How To Overcome Social Phobia: How To Overcome Social Anxiety On Your Own

Have you ever worried that a minor public gaffe would forever ruin your reputation?

The following should be very comforting:

In 2000, Social Psychologists Thomas Gilovich, Kenneth Savitsky, Victoria Husted Medvec coined a term to explain this sentiment: The Spotlight Effect.

Spotlight Effect: We assume that our appearances and behaviors garner more attention from others than they actually do.

In a series of experiments featuring volunteers wearing embarrassing clothing, researchers discovered that people overestimate the degree to which others focus on their appearance.

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The Spotlight Effect is common because we view the world through our own eyes rather than considering the vantage points of others. This is rational, as we are privy to thoughts and experiences unknown to others (think: Fundamental Attribution Error). We overestimate the salience of our public behavior to the minds and eyes of others.

How can awareness of the Spotlight Effect be used to combat shyness and public insecurity?

Practical Application:

Remember the Spotlight Effect the next time you feel insecure in a public setting. Everyone else is too busy worrying about what you think of them to spend time obsessing over your appearance and conduct.

Learning social skills and overcoming shyness is something that's developed over time. Be Proactive. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations and force yourself to interact with others in new settings. Little by little you can escalate your level of engagement. Start by looking strangers in the eye whenever you walk past them. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but you will get used to it. Eventually, you can work on introducing yourself to new people and speaking your mind in unfamiliar settings.

Consider this: We all worry about our appearance and the clothes we wear each day. Think about the five people that you see most often throughout the week. Can you remember what clothes they wore yesterday? What color and style of pants and shirt?

If you can't recall that information, you are not alone. Many of us cannot even remember what the people in our own households wore the previous day! Unless there is something particularly unusual or remarkable about a person's appearance, we tend to forget what they wore the day before.

Pay Close Attention Here-

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If you want to cure anxiety attacks one of the most important things that you can do is to change your attitude towards anxiety. Typically when a person has a panic or anxiety attack the first thing that they do tense up and try to fight the anxiety. When you do this you actually create more stress and anxiety for your body to deal with... it's kind of like consistently running up a steep hill until you just get exhausted.

If you want to cure anxiety attacks you have to learn how to properly deal with and process anxiety. If you respond correctly you will notice that your anxiety does not affect you as much as it used to. If you want to truly respond correctly you have to learn how to embrace your fears and anxieties... in other words you have to welcome fear into your life.

When you start embracing your fears you begin to just kind of go with the flow... you no longer put up a fight against your anxiety. This in itself helps you to relax and be more peaceful. When you just succumb to your fears you kind of just start to flow with them... instead of fighting against them. This helps you realize that your anxiety is imagined and that it cannot really hurt you.

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As soon as you start to realize that your fear is just in your mind... you gain control of your life again. You can start to process your anxiety more effectively when you realize that you are truly safe and that you are simply feeling scary sensations. These scary sensations cannot manifest in something that can truly hurt you.

When you embrace your fear and anxiety you cure anxiety attacks by giving you back full control. Embracing your fear helps you realize how irrational your thoughts are at the moment of an anxiety attack. If you can realize this... you can work on your anxiety and empower yourself... until you no longer experience anxiety attacks.

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One of the most effective panic attack cures is learning to face your fears and embrace them. Panic attacks are simply your body reacting to anxiety in the ways that you have been learning for all of your life. When you face your fears head-on and learn to embrace them you dare anxiety to throw the very worst that it has at you. This type of attitude will automatically defuse fear and give you a sense of power and control.

When you employ this panic attack cure you change your whole mindset. You go from a crying, whimpering, shaking victim... and you end up a strong, courageous, and willing participant of the ride that anxiety is soon to throw your way. When you do this you start to just kind of go with the flow... this makes your anxiety a lot less scary.

Embracing your fear also causes you to consciously work on your anxiety and on the thoughts that are causing it. People typically try to fight the feelings of a panic attack... which in turn causes more stress and anxiety. Once you stop fighting your feelings and start embracing them you can easily pinpoint what is causing them and work on ways to deal with them. Once you can get into this mindset your fear no longer has the power to take over all of your thoughts and emotions.

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Convince yourself that you can handle any fears and anxieties that life can throw at you. You have to be a little stubborn about this... you cannot just think it and then forget about it. At first you have to consistently remind yourself that fear cannot hurt you and that you do in fact want to feel it. Eventually fear will take a backseat and this panic attack cure will start to bring back some of the confidence that you have lost.

As with every panic attack cure you may suffer a couple setbacks... do not let the setbacks linger in your mind. Every time you have a setback you are closer to beating your panic disorder. Look at your setbacks as war wounds... they only make you stronger and help you deal with panic and anxiety more effectively in the long run.

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If you are with someone who begins to experience a panic attack and you have never had nor witnessed one before, it can be almost as scary and disconcerting for you as for the person having the attack. A panic or anxiety attack can present itself quite suddenly, and without notice or reason. The attack is one with a very high degree of anxiety. Help for panic attacks may not come naturally, particularly if you have never observed one before.

Generally, individuals who have had repeated panic or anxiety attacks know what they need to do to calm down. If you know the person and are aware he/she is prone to attacks, it is good to ask ahead of time what would be helpful during those times of anxiety - sometimes the person can describe a particular technique or has medication which will help them through the attack.

Five ways to quickly help someone having a panic attack:

1. if you can determine the reason for the fear, attempt to remove it or take the person away from the cause of their discomfort to a quieter location

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2. talk to the person in a comforting, steady manner and avoid dismissing or making light of their fear

3. suggest that the person rests and stays still - if they are unable to do so and need to move, encourage him/her to stretch, do some jumping jacks, or accompany you on a quick walk

4. place a wet washcloth around his/her face and neck

5. provide a distraction by having the person slowly open and close a hand, or have the person count with you by fives

By simply saying "it is okay" and then continue with some of the above ways to help for panic attacks, you will be doing the best you are able to assist the person in dealing with their fear.

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If you are willing to make just a few simple changes in your daily routine, you can stop your panic attacks and enjoy your daily activities again, both alone and with your friends and family. To learn how you can stop your symptoms in a couple of steps and then prevent them from ever appearing again- Click Here

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