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 feeling of Intense self-focus
Regularly feeling that many people are looking at you almost like you are the center of attention.
Amplified sense of worry.
Increased fear that individuals may see your anxiety as a weakness you have and then confront, scorn or abuse.
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.
Now before you decide to quit on me and think this Idea is ineffective to you, permit me to encourage you to give the strategy a try out for at least 7 days.
This exercise might appear simple; however, I am convinced that it’s the most important thing that can be done to start to break free from your problems with anxiety.
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.
Looking up and around at people frequently will help to ease the anxious edge off for two reasons.
Firstly, Looking up and around enables us to realize that almost 99% of people are not even interested in us at all as they are consumed by their own concerns and activities. 1% is far smaller than 99% and a lot easier to handle. Regrettably, failing to look up and about most of the time makes us conclude that if 1% of the people we come across look at us negatively, then everybody else will do the same.
Secondly, the same act of looking away happens to make anxieties worse. Try this out:
Ask a mate to assist you. The experiment is more successful if your colleague can be objective in their thinking.
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 how would you go about using the “look up and around exercise”?
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.
Have a note pad and a pen along. Prior to leaving make a speculation of how many individuals you feel will look at you. Then go and walk around a somewhat crowded street or shopping complex.
For everybody that looks at you, mark a tick down on the paper and for everyone who doesn’t look at you, mark a star down.
I trust that you will be pleasantly surprised with your discoveries.