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10 Top Tips To Topple Anxiety Totally

Many people suffer from Social Anxiety and its various levels of severity. Whether you are struggling with Social Phobia or have a problem with your anxiety levels in social situations here are 10 proven steps to a more satisfied you.

1. Graded Exposure Therapy While this is a long process it is almost certainly one of the most important tips. It involves writing a hierarchy of your worst anxiety fears. As you list your worst fear (perhaps public speaking) you take baby steps towards speaking in public... perhaps the first step may be just writing a speech. A warning though, I emphasize baby steps here if you suddenly jump up your hierarchy to something much more challenging and you have one of those "Panic Attack" moments you may well send yourself hurtling backwards... I did warn you!

2. Exercise I don't care if you are 9 or 99 it's given that exercise releases those "happy" brain chemicals that sufferers are lacking. The added benefit obviously includes better self image and a confidence boost. I'm not talking running a marathon here, just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day.

3. Slow Breathing Technique A much overlooked anti-anxiety trick is structured slow breathing. Firstly, if you feel your anxiety level increasing stop the activity at the most convenient opportunity and stand, sit or lie comfortably. Drop your shoulders, soften your abdominal muscles and breathe through your nose. Count your breaths - In-2-3 and Out-2-3-4. If symptoms persist hold your breath out for up to 7 seconds (i.e. Out-2-3-4-5-6-7. This will slow your breathing and give your body a chance to replace the C02 that you have breathed out.
4. Understanding your NAT' and ANT's OK you are probably asking what to tiny insects have to do with my anxiety? Negative Automatic Thoughts, otherwise known as Automatic Negative Thoughts. Does your brain tell you subconsciously, I can't do this or I can't say that? These are NAT's or ANT's, understand these and you understand your form of anxiety!

5. Be self-aware. Challenge your NAT's/ANT's by keeping a close eye on them. When do they turn up? What situations inflame the anxiety? Catch the anxiety early - if you notice for example your shoulders tense up first (very common) or you grit your teeth or perhaps you start fiddling that's the time to put the practices into place. If you leave it too late you could end up with a panic attack.

6. Roll in your Anxiety Yes that's right, just like a pig in the mud! You need to set yourself a larger goal, do this with your Graded Exposure Therapy. Then work at it EVERY day. I don't care if it's snowing outside, I don't care if you are sick today, just do something. It might be ringing your doctor to make an appointment to talk about your anxiety, it might be that you email a long lost friend - trust me small things really count!

7. Seek Professional Help I would suggest you investigate your local medical practitioners and find one suitable, your doctor is often your first stop in the process of working on your anxiety problem. Ask if they know any local support groups or specialized Anxiety Disorder/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy specialists.

8. Join a Support Group Not everyone has a local support group. It is worthwhile searching for... Social Anxiety Support groups (sometimes called Social Phobia Support groups) they are in larger cities. You may need to ask your medical professional/doctor for help or try searching online - Google is your friend. Your support group will put you in touch with people who maybe for the first time actually understand you (as hard as that may seem for you).

9. Record and celebrate your Achievements Do this right now! Write yourself a Gains List and record all of your achievements and gains - things you are proud of doing... It may be that you talked to a stranger today or you answered the telephone or perhaps you started your exercise plan... remember nothing is too small!

10. Coping with setbacks The last step is the hardest and definitely the most challenging of all. Listen to me here, you WILL have setbacks and blunders! That's right no one does things right 100% of the time. Learn from them, don't dwell, just get back on that horse and have a chat to someone understanding!

Submitted by:

Mike Kemp

Mike Kemp is Editor and Webmaster of Social Anxiety Support: http://www.socialphobia.org.nz Social Anxiety Support is the number one Social Anxiety/Phobia Support website in the world, A New Zealand based support group, providing FREE download-able newsletters, Regular Social Events and meetings.




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