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Posted by Categories: Brain Health and Neuroscience

Podcast #76: What is social anxiety and how do we stop it? | Dr. Caroline Leaf

Video Transcript

hi I’m dr. Caroline leaf and welcome to my podcast just before we begin I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has shared the word about my podcast no support means so much to me I also want to thank everyone who’s left to review one last thing before we begin I would love to invite you to my 2019 mental health solutions summit this year in Dallas Texas December 6 and 7 this conference is going to be amazing in this conference I will be teaching you how to overcome mental health issues like anxiety and depression and OCD I’m also going to be talking about how to help teens and children’s with mental health issues how to improve memory how to identify and define your unique identity how to build your brain how to avoid burnout and manage stress how to take care of your physical body how to improve sleep how to deal with chaotic thinking and war this summit is for everyone teachers pastors parents CEOs entrepreneurs doctors lawyers life coaches everyone for more information and to register visit dr. Lev conferencing com we will also be offering CEUs and CMEs for this conference and now let’s get back to today’s podcast how to deal with social anxiety they’d start by discussing what social anxiety is and why do we feel this gay basically social anxiety is having chaotic and toxic thinking when around people in groups to the point where you feel very insecure and anxious and feel like you can’t cope and even frightened why do we feel this perhaps you have a sensitive that you have a sensitive very sensitive to what people are how they’re looking at you what they’re saying you miss reading they’re making a lot of assumptions about what people are thinking about you by the body movements the nonverbal communication their words and you could be miss reading a lot of stuff so that’s hypersensitivity we could also be making a lot of assumptions about what people are thinking about you which links to the hypersensitivity also may be overthinking I was thinking that these similar thinking things that aren’t even there you may just have an absolute desire to feel accepted and you feel unaccepted so that you feel insecure so you’re desperate to be accepted and that can make you very socially anxious it can put your brain into a into a state of needing to avoid danger always remember your brain does what your mind tells it to do your brain is responding to your mind every part of your body and your brain all your cells are responding to your mind so when you are being hypersensitive making assumptions about what people are thinking about you may be overthinking situations when you are feeling unaccepted and insecure that is all energy that is moving through the brain and the brain is responding and you’re activating existing structural physical protein memories of all those feelings so you’re activating them and whatever you activate and think about grows if you don’t manage the situation and every time you go back into the social situation you go through those same things again you are making the physical memory stronger and stronger so that that joke becomes your fallback memory all the time so we’re going to be talking about how to deal with it but we need to be aware of what’s happening as we keep feeding the social anxiety memory it’s very real to structure in your brain and if we keep growing at the mall with the more energy we give to it and on the structure in your brain you may be some of the other things that could be there contributing to the social anxiety or things like you may not feel good enough and then you’ve got to ask yourself things like if you don’t feel good enough what does it mean for the group for the people to talk to the people then you have to ask yourself what are you basing your values on your Worth and your identity you may feel like an outsider and that I mean that’s it not an uncommon thing when you’re going to new situations but is this the reality or you are you making an assumption and is it so bad to be an outsider and how can you overcome that so these are all little thought patterns that we need to evaluate that we’ve created inside of our brains through our minds that are influencing how we handle that situation people do different things to manage social anxiety two very common ways or to avoid them just not going to social environments just to avoid them as much as they possibly can and a lot of people would drink which they say calms them down and that helps them to then deal with the social anxiety so let’s talk about how to deal with social anxiety the very first thing is awareness awareness that you are experiencing social anxiety is very key so being able to admit to yourself I feel nervous when I go into big crowds or when I go to a networking event or when I meet new people need a specific what what is your witness of what be specific get that sentence all those sentences all those situations find them be aware of them admit them say them speak them out loud then the second thing ask yourself and answer yourself and discuss with yourself so ask answer discuss in other you’re gonna really have a focus thinking or reflection analysis of why you feel nervous when you go into a big crowd or why you feel nervous when you’re going to networking event or why you feel nervous when you meet new people ask yourself why answer yourself why am I feeling this find the reasons and as you ask more why questions you’ll get deeper and deeper so the first answer won’t get you to the route you need to ask constant discuss and then ask once and discuss that answer and then a sconce and discuss that on send keep going and so you keep getting the same answer all these thoughts and assumptions real are they good or they’re healthy these are the sorts of things that you need to ask yourself so maybe you find that you are avoiding going into social situations I’ve and I do have a little bit of social anxiety when I go to knock a dinner party and they find out what I do so in asking myself why I’m feeling this I find that when I answered myself is I really love helping people I really love talking about my work and a passion and the science and my clinical trials and this mind brain connection and I love it I love people I love talking about that but – even when I’m at a party or at a dinner party and I’ve just come off work I’m pretty drained so that becomes a counseling session we have really got to think deeply and help someone analyze and diagnose and sort of treat their problem on one spot there can be very draining and so I’ve had to learn to say look I’d really like to help you but you know what if you listen to one of my podcast so maybe we can talk about this at another time or you know just deflect the situation even ask questions back so in other words by becoming aware of when I can’t handle it I am writing this down talking it through with my husband or one of my kids or something I can re analyze what my triggers are and I can work out a way of a solution moving forward so I’ve done five steps have become aware I have asked myself why I’ve asked answered and discussed I found the reasons and I’ve worked out all these thoughts healthy and good and real sometimes I’m unrealistic or is it is it healthy for me to keep on on working in a dinner-party situation is it healthy for me is it healthy for the people it’s unrealistic for a person to try and fix a problem all in one shot so what would be healthy for me is to say that’s a real issue I agree with you you can manage it can I recommend that you go listen to this podcast so in other words I in asking in finding the route in asking myself whining the route I start seeing a solution by talking to someone writing it down I see a solution by going into the fourth step which is you reanalyze your edit process I’m aware of the triggers and I’m aware of my my thinking pattern and I’m also a way of now aware of sort of finding a solution or a way forward so the first step is what’s my action step what’s your action step how can I replace the toxic sort of having a fear of going into a social situation with the positive healthy sort can I manage these triggers how can I learn to acknowledge the humanity others how can I focus healthy massive learn from others and others learn from me how can I learn to embrace and accept that I will not be liked by everyone I’m giving you a broad variety of examples how can I learn how can I keep in mind that most people are more focused on themselves and on me and I’m not really looking at me but I’m looking at actually needing and helping themselves or concern about how they coming off to other people and will also not necessarily remember everything that you said or did if you did something silly or said something silly because they’re more focused on themselves so always try and see something good in the person and engage that so it’s all baby steps so the way I manage that now my action step is going into the situation thinking people are focused on themselves I just really need to help I don’t have to solve the problem I can listen with compassion and then reflect into another podcast or live and then change the subjects and ask questions about themselves because people love to talk talk about their kids or whatever so I’ve worked out my little action steps so one of my action steps then has been to put up boundaries I bet in my action step or or my such as my social anxiety yours may not necessarily be the same but I’ve got to put up boundaries and learn ways of doing this in a very kind and gentle way like curb that it still keeps me connected with the people and in doing the people that helps me to not actually turn it into a counseling session so you need to find your action steps that are going to work for you to all baby steps so in sum how do you deal with social anxiety step one awareness is key step 2 ask yourself why step 3 write down or talk to someone step 4 we analyze what are the triggers step 5 action step how can I replace these toxic thoughts and remember this is baby steps like anything it’s a change make you making in your life so it’s going to take time so just listening to this podcast is not going to fix it you’re gonna have to listen to this a few times and practice those baby steps at a time so it’s going into going into groups more often increasing your frequency of doing that increasing the length of time that you maybe spend in the group if you find you can only last 10 minutes translate to 20 minutes so it’s all a process of growth don’t be hard on yourself give yourself time as you refine and develop your coping strategies and you’ll find that you’ll be able to create a of dealing with us and certainly one day you’ll realize that you no longer have a big problem with social anxiety because you now have the ability to manage us I hope this has been helpful send me some feedback let me know dinosaur Eve you see if this has been helpful to you so that I can continue to make podcasts that will help you thank you for joining me today I really hope you enjoyed this episode and learn something new and helpful till next week thanks again I’m dr. Caroline leaf

I really struggled with social anxiety, and sometimes still do but there is a way to overcome this. In this episode I discuss what is social anxiety, why we feel it, and how to overcome it using a few simple steps.

2019 Mental Health Summit: https://drleafconference.com

For more info on, and to join in my research project: https://www.drleafresearch.com

Visit my website at drleaf.com for more resources, tips, and tools to help you improve and heal your mental health!

See also: Dr. Leaf Channel | Elevate Your Potential Magazine| Self Improvement Solutions at Elevate Christian Network

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Cee Harmon is founder of Elevate Christian Network and Elevate Your Potential Magazine. He enjoys helping people improve the quality of their lives - spirit, soul, and body.
 
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