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Old 03-17-2016, 02:04 PM
Dr. Joe Dr. Joe is offline
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Disclaimer: The diagnosis of clinical anxiety or depressive disorders requires a physician or other qualified mental health professional. The information provided is intended for informational purposes only. Please understand that the opinions shared with you are meant to be general reference information, and are not intended as a diagnosis or substitute for counseling with your physician or other qualified mental health professional.
With social anxiety you're dealing with your own negative projections of insecurity. Typically, social anxiety has to do with insecurity's anticipation of being embarrassed. Because of the erosion self-confidence and lack of self-trust, you put yourself in a position of what we call self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e., you expect to be anxious, nervous, flushed, etc., and this anticipation causes you to have difficult, embarrassing social experiences. The goal is self acceptance, however as long as insecurity dominates causing a lack of self-trust, then you will continue to struggle.
Social anxiety is not simply a behavioral habit, your brain (as with any habit) has become patterned (wired) according to this fear response. You must interrupt this resistant habit and begin to "rewire" you and your brain. We call this neuroplasticity. This can only be accomplished by consistent, persistent effort over time. It's a matter of learning to live more spontaneously, i.e., to "risk" trusting that you can learn to simply react to what takes place in any given social situation rather than to have to rehearse or anticipate what might happen. Try to find situations where you feel relatively relaxed and safe, perhaps with a family member or close friend. Observe your interactions in these situations. Notice how you just "react." We call that stimulus-response, i.e., someone says something (stimulus) and you simply respond. There's no self-monitoring (i.e., "How am I doing? Am I anxious?), you simply just respond spontaneously without regard to your performance. This is the ultimate goal in all social situations, i.e, the ability to react spontaneously without self scrutiny.

A good deal of social insecurity/anxiety begins with projections of insecurity, the "what ifs." Bottom line: you should always work to let go of congested, insecure thinking while becoming more reactive to life i.e., letting life unfold naturally and spontaneously. You do this when you begin to live in the present without trying to protect yourself by anticipating chaos that may or may not occur. It's all about letting go of control. Controlling life is insecurity's excuse for why you go on and on worrying and anticipating. Controlling life according to insecurity's projections is never the answer and always the problem.

Yours,
Dr. Joe


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