourself to others is unhelpful, and unhealthy, you can start making more progress in overcoming the insecurities driving your social anxiety. You will realize that comparing yourself to others is not only self destructive but emotionally stressful as well.

3. The way people project themselves might be false

You may not know it yet, but the impression you have of other people might not be the real version of themselves. A lot of people like to project themselves in the best possible light on Facebook and in social media, like sharing photos of their sports car or their nice house. The truth is people flaunt the edited version of themselves and hide the negative ones.

4. Constantly comparing yourself to others could be damaging to your sense of self

As Mark Twain said, “comparison is the death of joy”, and psychologists would also agree. According to research, comparing yourself to others breeds feelings of envy, low-self esteem, and depression. If through comparison you can only evaluate your worth then you will always be losing. It is impossible to be better than everyone you meet. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses. Instead, try to be the best version of you and focus your attention on your goals to achieve them.

5. You should realize that everybody is different and each one of us has our own uniqueness

You should embrace your own distinctive individualism. Stop being afraid to be who you are. Whatever your skin color, body size, religion and sexual orientation, don’t be afraid to be yourself. It is who you are and it is what makes you different from anyone else. Don’t let other people dictate to you on what to think or how to act according to their own biases. Live your life on your own terms and try to change your habit of being a perfectionist. Do whatever makes you happy rather than doing something to impress your parents, friends or anyone else’s. Remember, it is your life that you are living and not theirs.

Originally posted 2014-09-07 21:27:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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A mother and her teenage daughter hugging.

While there are many possible causes, one thing many people with social anxiety have in common is that they also suffer from depression. It’s a double edged sword because the isolation from other people and lack of activity caused by social anxiety can make you feel depressed while feeling depressed can make you want to avoid contact with other people.

For this reason medication is commonly administered for both social anxiety and depression, but it’s not exactly cheap. More than 46 million people in the U.S. do not have insurance to cover their medications and the average monthly cost of antidepressants, which can range from $ 120 – $ 400 per month, depending on the dosage and the brand.

While you should always seek professional help if you suffer from depression or severe social anxiety, there are a number of ways you can reduce depression without spending a single dime.

1. Stop blaming yourself

This is perhaps the most basic and the most important thing in fighting depression. You should come to terms with yourself and accept the reality that depression can be a physical illness just like cancer, leukemia or diabetes. Stop blaming yourself and your inadequacy to control your situation, you can’t recover from depression if you continue the same mindset all throughout your therapy.

2. Talk About It

Don’t let yourself become isolated from your family, friends and love ones. Open up to someone you can trust who can provide you with emotional support and help you seek out treatment options. They may not relate to what you are experiencing right now but it would be a great opportunity for you to express how you are feeling.

3. Exercise Regularly

I know it’s hard even to lift a single finger when you feel depressed. But doing 30 minutes or more of intensive exercises has shown to improve the symptoms of social anxiety and depression. By doing a regular exercise everyday can make a difference to your energy levels and a good stimulation of endorphins, a kind of hormones that help you feel better about yourself.

4. Postpone major Decisions

Do not make life changing decisions when you are depressed. A lot of people have made this mistake and have put their jobs, relationships and life at risk. Negative thoughts rules all over your head when you are depressed and this often alters your judgment on almost everything, so it is better to delay any important decisions you want to take and wait until you are in the right state of mind.

5. Get back into nature

Research have shown that when you focus your attention outward rather on inward it helps ward off your negative thoughts and feelings and it can make you appreciate more on what’s around you. Having contact with pets, plants, parks and beautiful sceneries reduces stress and can boost your mood.

6. Keep a balanced diet

Aside from regular exercise, a balance and healthy diet is essential to a happy mood. A Mediterranean-style diet, rich in veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and fish, is a good way to lower the risk of developing depression, according to a 2009 study in the Archives of General Psychology.

7. Avoid alcohol and drugs

Alcohol tends to be the easiest way to forget momentarily about problems, which is why many people undergoing depression or social anxiety turn to alcohol and drugs to relieve the symptoms. But you may have to steer away from alcohol and especially illegal drugs which can interfere with depression medications and alter your mood in a bad way.

8. Keep a healthy sleeping habit

Depression and insomnia are interrelated to one another. Depression is common among insomniacs and patients who are depressed often find it hard to sleep at night. Keep track of your bed time and maintain a regular sleeping habit.

There’s no quick fix to depression or social anxiety, unfortunately. Full recovery and gaining a happier, objective and healthier state of mind only comes from changing your thought processes and lifestyle in the long run. There’s no better time to start then the present, so consider following some of these tips to reduce your depression and social anxiety in the process.

Originally posted 2014-10-14 11:14:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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assertive

[photo courtesy of aurevoirkatie]

Being asked to do favours and to help people out is just a part of everyday life. Whilst being able to decline requests if they’re too inconvenient isn’t a problem for most, if you’re socially anxious then being able to say ‘No’ is fraught with hazards. The trick is knowing how to be fair to yourself in assessing whether to do the favour, and then being assertive in how you respond.

Being assertive is simply being able to voice your own opinions and feelings firmly so that they’re considered fairly by other people. If you suffer from social anxiety then this can be easier said then done because of the fear of displeasing people and being rejected if you don’t fulfil their demands.

Rather than risk being viewed negatively as selfish or unhelpful, you can feel forced into saying ‘Yes’ even when you think a request is an unreasonable drain on your time and energy.

Avoid the unhelpful extremes of passivity or aggression

The problem with being too passive and always fitting in with what others want is that some people will take advantage of your desire to ‘always be nice’ and will simply heap greater demands on you. This in turn will lead to you getting mad with yourself because you’ll feel that you’re constantly running around at other people’s beck and call.

The other extreme is to respond aggressively to unreasonable demands in the false notion that anger equates to strength. When you’re behaving aggressively you lose the ability to think or act rationally, making it even harder to express why you think the request is unfair.

Raising your voice and trying to be intimidating can also have the reverse effect of making other people become aggressive themselves, and the situation deteriorate into the sort of ugly confrontation you’d normally be desperate to avoid.

Relying on anger to protect yourself against unreasonable demands is not how to make friends or influence people.

Assertiveness is about being balanced

As with overcoming many of the problems associated with social anxiety, being assertive is all about being balanced in your thinking and behaviour, and staying away from the extremes of passivity or aggression.

Whether you’re asked to cover for someone at work, lend people money or run errands for them, when people make demands you need to objectively assess the fairness of the request being made. Your feelings, opinions and time are just as important as everybody else’s, so you need to consider whether the requests being made of you are fair. Would you feel comfortable asking someone else to do the same thing?

If after assessing the request and you think it’s unreasonable, because of a high personal cost in terms of time and energy, then in order to be fair to yourself you have to be able to say ‘No’. As long as you’re fair and objective, saying ‘No’ doesn’t mean your selfish or uncaring.

However, actually being able to say ‘No’ presents many challenges in itself. I’ll be offering advice on developing assertiveness skills so people accept your decision in my next article.

Being assertive isn’t about winning, but about getting your point across and ensuring your own opinions and feelings are considered fairly, because they’re just as important as everybody else’s.

Originally posted 2008-05-05 18:17:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Deep breathing business man

You may not think about breathing during the day because it is automatic. But while we do it involuntarily,  breathing is the bridge between our mind and body and a key to our health and wellness. Oxygen is vital to help our brains function properly and assess situations objectively. For this reason, learning how to regulate and improve your breathing can help you stay relaxed when you can sense your social anxiety prickling your self consciousness.

Breathing is also one of the five principles of yoga, as breathing brings more oxygen to the blood and to the brain and helps the prevention of major diseases and cure minor illness. Breathing is also a good way to get rid of waste products and toxins from our body.

It needs to be noted that the effects of breathing techniques on social anxiety disorder have not been studied in a controlled clinical setting. But many experts encourage those who have social anxiety to incorporate breathing exercises into their therapy, as breathing exercises helps reduce self consciousness and increases more relaxed state of mindfulness.

Whether you are on your bed, your office or even when out in public, deep breathing can help to reduce feelings of stress and panic. The following breathing exercises can help  you keep calm and carry on with your day.

1. Equal Breathing or Sama Vritti

This is a good breathing exercise for beginners. One major benefit of Sama Vritti is its ability to calm the body and focus the mind.
How it’s done:

• Choose a comfortable sitting position and cross your legs.
• Close your eyes and focus on your natural breathing.
• Slowly count to four as you inhale and also count to four when you exhale.
• Continue this breathing exercise for a few minutes, you can also experiment on increasing the counting.

This breathing technique is particularly effective before going to bed. So if you have a hard time sleeping, instead of counting sheep try doing this breathing exercise.

2. Abdominal Breathing Technique

This is considered as a deep breathing exercise, the single most important coping technique for panic disorder or social phobia.
How It’s done:

• Place your one hand on your chest and the other on your belt line.
• Your hands tell you what part of your body and what muscles you are using to breathe.
• Take a deep breath through your nose to ensure that your diaphragm inflates enough air to stretch the lungs.
• Take a pause, you decide whatever time feels comfortable to resume.
• Open your mouth. Exhale through your mouth by pulling your belly in.
• Pause again.
• Continue and repeat the process as you wish.

You can do this any time and any place comfortable for you. This is a good stress reliever before any major exams or a nerve wrecking presentation you are about to take when you fear your social anxiety may be about to kick in and you need to calm it down.

3. Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing

This is a simple but powerful technique that deeply relaxes your mind and body.
How It’s Done:

• Sit in a comfortable crosslegged position.
• Use your right hand. Hold your thumb over your right nostril.
• Inhale deeply through your left nostril.
• When you are at the peak of your inhalation, close of your left nostril with your third and fourth fingers, and then exhale smoothly through your right nostril.
• Inhale through your left nostril.
• Continue alternating the process 5 to 10 times.

If you want to refocus your mind into something or re energize, this is the right technique for that. Just don’t try this before going to bed, because it has the tendency to keep people awake.

4. Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”

Also considered as pranayama practice, which means a purification and preparation exercise before doing pranayama proper.
How It’s Done:

• Sit in a comfortable position on a mat or chair.
• Rest your hands on your knees.
• Gently close your eyes.
• Breathe normally for some time.
• Exhale once every two or three seconds for about ten to twelve times in the first round.
• Notice how the inhale happens automatically.
• Wait 30-60 seconds with everyday breathing to see how things are going.
• Do one to three rounds of 10-12 breaths (exhales) each.
• Relax with normal breathing.

It’s best to do this after you wake up every morning, it will warm up you up and shake off that musty energy and wake up the brain. However, if you are suffering from cardial problems, nasal obstruction, cold or any severe respiratory infection, it is better to consult your doctor first.

5. Progressive Relaxation Technique

This is the best technique when you want to reduce your overall body tension.

How It’s Done:
• Close your eyes and focus on tensing and relaxing each muscle group from your body for two to three seconds each.
• Start with the feet and toes, move up to the knees, thighs, rear, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw and eyes. Make sure to maintain deep, slow breaths all throughout the process.
• To keep on track you can breathe in through the nose while the muscles tense, then breathe out through the mouth on release.

You can do this for just 5 minutes if you go for the shortened version, you just need a comfortable place, some privacy and a few minutes of your time.

6. Visualization Breathing Exercises

This is not only found to be great as a social anxiety stress reliever but is also often used  to heal on minor ailments like headaches and pains.
How It’s Done:

• Close Your Eyes and Relax. Let your breathing get become slower and deeper.
• Practice Stress Relief breathing. Breathe from your diaphragm or belly instead of from your shoulders.
• Visualize. As you breathe in, imagine that relaxation is coming into your body and flowing through your limbs, reaching every part of you. When you exhale, imagine that all the stress from your body is being exhaled. After a few minutes, you should feel fuller of peace and the stress in your body should be reduced.
• Keep Breathing. You can continue this exercise for five or twenty minutes and helps you return to your normal activities with a renewed sense of strength and serenity.

This breathing exercise is very helpful for those who are having trouble sleeping.

These six different exercises can provide you with welcome relief at any time during the day. So if you start to feel socially anxious at work or in a public place, allow yourself to take 5 minutes to practice breathing properly and allow the oxygen work its magic in helping you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Originally posted 2014-09-30 15:04:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

feel happy reduce social anxiety disorder

It’s believed that, in most cases, social anxiety is driven by mindset, rather than a chemical imbalance. It tends to go hand in hand with negative thinking, and interpreting situations as being much worse than they really are. As such, it’s a good idea to work on improving your mental processes if you want to overcome social anxiety for good.

Abraham Lincoln once said that “most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So if you are already feeling depressed, settling for feeling down won’t fix the problem. Why not choose to be happy instead? You won’t lose a single thing if you chose to smile.

I know this is easier said than done, but learning how to maintain a happy state of mind is key to being able to overcome social anxiety for good through correcting the negative thoughts that drive it. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one way, and there are many other healthy habits you can adopt that will improve your mood and reduce your social anxiety as a result.

Here are six habits for improving the way you think, feel and behave in social situations:

1. Waking up early

Early risers are generally happier and healthier than those who prefer the night life, this is according to a study by the researchers from the University of Toronto. “Society’s expectations are far more organized around a morning-type person’s schedule.” says Renee Biss, a graduate student research at the University of Toronto.

I always consider myself as an early riser. I love the fresh atmosphere in the morning, I notice that I am more enthusiastic to face the day whenever I wake up early. I accomplish more and everything seems to be easy. I don’t like to rush myself to office or scramble myself to catch a meeting.

2. Daily Exercise

Maintaining a moderate exercise everyday will not only help you sleep better, keep your heart healthy and keep your body in shape but also helps to lighten up your mood the entire day. When you are physically active you will have a sense of accomplishment in attaining your fitness goals and most likely inspired to accomplish more during the day.

According to a study conducted at Penn State, people who are more physically active have also shown greater levels of excitement and enthusiasm than people who are less active physically. “David Conroy, a professor of kinesiology also suggest that it is more effective to set short term goals in exercising to stay motivated, to be able to keep up with the program that they started.

3. Make a habit of Disengaging yourself

Giving yourself a time to regain your strength back after a long day of exhaustion at work is important to be equally happy when you return home at night. There are times that stress gets you and people who are often stressed out during the day have difficulty sleeping at night. It’s because they did not give themselves a time to disengage themselves from their stressors.

The book entitled “The Power of Full Engagement” by Loehr and Schwarz talked about how to disengage yourself periodically and seek renewal to fully achieve happiness and prosperity in life.

4. Help Others

A survey conducted by Do Good Live Well Survey in 2010 has found out that most of those who volunteered have shown a positive impact on their lives. Most of the volunteer feel that their participation made them physically healthier, lowered their stress levels and improved their sense of well-being.

I can speak from my own experience that unbelievable feeling of happiness whenever I participate with the feeding program of my church. It increases my satisfaction for a moment, it gives me a sense of meaning and purpose.

5. Learn new skills

A key to happiness is when you don’t lack enthusiasm to tackle each day with eagerness and excitement. Maintaining that level of enthusiasm is hard, but by learning some new stuff and a new skill perhaps will give you a new goal to fill.

6. Have multiple ways to “WIN” each day

Challenging yourself to achieve your short term goals would give you a complete boost on your ego and would feel accomplished at the end of the day. Of course there are always blunders that would make it more difficult for you. But instead of feeling disappointed and giving up, why not challenge yourself to win them over.

Overcoming social anxiety disorder comes from adopting healthy ways of thinking and making small changes that raise your self esteem.  It can be a long process,but through adopting habits, like those listed above, you can learn how to improve your mood and reduce your social anxiety for good.

N.B. Remember, if social anxiety disorder is adversely affecting your life and making you feel depressed then you should always consult a medical professional, like a doctor or psychologist for professional advice. The severity of social anxiety can vary tremendously between individuals and what helps some people overcome it might not be as effective for others.

Originally posted 2014-10-22 21:48:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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camping

Living in fear and excessive self consciousness is no way to live. Especially if you are just a kid. It’s hard to go through life and achieve your dreams if you were always anxious and calculated in every decision you make. Children are like delicate flowers that can easily be swayed and blown away by the force of nature. They tend to grow into their fears and not outgrow out of them.

Anxiety is a common mental health problem affecting many children and adolescents today. But the good thing is, it is a treatable condition. A new study from the Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine says that kids with anxieties, like social anxiety, have larger amygdale or what’s better known as “fear center” – a set of neurons located deeply in the brain’s medial temporal lobe. They have conducted the research involving 76 children among the ages of seven and nine years old, a period where the researchers can accurately identify the anxiety levels of the children.

But some agencies and organizations are skeptical about the cause and effect of the new study. However, this is good news for parents who have children who suffer from excessive fears and anxiety. The study may be a breakthrough for identifying in advance social anxiety disorder risks for children.

I for one have my own fair share of anxieties as a kid. I know people who have dealt with social anxieties growing up and most of them were saying that if only they have open up more to their parents as a child. They could have spared the burden of what social anxiety have cost their lives all throughout adolescence and adulthood. As parents, we should be the one responsible in giving our children the quality of life they deserve. We should be in more careful watch of our children’s behavior and how they respond to those around them. Identifying the symptoms of anxiety as early as possible and finding effective treatments is always the best way to give your children a full and happy life.

Originally posted 2014-07-10 22:02:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter