What is social anxiety?
Social Anxiety is your mind keeping you safe from perceived threats. Unfortunately the strategy that protects you has side effects that are worse than anything those perceived threats will ever do to you.
I’m a hypnotist offering treatment for social anxiety in Worthing so I don’t deal with literal very much, and I believe a Social Anxiety is just a metaphor that society has given to the complex subconscious pattern or neurological process that makes you feel the way you do. So let’s look at it in terms of a different metaphor: Think about that feeling you might get when you go into a cave – it is dark, you have no idea what is in the darkness, you cannot fully prepare for what might happen once you are in that darkness so maybe it’s best not to go into it at all, but that doesn’t mean you don’t wonder what’s in there. I’m sure this is a learned response from when humans used to get eaten by bears or dragons or whatever else lived in caves – it’s fairly primal. In today’s world, the majority of dangerous caves you come across will be plastered with health and safety warnings or you won’t be able to go in at all. If you do have the opportunity to enter, you will likely get that tightening of the chest as the darkness envelopes you, accelerated breathing and heart, a feeling of heightened alertness and possibly nausea – all that is associated with excitement……..and also with anxiety. When your eyes adjust to the darkness those feelings relax and you realise that it’s perfectly safe – beautiful even – but your eyes would never have adjusted if you did not step into the darkness in the first place.
Social Anxiety (and any other kind of fear or anxiety) is a subconscious pattern developed by your subconscious to keep you safe. It is your equivalent of the Health and Safety warnings to keep you out of unpredictable social situations. The darkness in these situations is not a lack of light, but just the fact that you cannot know what will happen until you are in the situation and cannot therefore plan and prepare for every eventuality. You must trust in yourself completely to be able to handle whatever happens as it happens. There are no bears or dragons in there though, so what are these feelings keeping you safe from? Only your subconscious really knows, it did not consult you consciously. We can theorise, but at some point it decided that an experience was not good for you and decided that it was not going to happen to you again. It can happen that quickly – your subconscious decides rather than weighs out the options. It does not care what else this decision deprives you of as it’s primary concern is to keep you safe, secure, so that you survive for as long as possible.
Change the metaphor, change the pattern
So, I think I have established my belief that Social Anxiety is an unhealthy metaphor for a subconscious pattern but it is one that you can change. For a better one check out my change your life page because that’ll get you thinking. If you start thinking about something in a different way, you change your relationship with it and its relationship with you and you will start to feel different. Trust me, I’m a hypnotist.
What I’d recommend on top of that is hypnosis with a good hypnotist, check out my Home Page.
Those feelings that keep you confined don’t just pop out of nowhere. They are part of a complex subconscious pattern made up of previous experiences, beliefs, thoughts, images and expectations all screwed up into a bundle and hurled at your conscious mind to stop you in your tracks when you start to move towards something ‘unsafe’. This unpleasant bundle is already in place deep within your subconscious and ready to be hurled at any given moment. With hypnosis, I can sneak past your conscious mind and remove what you don’t need from that bundle and put in more of that you do, so that the next time you are in that situation you breeze through without a worry or even exude confidence instead of working yourself into a panic.
I offer treatment for Social Anxiety in West Sussex but I do not treat social anxiety, I treat you, give your mind what it needs so that the anxiety is no longer necessary.
Let me propose to you that even if the above rings true to your life experience, you do not have Social Anxiety. You are just running subconscious patterns that make you feel anxious in certain situations.
Let’s think about it from another angle a second. Taking risks may mean you lose something from time to time – your subconscious may be right – so why rock the boat? Why risk it?
If the answer to ‘why risk it?’ is less compelling than the idea of living the rest of your life exactly where you are then maybe you don’t need to worry about it. If however you can’t help wondering what could have been if you’d somehow got comfortable telling jokes at parties, putting ideas forward at work, found it within yourself to talk to that guy or girl that you like or go on holiday to a foreign places…then maybe it is time to change and expand your comfort zone.
Many therapies will help you understand the problem that you are having so that you can manage it better and this can work very well, I’m not knocking any of them. I chose to offer hypnosis as a treatment for anxiety in West Sussex because you do not need to gain an intricate understanding of the problem – we just get in there and change it, and to top it off, the process is fun!