How To Overcome Shyness: Overcoming Shyness And Social Phobia

Most people have suffered some form of shyness during their lifetimes. However for many it is a persistent hindrance that causes them great difficulty. This article offers some advice for people seeking to overcome their shyness.

What is shyness?

For the majority, being around new people can make us feel some shyness but after we become familiar with them and the feelings of shyness subside. This is not the case for shy people for whom the feelings continue and cause a chronic problem. Shy people can experience intense social anxiety even with people they have known for a long period of time.

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How can shyness be treated?

It would appear logical that shyness could be cured by continuous exposure to the fear so as to overcome it. However shy people are exposed to their fear everyday and are unable to conquer it. How then can shyness be cured? Psychologists have discovered Cognitive Therapy and Behavioural Therapy to have a high success rate when used in conjunction with exposure to the fear.

What is Cognitive Therapy?

Cognitive Therapy requires the person to become aware of their thoughts during the feared situations. They note down what they were thinking during the episode and then challenge whether or not the thoughts hold true by questioning them. Over time the shy person can dispel the thoughts that are causing them fear and replace them with more rational and helpful thoughts that do not create the destructive feelings. This coupled with positive reinforcement of the persons change in behaviour can result in a person dealing with their shyness and overcoming their difficulties and being able to cope better with social situations.

It is important that the practice of Cognitive Therapy is practiced consistently over an extended period of time. It is not an overnight cure. There will be some immediate improvements but it will take a while before any real long term improvements are felt.

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Depersonalization is a very common panic attack feeling. People often identify it as one of the first symptoms that they notice that triggers them to have a panic attack. Depersonalization is best described as the feeling of unreality. It feels almost like you are watching a movie, like you are not in your body. Many people who experience this feel as though they may be going insane. They feel like they are living out of their body... and quite frankly they get scared.

A lot of times this panic attack feeling will strike at very inappropriate times. You may be having a conversation with someone and before you know it you start to drift away. You start to feel removed from the conversation and everything starts to feel far away. This is a very weird feeling and it can take a while to go away. It is almost like living outside of your body for a little while.

This panic attack feeling is caused by your brain being preoccupied with too many things. When you brain gets this busy your sense of perception gets a little delayed. If your mind is under constant stress chemicals build up in your system. These chemicals cause your transmitters to have a delayed response time. It is sort of like Deja vu where your transmitters fire twice... but in this instance they just fire a little late. This makes everything seems fake and movie like... it's very similar to being on drugs.

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The quickest way to stop depersonalization is to just roll with it. If you are confident that you are not going to be adversely affected by this temporary condition you can just relax until the feeling passes. If you just relax and don't think about it, it will help the panic attack feeling to go away. When you experience this feeling just remind yourself that it will soon pass. If you do not worry about it you will not have a panic attack. Just be patient and calm and the feeling will subside.

The more you just go with the flow and ignore the panic attack feeling the quicker it will go away. If you practice and work on your attitude towards this feeling you will start to notice a big difference. You can also try to exercise, this always helps. When you exercise you divert your attention from your anxious feelings and you concentrate more on the exercise. If you get a chance get outside and try to get some fresh air and exercise this will help a lot.

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An effective panic therapy is to use visualization to clear your mind of stress and anxious thoughts. Visualization is effective in slowing down your mind when it starts racing with the thoughts that bring on panic attacks. The process helps relieve your mind from deep seeded anxieties... especially when you practice it often and for extended amounts of time.

There is no real "right" way to practice visualization. When you use it as panic therapy it's recommended that you do whatever works for you... don't get too caught upon if you are doing it right or not. As long as you keep concentrating on the exercise you should be relieving yourself of anxiety.

The ideal place to practice this panic therapy is somewhere quiet where you can be left alone for at least 10 minutes. At least at first... once you get good at it you will be able to do it in a busier environment such as work or in public.

Once you have found your quiet spot close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Take your hands and put one on your abdomen and one on your chest. Take a deep breath and concentrate on your belly moving but not your chest. Get a steady rhythm going and make sure to inhale approximately the same amount of air every time. Breathe like this for a while until you get into a comfortable groove.

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Once you can do this without a problem move your concentration to your feet. Try to feel your extremities such as your toes. Visualize your feet as being your base. They are solid like pillars of concrete. These pillars are your strength and they go down far into the ground. Visualize yourself as a strong person... one who is safe and secure.

Now concentrate on your feelings of security and safety. Visualize the sun shining on you... visualize anything that makes you happy and comfortable. Now try to clear your mind of all worries and just concentrate on your good feelings. Picture warmth and fuzziness and do this a few times.

Really you can visualize whatever you want... it can be a beach, the sun, a field... whatever pleases you the most and makes you the most comfortable. Try to get all of your senses involved in your visualization. Totally immerse yourself in the fantasy. Finding your happy place is an extremely effective panic therapy.

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According to the Anxiety Panic Attack Resource Site, anxiety attacks and panic attacks are the most common emotional disorder, affecting about 6 million American adults age 18 and older. Knowing these are widespread conditions can make you feel less alone, but, it is still important to learn how to reduce anxiety and live a more balanced life. In trying to find remedies for panic attacks or anxiety attacks, it can be beneficial to have several tips available to help avoid having an attack.

It is always a good idea to have a medical check-up to ensure your feelings of anxiety or panic are not caused by a medical condition.

The following 3 tips to help avoid having panic or anxiety attacks can be a start towards working on self-coping strategies:

Maintain Good Posture

Poor posture causes the muscles and bones to compress and that slight restriction can result in breathing problems. Sitting in an anxious position (legs and arms crossed, shoulders hunched forward) can also prevent good circulation. If you tend to sit all day at your job, it is helpful to have short spurts of activity, as this allows your body to stretch and breathe. It is helpful to find a chair that will keep your back straight.

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Exercise Regularly

Studies have shown that exercising reduces stress. It is important to try and do about 30 minutes of some type of exercise at least 3-5 times per week. If you sense an anxiety or panic attack coming on, doing some jumping jacks, push ups, walking, or jogging can all provide the diversion and activity needed to avoid having an attack.

Avoid Caffeine

Because caffeine stimulates the nervous system, it can raise your anxiety level and put your nerves on edge. Caffeine is in many soft drinks, coffee, tea, and chocolate. It is also a good idea to avoid over-the-counter diet pills, and decongestants as they can contain stimulants. Some good alternatives to caffeine during stressful times, is to drink caffeine-free herbal teas or ice water flavored with a slice of your favorite fruit.

In searching for remedies for panic attacks or anxiety attacks, trying the above 3 tips can increase your ability to cope better with anxiety as well as reduce the symptoms you experience.

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