This right here is the best advice.
I used to have incredibly bad social anxiety. Couldn’t even look the grocery store checkout person in the eyes bad. I remember the first time I wanted to join a gym. The first time I tried to find it I ended up riding the bus for the loop and didn’t even go because I wasn’t sure where to get off and I was freaking out too much to ask. Second time I went to find the gym I went prepared. I map quested that shit. Found it, but when I got there I walked right by because I was freaking out too much. Third time took me a while to attempt, I think I walked by that time as well. Finally on the fourth go round I made it inside and got all set up. It fucking sucked. That was my life for years.
I kept trying though. Even with that horrible anxiety I kept pushing myself to go. You have to be able to rationalize through the anxiety. It sucks and is hard as fuck, but you have to realize the anxiety is bullshit and pull out your jungle machete and hack away at it. Soon you’ll realize that thick fog of anxiety is starting to thin out a bit. I still get it often, but no where near as bad. Some days are worse than others, but I keep moving forward. It’s either that or I become a shut in. And, that’s definitely no fun.
Relying on drugs is no good. It doesn’t teach you how to get through it. It just masks it. And you can’t mask it forever. [/quote]
Medication is a very short term solution and will do you more harm than good in the long run.
You really need to experience your anxiety if you want to learn to cope with it. There is no other option. Just do it. Even self-talk will help only so much. You have to be willing to experience and accept your fears and commit to do the things you don’t like at first but that will help you to live the life you want.
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
There are 3 components:
1/ Cognition: Fearful thoughts. What are you afraid of exactly? What’s the worst thing that can happen according to you? In which situations do you get these kind of thoughts?
2/ Physiologic response/arousal: These are the bodily symptoms of fear, the the fight-flight response through which your body automatically prepares itself to react when confronted with a feared stimulus (In general this can be everything like situations, people, animals, thoughts, certain feelings,… everything that is linked to your fearfull thougts).
3/ Avoidant behavior: What do you DO to try to avoid your feared stimuli and your fear in general. This is key. This is what makes your fear last. This is what prevents you to experience new situations that can correct your fearful thoughts. This is what you have to stop doing. Before you do that, write down every thing you do to avoid your fear and the costs and benefits of each kind of this avoindant behaviors.
But in essence, indeed, just experience.