Social Anxiety News

Keep Small Talk Small

We put too much pressure on ourselves when we are in conversations.  There’s really no need for this.  Instead, we should focus outwardly and listen to the other person, and then we need to get rid of the irrational ideas that we must be funny, interesting, and/or entertaining.  You are just making small talk.  No one else is worried about telling funny stories.  Maybe you are trying too hard to gain the other person's approval?  You don't need to do this. 

Boxed in by Anxiety

Feeling Stuck?

Changing Neural Pathways

Your brain is accustomed to feeling socially-anxious. The neurons and chemicals used by the brain have been used for a long time and are habituated (i.e., have become a habit).  Even though social anxiety is a painful emotion to live through, the brain still finds comfort in using the same neural pathways and the same neurochemicals it feels accustomed to.

Don't Fear Mistakes

Sometimes we forget that, as human beings, we ALL make mistakes.  We also think that making mistakes is terrible, awful, and will bring negative attention to us.  This is simply not true.  People are not judgmental of mistakes, since they make mistakes all the time, too.  If you are alive and have a life, you're going to make mistakes.  That's how life itself works.

Dealing with Setbacks

Experiencing a setback is, unfortunately, a normal part of overcoming social anxiety disorder.  However, the good news is you can't have a setback unless you've made some kind of progress.  How to prevent and stop setbacks should be an integral part of any therapy program for social anxiety.  When you start to feel down (usually as a result of experiencing anxiety unexpectedly), catch yourself as quickly as you can.

Avoid Repeating the Past

Doing the exact same thing over and over again, which leads to more anxiety, is not a rational way to proceed.  This saying has been attributed to many people, especially to Albert Einstein.  It is very appropriate for overcoming social anxiety.  Many people do the same things over and over again...and hope for a different result, intent on "getting over" their anxiety.

When the Rational Becomes Rational

Some rational beliefs may be too hard to believe at this stage in your life.  You cannot FORCE what is rational to become a belief of yours automatically.  However, open your brain up to the idea that MAYBE (just possibly) this belief is true.  It may not be true now, but maybe in another month ... or another year ... it may be true.

Slowing Down

High amounts of social anxiety can be viewed physiologically: it comes about due to an excess amount of adrenaline and cortisol.  Adrenaline speeds you up, and cortisol, the stress hormone, induces feelings of fear.  "Sped-up fear" is a good non-standard definition of social anxiety, although it's one that everyone with SA can relate to.

Advice on Anxiety Groups

Any small group of social anxiety people, or understanding, supportive people can be used as a starting point for running a behavioral group. Starting small and working on EASY things to start with may help other SA people see that the behavioral group is easy if it is run properly.

Anxiety Hides and Restricts Us

Anxiety hides, blocks out, restricts and keeps our true personalities from emerging. Your value and worth as a human being are much more important than you think. Maybe you do not realize yet that you have a very valuable contribution to make to the world in the future. 

Social Anxiety Mailing List for February Has Been Published

The February 2013 Social Anxiety Mailing List has been sent out to almost 15,000 people.  We have to clear the list entirely (one reason is so our new website will "fit in" better with the e-mail program).  So, that took the list membership down to zero.

Fast and Furious Activity and Shout Outs

Everything is happening very quickly now with the three new anxiety websites.  A big thank you needs to be sent to our interns and volunteers who keep putting all this together and doing all the small "errands" that you have to do to publish and maintain a website.  Thanks to Zach Brown for his more-than-helpful advice and his talents at adding additional functionality to the basic site.  Justin Bashore, Aaron O'Banion, and Tim Henry have also been instrumental in the progress we have made so far.  Special thanks to Matt Whitley


Last Saturday I spoke about paradoxes, or what everyone with social anxiety does wrong (not on purpose, but just because they don't understand).  A paradox is something that is solved by doing the very opposite of what seems like common sense.  It is counter-intuitive.  The body wants to respond to anxiety in one way, and you have been responding in that way for years and years.  The problem is that what you are doing now does not help you overcome social anxiety.  Any strategy that chips away at soc

Social Anxiety Institute Website Launched

The updated Social Anxiety Institute site went live an hour ago. We hope you like it and find it easier to navigate. The site contains over 500 pages of information, explanation, and therapy articles. This site is the largest site on the internet for social anxiety resources, and the plan is to keep growing.

The Power of a Paradox

One more warm day before the temperature plummets twenty degrees tonight!   On tap for a cold Saturday in our social anxiety therapy group, is fully understanding and feeling the power of a paradox -- when you first realize that the solutions to your anxiety come from doing the OPPOSITE of what you've been doing all your life.  Many people have had major breakthroughs as this knowledge becomes so strong and rational that it is felt throughout your entire body.