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How to Help Social Anxiety – An Exercise To Get Out of the Anxiety Loop

Posted by Joey B. Wong on April 15, 2015  /   Posted in Khemcorp Originals, Overcoming Social Anxiety

Many many many years ago. I learned this exercise and to this day it’s still one of the most effective exercises I have used. Other meditation techniques were just too hard because I have ADHD, and comorbid social anxiety disorder.

Ironically I had learned this technique from a book about attracting the opposite sex that had nothing to do with helping with social anxiety disorder.

Of course over the years I have practiced and perfected it, this was a period in my life where I was those “anti-medicine people”, and I didn’t have Oxytocin to reduce my fear of eye contact.

Out of the hundreds of self-help books I tried at the time (because I really believe anxiety was my thought process, not a biological one) I have probably gone through, nothing has beat this for my social anxiety/ADHD.

If practiced it will give you a psychological tool for when you are without meds, plus it costs no money. It’s not a great solution, but one that has no side effects and can be used in any situation.

Since it still works today. I thought I would share today on how to help social anxiety.

How does this work? Dealing with Social Anxiety and Fear of Social Situations

I have to be honest here…I have no idea. It’s not really serious meditation per say, but the focus on relaxing your body which probably triggers a parasympathetic response.

It does get better in time, as you learn to do this with your mind. I also noticed once you master it you have some sort of calm aura, maybe too calm perhaps.

I imagine it’s a state of being present, but specific for dealing with social anxiety, because it’s not complicated and doesn’t require too much focus and is easy to memorize.

When we have panic attacks, social anxiety, autism, ADHD. Our type of people, are prone to going into a fight or flight response (sympathetic – amygdala overtaking).

A tunnel of thought loops that repeat over and over again and gets nowhere. The brain is trying to solve a problem, but it can’t because its access to your memories and your real self. It is essentially impaired (overly tunnel focused) due to your panic.

This makes the fear of social situations real, as now you don’t have the ability to have social action.

Your brain is going in circles. Example problem I have – I often think there is too much to do and I panic, and my brain just keeps saying I am overwhelmed. My fight or flight response is “drink coffee” “play video games” “I’m useless” etc.

There is always seemingly one unsolvable problem and the brain keeps looping the same answer – which makes no sense because any problem should require you naturally to think of a multitude of solutions.

Social anxiety problem example. You go to an event where there are good-looking people you are attracted to, they seem socially skilled and humorous. You get intimidated by the prospect of not looking equally cool.

You enter the “tunnel” and your brain now keeps repeating “I NEED TO THINK OF SOMETHING FUNNY AND INTERESTING”, and your brain automatically does that continuously, but it doesn’t actually come up with anything.

This loop is why you can’t say anything funny or express yourself well. Your brain has now entered a kind of perpetual panic (black out). It’s become stupid.

This is why  you walk home whilst realizing all the things you could have done but didn’t, because now you are away from the social situation, you are out of the anxiety loop.

So relaxation and mindfulness brought by this exercise I designed specifically for me (who had crippling social anxiety) social anxiety peeps, will help you escape that loop and tunnel and the symptoms of comorbid social anxiety disorder.

What happens once you escape the loop?

You get balanced out, without the constant looping in your head you have now restored access to your memories and experience, not only do you suddenly gain insight into the world around you, you also become more creative, and look at the whole thing objectively.

Your brain in the background now has access to its own ingenuity, creativity and a dozen different possible solutions for your given problem, which is the real you.

For example “Just say Hi, you guys look like an interesting bunch, mind if I join in for a bit or maintaining eye contact etc and so on. Dialog or remaining silent becomes natural not forced…e.g “hey that’s a cool shirt you got” (natural and social) vs “sooo what do you do (stutter)” (more forced)

People are more likely to talk to you too because you will look more laid back, and not in a state of panicking wanting to leave etc.

Trust me neurotypicals are experts in reading emotion. If you are anxious they can feel it at some level, this does not bode well for those of us who have a problem dealing with social anxiety in the first place.

For me, the different between anxiety and less anxiety is like night and day.

Note: Anything that lowers anxiety e,g Oxytocin, benzos and alcohol will create these effects too.

Ever wonder why sometimes your head seems clearer after a drink – I’ve just explained above.

How to Help Social Anxiety or Just Show Me The Technique

This technique is a variation of a yogic exercise used by many masters in western tantra in preparation for the ritual of sex, with adjustment of course by me to suit social anxiety.

So without ado here is the social anxiety meditation exercise invented for me that I have used successfully for almost a decade. It’s not chemical fix like oxytocin or other chemicals, its not going to remove your anxiety instantly, but with practice it will become your go-to technique:

To start the exercise, focus your eyes on a single point e.g. the corner of a computer monitor and don’t move.

Note: Closing your eyes is not necessary, you can also do this exercise standing.

Note: As you relax, recite these 3 points to yourself:

  1. I am probably using my eyes – looking for approval from others
  2. I am probably too concerned about the immediate environment around me (e.g. a noisy shopping mall)
  3. I am being over sensitive and what I am thinking is just panicky thought.

Lie down or sit down in a comfortable place
Take a deep breath, and close your eyes
Place your attention to your left foot
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your left foot
Place your attention to the right foot
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your right foot
Place your attention on the left leg from the knee down
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your left leg
Place your attention on your right leg from the knee down
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your right leg
Place your attention on the left thigh
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your left thigh
Place your attention on the right thigh
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your right thigh
Place your attention your butt
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your buttocks and groin
area

Place your attention on your stomach
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your stomach
Place your attention on your lower back
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your lower back
Place your attention on your chest
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your chest
Place your attention on your upper back
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your upper back
Place your attention on your left shoulder
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your left shoulder
Place your attention to the right shoulder
Breath in, and then breathe out as you let all the tension out of your right shoulder
Place your attention to your left arm down to the elbow
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your left arm
Place your attention to your right arm down to the elbow
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your right
arm

Place your attention to the left forearm down to your wrist
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your left
forearm

Place your attention to your right forearm down to your wrist
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your right
forearm

Place your attention to your left hand and fingers
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your left
hand and fingers

Place your attention to your right hand and fingers
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your right
hand and fingers

Place your attention to those powerful muscles in the back of the neck
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of those
muscles

Place your attention to the rest of your neck
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your neck
Place your attention to your jaw and mouth
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your jaw and
mouth

Place your attention to your nose and ears
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your nose
and ears

Place your attention to your forehead
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your
forehead

Place your attention to the small muscles of the eyelids
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of those
muscles

Place your attention your entire face and head
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your face
and head

Now place your attention on your ENTIRE body
Slowly breath in, and then slowly breathe out as you let all the tension out of your entire
body as you find yourself now in a state of mind and body that is appropriate for the rest

of the techniques in the book to work. In fact, some people have found that doing this

exercise every night before they sleep has been very beneficial for their health.

Go ahead and mentally state, “Now I am going to count from one to five… and as I count
from one to five, I will awake, alive, refreshed, and feeling much better than before…1…

2… 3… 4… 5”

If you are doing this exercise in preparation for any other exercise included in
With practice you will be able to trade some of your willpower to escape the anxiety loop, and bring back your higher social mental function, without having to close your eyes, and eventually you will be able to do it when there are other people around in loud environments, by just relaxing your body.

– Khemcorp

About Joey B. Wong

Joey Wong, M.A., is a down-to-earth problem solver by nature who is both entrepreneurially-driven and service-minded. Dedicated to creating the most positive change possible, he strives to be on the cutting-edge of technology, so he can help others solve various issues—particularly with their health. As someone who has endured the many hardships of chronic illness, Joey has really made it a point to reach out to those who have been left behind in this world. Currently, Joey runs stardust.bio, which is a hub of valuable information for ardent “information sponges.”If you are interested in his story, check out: https://www.khemcorp.com/the-story-about-the-person-who-runs-khemcorp/

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