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The anxiety solution: How to manage agoraphobia and social anxiety

In today’s article, I would like to share a reliable strategy that has helped lots of my clients defeat anxiety-related dilemmas like agoraphobia and social anxiety.

If you are troubled by social phobia or agoraphobia, then the following characteristics will be well known to you.

A perception of Intense self-focus

Regularly feeling that many people are looking at you almost like you are the center of attention.

Enhanced sense of nervousness.

Increased fear that people may see your anxiety as a weak point you have and then assault, ridicule or harm.

A feeling of shame that makes you to look away or look down quite often.

If you feel any of the above is recognizable to you, then you will benefit from using this technique.

So what’s the approach?

The strategy is just simply to look up and around. Take a look at any person you come across. Observe what is really happening.

Before you decide to think “this is a whole load of hogwash,” Consider testing the strategy out for around two weeks. I trust that you will notice the effectiveness in this strategy.

Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that the simplicity of this exercise means that it won’t be of any use.

What is a reason why you think people pick up this tendency to look down or away in these situations?

Quite often, it may be because somehow, they think that there’s a legitimate reason to feel embarrassed about. It’s possibly because they feel ugly, fat, peculiar or too tall. Because of this, they tend to assume that the only reason people will look at them is really because people assume that they are peculiarly awful or that folks may make fun of them and probably point fingers.

This technique works for two very simple reasons-

Firstly, Looking up and around enables us to realize that almost 99{1c74626021d9c5a8d5059ea98d64b8f290317673ada7d772ef8a992974ff6973} of people are not even interested in us at all as they are consumed by their own concerns and activities. 1{1c74626021d9c5a8d5059ea98d64b8f290317673ada7d772ef8a992974ff6973} is far smaller than 99{1c74626021d9c5a8d5059ea98d64b8f290317673ada7d772ef8a992974ff6973} and a lot easier to handle. Regrettably, failing to look up and about most of the time makes us conclude that if 1{1c74626021d9c5a8d5059ea98d64b8f290317673ada7d772ef8a992974ff6973} of the people we come across look at us negatively, then everybody else will do the same.

Secondly, the beast that we fail to look at becomes bigger in our minds because we are not looking at it. This gives social anxiety or agoraphobia more teeth to bite us with. Try this out.

Ask another person who can help you out with this (It works better if the colleague is someone you don’t know too well).

Gather a list of phrases containing the items you think people assess you negatively on, then get your helper to pretend and read the sentences in a rude fashion twice (e.g. What a hideous looking girl). For the first read, make sure you are backing your friend, then for the second time the statement is read, turn to face your friend again.

You will notice that whilst your mate reads your list at you, looking away made you feel so much worse even if ever so slightly. This is so although you gave the colleague the sentence to read back to you. (I usually find that the effect of this experiment is clearer the higher the sense of shame is).

So just how can you utilize the ideas offered in this article?

This technique will work better for you if you can get a different person to work with you. It is very important that the person you opt for is objective so if you can, don’t choose family. In addition, a pair of sun shades can help you feel more confident about looking around.

You will need a piece of paper and pen that will let you take an unbiased account. Right before you head out, make a speculation of how you think the experiment will turn out. Take note of what percentage of the people you think will look at you. It helps to distinguish between a simple glance and an obvious six-second glare. Okay, once you have completed this, go for a walk, maybe to town or to the shopping complex. It doesn’t matter so long as you will find enough people around.

For everybody that looks at you, mark a tick down on the paper and for everyone who does not look at you, mark a star down.

I trust that you will be pleasantly surprised with your discoveries.

Looking for more ways to deal with stress and anxiety? Then see this comprehensive self help guide on anxiety.