Social Phobia - Taking Charge of Your
Own Recovery With Self Hypnosis
By Alan B. Densky, CH
Many people feel uncomfortable or experience minor anxieties when thrust into a new situation or a crowd of unfamiliar people. However, for roughly ten percent of Americans, anxiety that occurs in social situations can become severe enough to be disabling. Experts now believe that an even larger number of people may suffer from milder forms of social anxieties that can cause significant problems in everyday interactions.
The technical term for this kind of anxiety is social phobia. It usually occurs when a person experiences fears or worries that tend to arise from being in a social situation. A person with social phobia may also have trouble with stopping themselves from thinking excessively about how others are judging or evaluating him or her.
For a person with social phobia, feelings of anxiety can occur in many different types of situations. For one person, worries may center around shopping or being out in public. Others may worry about parties and peer interactions, and still others may be fearful of public speaking, being in front of an audience, or being interviewed. These social anxieties can also manifest physically; for many people with social anxiety, sweating, blushing, trembling hands, or stomach problems can occur when facing these types of stressful situations.
Leading experts now believe that what is at the root of social phobia is a set of problems with self confidence. Self confidence is our ability to feel that we are capable of making good decisions, being independent, and having control over our lives. People who lack self confidence -- an all-too common problem in today’s high-stress world -- may worry excessively about how others perceive them, to the point of not wanting to participate in social activities or of feeling “out of control”.
Fortunately, there are some simple actions a person with self confidence problems can take in order to regain a sense of control over their lives. The first step is to recognize that there is a problem and to begin to investigate what kinds of activities or situations trigger this problem. For many people, keeping an anxiety journal is an ideal way to keep track of these kinds of triggers.
In your anxiety journal, you can briefly note what has happened each day, much as you would in a traditional journal. However, in addition, you should be keeping a record of your feelings. You can use a scale between 1 and 10 to rate feelings of fear/braveness, confidence/lack of confidence, happiness/unhappiness, and anxiety/calmness throughout the day. After you have kept an anxiety journal for a few weeks, you will begin to see important patterns that will give you insight into what is causing your anxiety, what kinds of situations to avoid, and what kinds of situations you need help with.
A second course of action a person with self confidence problems can take is to make use of an anxiety and phobia workbook. You can think of the anxiety and phobia workbook as simply a more detailed version of your anxiety journal. It helps you keep a record of triggers and mood-related symptoms; there are also exercises to do that will help you gain better introspection about your self confidence problems.
When you have gotten to the point at which you have begun to have insight about your problems with self confidence and social phobia, and have decided that now is the time to begin building self confidence, then it makes sense to look into a type of treatment that has been proven to be extremely successful in helping people to deal with these problems. Like the anxiety and phobia workbook and the anxiety journal, this special type of treatment is characterized by being focused on helping you become pro-active and gain power over your life. In essence, you will be curing yourself.
This form of treatment, called hypnotherapy, works by harnessing the hidden power of your unconscious mind to help you become more confident, self-assured, relaxed, and comfortable with yourself. Believe it or not, we are all born with these abilities, but due to traumatic life events, learned helplessness, and problematic social interactions, we often lose track of our abilities to seize these powers.
Many people with self confidence and other anxiety-related problems often seek a "quick fix" solution, such as medications, herbal products, and short-term traditional therapy. While these strategies can help some people, they don’t really attack the cause of our self confidence problems - our unconscious mind. Nor do they allow us to gain power over our lives by confronting our own 'demons'. Remember, for people with self confidence problems, the trick is that to get better, you must be in charge of your own cure.
If you decide to look into hypnotherapy to help you gain self confidence, you will undertake a course of treatments with a consulting hypnotist who will encourage you to deeply relax. Within this deep state of relaxation, your unconscious mind is open and ready to be reached by suggestive techniques. Your consulting hypnotist will then work with you in this open state to use repeated suggestion to encourage you to realize that you are a confident, strong, and independent person. According to highly rated clinical study after clinical study, this is indeed what happens - through gentle suggestion, people with anxiety disorders are able to tap into their own innate powers to achieve healing.
Other options for people who struggle with self confidence are to participate in hypnotherapy through video or audio recordings, which can be watched or listened to in the comfort of your own home. Many people also find that learning self-hypnosis, a special relaxation technique in which you can become open to your innermost desires and needs, with only minimal guidance, can be very helpful. Whatever form of hypnosis for anxiety you choose, you can be certain that you are taking an important step in enacting your own healing and recovery.
©2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.
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