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Sometimes acting "as-if" can be very helpful. For example, acting as if you were an extrovert, or a sales person, or someone that is very inquisitive and interested in others. Yes, it's hard work, but like anything, can be learned and developed and becomes easier over time. Another technique is a power stance. Stand up before you go out, take the strong and powerful stance of superman or wonder woman and recite an affirmation 10 times, such as "I am confident, enjoy being social, and get together with ease." The more you are able to socialize and then reflect afterward how it went (you did just fine), the easier it gets over time. This mindful concluding exercise is important for future success.
Life coach, hypnotherapist, stress expert, author and speaker
A very common issue, Jonathan, thanks for the question. My favorite tool for this when I'm coaching someone with this issue is to use ego state work. We identify the parts of ourselves and tap in to the one that has the social strength, your inner extrovert. We empower that part to take over when needed and anchor that in. It's an amazing technique and can be used for so many issues.
There are several practices you can work on to help guide you through this but really digging deep into what is triggering this will eventually be necessary. In the meantime, try researching on something called Mental Rehersal. There are different articles on this from different angles but the overall concept is to practice visualizing scenarios, both good and bad. How do you see yourself acting in those scenarios? How do you want to act,be, feel in those scenarios? Almost like you are mentally practicing in advance. I had a client practice for awhile. She had anxiety over making phone calls to book appointments or to run certain errands. She was worried that she would say or do the wrong thing. I had her practice a positive and negative scenario for both. If it wasn't going in the direction she thought it would, how would she handle it? Make a joke perhaps? She really felt this to be a useful tool in the beginning.
Well, first off: being an introvert is a great thing. Extroverts are great at gathering information and identifying opportunities, but introverts sustain the focus to create change.
Social anxiety often results when trying to use that skill in complex environments. We become overloaded.
The strength of the extrovert, conversely, is that they know how to heal. They go out into the world, get boo-booes, dust themselves off and move forward.
It turns out that these reactions to experience reflect hemispherical (left/right) dominance in the brain. Through hypnosis, I can help you to explore the shift between left and right, putting it under the control of your mature self - evolving in the part of the brain right behind your third eye.
What causes social anxiety is the way that we think about ourselves in those situations. In a very simplistic overview, our brains offer us thoughts designed to protect us. We get to decide if we want to believe our thoughts, and if they serve us. Your brain is telling you that social situations are scary. That’s totally normal as humans are wired to gain social acceptance, and any misstep would risk being rejected from the pack. By paying better attention to the thoughts that you’re having leading up to and IN social situations that cause anxiety (because I’m sure that not ALL provide anxiety - ones with family, or close friends, for example) you can then choose to decide whether or not those thoughts are helpful, or true. Once identified, you can actively work on changing those thoughts to more helpful beliefs about yourself and those who you’re with so that you eventually diminish the anxiety.
I am a hypnotherapist & grief recovery specialist who helps people find clarity and ease on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels
While being introverted and experiencing anxiety are not the same thing, anxiety is a common problem for many introverts. Daily life—whether at work, school, or home—means interacting with numerous different people. The constant need to be “on” can leave introverts feeling drained, depleted, and out of mental resources to cope with the stimulation around them. This often manifests as feelings of stress and anxiety.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, reaching out to Harbor Hypnosis for therapy is a great starting point. With Robin’s professional assistance, you can overcome issues like sleeplessness, stress eating, and anxiety.
You can also keep some handy stress-reduction tools in your arsenal! For example, breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation can be effective strategies for reducing the fight-or-flight reflex that kicks in when we’re anxious. You could also try using CBD oil to manage anxiety, lower stress, and promote relaxation. Although CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant, it does not contain THC, the psychoactive compound that produces a “high”. Many people take CBD oil, edibles, or capsules to treat chronic pain or anxiety disorders.
Removing negative energy from your home is another way to incorporate more relaxation into your life. Your home should be a place where you can recharge from a stressful day, not where you’re forced to confront anxiety-inducing stimuli. To bring some good vibes into your home, do some cleaning, decluttering, and letting in plenty of light and fresh air!