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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

Think positive

Social anxiety can be a difficult chain to break out of. While direct causes can vary, typically it’s a negative way of thinking that can cause the sense of low self-esteem and lack of self confidence that drives it.

It was not so long ago that I realized how negativity hinders my own self-growth. I became so insecure, I even questioned my purpose; I was afraid to set goals because I was afraid to fail, and thus I lacked direction in life.

This was until I realized I need to do something to get my life back on track. I began to focus only on good ways of thinking and behaving to attract positive responses. I cleaned up my negative thoughts and instead instilled positive vibes towards myself. It was hard at first, but gradually I noticed the difference within myself. I learned that social anxiety, and life in general, becomes easier to live with if you shift your attitude into a positive light and make a habit of saying “No!” to negativity.

The following are some negativity reducing tips that will help you discard those negative feelings and thoughts that can drive social phobia, which will eventually lead to a fuller and brighter life ahead of you.

1. Set rational goals

They always say that “If you want to dream, dream big and if your dream does not scare you maybe it is not big enough”. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big, but sometimes it is impossible to attain larger than life goals when the intimidate you. You have to break them down to pieces and set up some strategies on how to move up the ladder little by little. That way you will be more motivated to continue reaching your goal once you have found the satisfaction by attaining the smaller goals first.

2. Turn problems into challenges

As what Arizona-based entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown said “Motion beats meditation.” Sometimes we get overwhelmed at the problem at hand and would question our ability to perform the task. When it comes to a point like this, it is better to view any obstacles as a challenge, like a game that you need to win over.

Self limitation is the main reason why most of us fail to meet our goals in life. It is useless to rehash inspiring quotes and post motivational words on your social media accounts when you yourself are even afraid to take a leap of faith.

3. Reset your default answer

I remember the movie “Yes, Man” where a character named Carl Allen played by Jim Carrey goes to a motivational “Yes!” seminar and made a covenant to stop being a “No Man” and vows to answer “Yes!” to every opportunity, request or invitation that presents itself thereafter.

It made me realize a lot of things and had me thinking, what if I adapt the same attitude? I was astounded on what I discovered. It made me more optimistic, confident, self assured, friendly and sociable. Stop saying “No” every time, instead you can default to “I’m not sure; give me a minute,” suggested by Lynette Louise, a neurofeedback therapist. This will help you think of it a bit longer and find a good reason to say yes before you say no.

4. Display that award

Surround yourself of physical reminders of positivity, it may come as proof of your past achievements, like trophies, certificates of recognition, your university diploma, photos of your family and loved ones.

5. Put your hands up!

According to a study conducted in 2012, between people who do “Power Poses” (e.g. leaning back in a chair with hands behind head) vs people who do low-power poses (e.g. standing with arms hugging chest and ankles crossed) tend to be more confident. This is believed to be because power poses boost confidence and can increase testosterone level than the lower-pose. This study is also used as a reference when athletes lose their confidence, which is why yoga coach Dana Santas always instructs athletes to hold the “mountain Pose with Arms Up”.

6. Detox from bad news.

I sometimes wonder why the evening news is full of negative headlines. I personally do not encounter that many bad things in my everyday waking life. Colene Eridge, a life coach in Lexington, Ky. suggests taking a break from the negativity that you encounter in daily life, whether it’s from those gruesome evening headlines or your whining neighbor. It doesn’t mean that you are avoiding them, it’s just making a choice of encouraging positive vibes and discarding the negative ones.

7. Wake up on the right side of the bed.

Ask yourself three “morning questions” when you wake that will let you focus on the day ahead and clear your head all of the negative thoughts the night before.

Try asking yourself these questions:

• What am I excited about doing today?
• Who can I encourage or serve today? (Get the focus off yourself)
• What am I grateful for?

Just think about all the things that make you excited by just visualizing them. You will be surprise how this simple exercise can change your perspective for the entire day.

Negative thinking clouds your thoughts and makes situations seem a lot worse than they are, which is a classic cause/symptom of social anxiety disorder. So try following these 7 tips in your daily life to see if they can help reduce your social phobia for good.

Originally posted 2014-11-03 20:03:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Shyness and Social Anxiety System

 

The Shyness and Social Anxiety System is a social phobia support program created by Sean Cooper, an ex-sufferer of social anxiety and shyness. Comprising of three eBooks and a private member’s support group, Sean’s system provides a guide to the latest thinking on what causes social anxiety and the techniques he developed to overcome it and live a more fulfilling life.

There’s no shortage of books and websites that already cover the principles of what causes social anxiety and how it can be treated. And most of them are, quite frankly, cheaper than Sean’s $29 system. So is the investment worth it? Does it offer anything new that can knock aside the social phobia barrier that’s blocking your enjoyment of life? Or does it cover the same advice you can easily find elsewhere for less money?

What does the Shyness and Social Anxiety System cover?

The main 113 page eBook in the Shyness and Social Anxiety System takes a pragmatic approach to overcoming social phobia. Rather than dwell on the past and allow excuses for avoiding human interaction, it focuses on practical steps you can take to improve your social skills and life.

The first section discusses why social anxiety (in most instances) is a ‘learned behaviour’ driven by an extreme fear of people’s disapproval. While genetics and childhood environment can play a part, Sean focuses on how it isn’t  a condition you’re automatically born with or a physical problem that can only be numbed/treated with medication. As it’s a condition that’s learned, Sean explains how it can be unlearned.

How does Sean’s system help you to overcome social anxiety?

The cornerstone of overcoming social anxiety (in both my own and Sean’s opinion) is raising self esteem and changing your mindset. I remember that when I discovered that it was negative, inaccurate thoughts that were driving my social phobia it was like someone switching on the light. It gave me a vision of a way out of feeling isolated and uncomfortable all the time.

Hiding away at home and avoiding people isn’t the answer. Instead Sean’s answer is to embrace the fear that drives social anxiety, rather than run away from them. I know this sounds daunting, but Sean explains it really is the only long-term way – unless you want to spend your life on medication and the numbness that goes with it.

However, Sean doesn’t simply push you out the door and wish you the best. He outlines the techniques he used to respond to the uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms of social anxiety, such as muscle relaxation, acceptance of the problem and allowing yourself the flexibility to make mistakes.

The third part of the book focuses on how to correct what, most likely, is driving your social anxiety in the first place: an inaccurate value system and a low sense of self worth. Sean studies in-depth the reasons why your value system might be out of sync, such as basing your value system on comparisons with other people and why social anxiety, for many people, is driven by a feeling that you’re hiding a big secret which will cause people to reject you.

Does it cover anything new?

If you’ve already been reading up on social anxiety, been seeing a therapist or taken a cognitive behavioral therapy course then a lot of these principles probably sound familiar. And that’s not really surprising because we’re not walking around blindly grasping for explanations on what causes social anxiety. It affects millions of people around the world; it has been well researched and studied by clinical behavioral psychologists. We know why it happens and how to treat it.

However, what Sean’s book does do is offer a down practical advice on overcoming it. He writes in a friendly conversational tone that’s motivating and gets across the feeling that he’s there with you encouraging you to take the steps to deal with it. His approach of facing the fear and rewiring your brain, rather than relying on short-term coping strategies, is also a more ballsy and (in my opinion) effective approach then you might find elsewhere.

In addition, Sean goes beyond simply explaining how to feel more comfortable in social situations. He goes on to explain the steps you need to take to become more spontaneous and to speak without thinking (rather than mentally having to clear everything before you say it). This goes beyond the advice I’ve found elsewhere and can take you to a more advanced level of recovery.

What about the bonus eBooks?

In addition to the core eBook, you also get ‘What to Say Next’ and ‘Social Circle from Scratch’.

‘What to Say Next’  provides guidance on how to get better at what everyone with social anxiety struggles with: conversation. Sean explains how you can grow your conversational muscles through his ‘conversation thread technique’  which trains you to know how to respond to the things people say. The aim is that it enables you to become more immersed in subjects and conversation becomes natural as a result.

The ‘Social Circle from Scratch’ eBook outlines the tactics and techniques Sean developed for growing his social network. If you’ve been suffering from social anxiety for a long time then you might find yourself isolated and stuck at home wondering whether you’ll ever be able to enjoy the active life everyone else seems to lead. Sean explains how it can be done, through techniques such as getting on people’s social radar, ways of meeting people and how to strike up conversations.

Sean also drives home the importance of taking action. Staying at home feeling miserable is not going to help you. Taking steps, no matter how small, towards being more socially active is the only way.

I found both of the bonus eBooks to be very informative. They both covered principles I hadn’t read elsewhere and offer real, practical advice on the steps to take if you want to overcome your social anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.

So is the Shyness and Social Anxiety System worth the money?

I think deciding whether the Shyness and Social Anxiety System is worth buying really depends on where you are in your recovery. If you’ve already read some books on social anxiety (e.g. Feeling Good by Dr David Burns or Overcoming Social Anxiety by Gillian Butler) then many of the principles in the first half of the main eBook wont be anything new. However, Sean’s focus on facing the fear is an approach I’d recommend over the coping techniques covered in other books. I also think his conversational, easy to read style and the eBooks’ relatively short length will be more appealing to someone who’s just started on their road to  recovery and would like to understand the condition and what to do about it within an afternoon’s reading.

As always, if you’re suffering from severe social anxiety, and struggle to even get out of the house, then you should get professional help, whether it’s a doctor or a therapist. But in more moderate cases where you’re struggling with social interaction, suffer from the physical nervousness or want to stop feeling that you’re ‘being watched’ all the time then Sean’s system is certainly worth a look. $29 might sound like a lot, but if it saves you the time of piecing everything together yourself from around the internet, or the thought of reading a 300 page book sounds daunting, then Sean’s system is a good option. He also offers a 60 day money back guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the Shyness and Social Anxiety System then you can always get your money back.

Disclaimer – The links in this article are affiliate links. That means I earn commission for any sales of Sean’s system referred through this site. As an ex-sufferer, I hope you can trust in the fact that this is an honest review based on actually reading the books and judging how their information compares to my own experiences and research. But if you prefer, this is a non affiliated link to his website:  

http://shynesssocialanxiety.com

Originally posted 2013-01-13 17:48:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

thoughtful

[Image courtesy of andy_c]

If you suffer from shyness then you might daydream about swaggering into a party and captivating an audience with your witty anecdotes and smooth one liners. Whilst being confident and attracting attention has its advantages, you shouldn’t discount the qualities of being someone who holds back a little until you feel comfortable around strangers.

Being shy shouldn’t be something you’re ashamed of. But instead merely an aspect of your multifaceted personality.

If being shy or socially anxious is causing you problems then there are ways of overcoming it. But it’s not something you should think you have to be ‘cured’ of to be happy and attractive to others.

Polite and considerate

Shyness and anxiety are merely your body’s defensive mechanisms for staying alert to potential dangers. Whilst most learn to get used to the situations that made them shy as children, many people continue to feel bouts of anxiety as adults.

Being shy can get in the way when you meet people for the first time, and you just want to relax and be yourself. However, the flip side of the coin is that it also gives you the ability to evaluate situations before jumping straight in.

When you’re feeling shy, you might find yourself planning a route through the minefield of potential social mishaps. Whilst you should learn not to worry so much about exposing your weaknesses (which drives your fear of humiliation), the ability to be mindful of saying or doing the wrong thing can be a good thing.

Your efforts to not tread on anybody’s toes or cause offense means people will think you’re polite and considerate, whereas people who aren’t shy enough can  seem overpowering, pushy and self opinionated.

Being shy means you’re more likely to take the time to assess the appropriate thing is to say or do, rather than blunder into a dinner party, take someone else’s seat and then boast about your pay rise when someone else at the table has recently been fired.

Friendships based on quality rather than quantity

People who are shy are sometimes perceived as having an air of mystery about them, or hidden depths just waiting to be revealed. This can be an attractive quality. And can make people curious enough to try and break down your defensive walls to discover the real you.

The people with whom you form friendships will appreciate the confidence you’ve placed in them by letting your guard down. You in a turn are more likely to be a loyal and considerate friend. As a result the friendships you do form tend to have deeper roots and be longer lasting.

Whilst you might not always dominate the conversation. You’re likely to be an attentive listener and adept at asking the right questions, which is a valued characteristic in any relationship.

Independent, resourceful and thoughtful

Whether you consider yourself to be an introvert, shy or socially anxious, there’s a lot of positive skills you’ll have built up due to your personality type.

Spending a lot of time on your own can make you feel isolated. But it also means you’ve had to be self reliant and independent in pursuing your own interests and priorities. This resourcefulness can enable you to be more adept in looking after yourself, and less reliant on others to help you overcome life’s obstacles.

The anxiety of shyness might also mean you spend a lot of time pondering over situations – what went wrong, how it could have gone better. Once you’ve learnt how to assess life’s episodes objectively, you can learn to divert your thoughtfulness to better use by thinking through events more clearly and planning how you’ll approach them better in the future.

Mental strength

Being shy might (at the moment) be causing you problems in life and making everyday activities difficult, such as being assertive at working, dating or interacting with strangers in the street.

But there’s a proven, goal orientated approach to overcoming social anxiety in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy. CBT teaches you first to accept your shyness and then how to reduce it so it doesn’t inhibit your enjoyment of life.

And the sense of achievement, mental strength and improved ability to cope with life’s demands is perhaps the biggest long-term benefit of all from accepting your anxious feelings and taking steps to overcome them.

Originally posted 2008-06-18 13:52:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter