Help For Social Anxiety

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Help For Social Anxiety

Postby NTD » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:59 pm

I get serious social anxiety when around people. I think it's - surprise surprise - 'Social Anxiety Disorder' :P . The pressure I feel is really palpable, face reddening, heart racing, sweating. It's very physiological. I've only been trying to 'live in the now' for a month now. During that time my (subjective) quality of life in general has sky rocketed :D . But not during social situations.

In such situations, it is hard enough to find the words to keep a conversation going, let alone simultaneously try to be in the now. When not speaking, I try to be in the now and feel the anxiety fully. I actually think it has helped since I don't seem to be suffering from it as much psychologically. My body, however, still goes through all of the symptoms of the anxiety.

Does anyone have any advice about this? Is this because it will take time for my body to adjust, or must there still be ego thoughts telling the body to behave like this? I only have TPON, does Eckhart cover anxiety more specifically anywhere else.

Thanks. Oh, and another thing. Why is there no :CONTENT: emoticon? :P
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Postby lakeswimr » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:10 am

Hi NTD,

I had similar problems in the past but not as severe. I think there are things you can do on the personal level which will reduce your anxiety. NAMI may have info on Ansiety Disorder. I think their web address is http://www.nami.org or something--if not google NAMI. You could also get counseling to get help.

Meanwhile, I think it is great that you are practicing presence and allowing the pain body. You know this anxiety is pain body. As you continue observing your pain it will keep lessining. I had a huge pain body and still have some but much less. What I have found is that while positive thinking and other things that involve will and effort helped me to at least not think bad things about myself or to fill my mind with positive thoughts and push back some of my discomfort in social situations, what really cured me of this was digging in and finding what is under that pain. Once I felt Being I could not feel negatively about myself. I also gave up the idea of fixing Lisa. Lisa did the best she could. She still does when I'm not so present and she is here (which is still happening--I'm not totally awake yet.) But the effort to love myself wouldn't work because it sets up a separation of me and myself and love. We are love. If you get rid of more pain and more pain you will find this yourself. I think it is one thing to be present without pain and quite another to be present with pain. But even with the pain body still functioning you can get in touch with the gentle presence that is holding the pain while you are observing and allowing it. Your real self is that presence--that loving, peaceful presence. Once you experience yourself as that your anxiety will melt away.

The personality wants to add things to itself to justify itself and make itself lovable to others and itself. This is a futile effort. You will never add anything to make you more worthy of love than you are now. This pain body clouds this up but it can be rediscovered.

I think it is great that you are allowing your pain. I just listened to Living the Liberated Life and something, something Pain body (forget the exact title) by ET. It is good but doesn't go into much more detail that the book. Even so, and even though I have listened to it maybe 5 or so times already I heard new stuff in it and understood it more deeply, so that is something you might like. I personally also like the Gateways CD a lot because it helped me get really deeply present and once I had enough experience like that I knew who/what I was and then naturally all things like social anxiety vanished.

I don't know if it would work for you well or not but ET recommend also Katie Byron's books. Her 2nd book might apply more to your situation and I think it is more clearly written, but I am not so sure it works as well for people with conditions like socail anxiety as much as it does for people who have deeply entrenched (often unconscious) beliefs which cause pain. I think that your social anxiety is probably connected to unconscious beliefs (I have to do X to be worthy of other's love, etc) perhaps. I donb't know.

Rambling now.

:)

Good luck.

Namaste. :)
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Postby barbarasher » Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:04 pm

Focus your attention on the person you are with. Don't focus on yourself. This is the greatest form of love. They will appreciate it and you can be fully present listening to them and understanding them.

Maybe you are judging yourself and busy thinking of how you are doing in the conversation? Just be.

In social situations, I always felt that I had to be entertaining and clever and interesting. I found that when I started talking less and asking more questions, people found me much more interesting, even though I wasn't doing much, except being interested in them or sitting quietly. I was so surprised, and much calmer. I thought people might notice that I was quieter and complain. No one did.

Just ask more questions, or so Un-huh or stuff to keep things going.
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Embarrassment

Postby BillyPLed » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:37 pm

Hi there,

My understanding of social anxiety disorder is that it mainly has to do with the fear of embarrassment :oops: -- the fear that I may say something stupid or that people are going to think badly about me. It seems to be a form of extreme self-consciousness. If that does not fit you then you are probably experiencing another type of anxiety d/o. There are several -- panic attacks, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety d/o, etc.

One thing that I always suggest is that a person start by taking small risks, then pull back and evaluate how you did. Start small and work your way up to more "risky" situations. Group therapy is also a great way to work out feelings of anxiety in a safe, controlled environment.

I am not exactly sure what ET would say about this. I would think that it would have something to do with being fully present with what you are experiencing in the moment. The tendency is to want to flee. Instead, you stay. Stay with what is. Stay with the feelings of fear or embarrassment. Observe what is happening in your mind. But, do not identify with it.

You might also want to read what ET has to say about "fear" on page 35-37 in TPON. He says that psychological fear is always about "something that might happen" and seems to be divorced from reality. He seems to also be saying that we need to become conscious of our defensive patterns (and, I see social anxiety as a defensive pattern). He writes on page 36, "By making this pattern conscious, by witnessing it, you disidentify from it. In the light of your consciousness, the unconscious pattern will then quickly dissolve."
Billy in Lousiana
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