The Practice of Letting Go

Social Anxiety is a vicious cycle. It is a feedback loop that self sustains.

The more tense and anxious you are the more your thinking is blurred and the more you react to situations without proper judgment and foresight.

What role does this play in making social anxiety worse?ASAC Vicious Cycle Bike

When we are anxious around people, the things we say and do may express a general lack of social consideration (empathy). When you are stuck in your head, feeling conspicuous and nervous, it’s really hard to focus on what the other person might be feeling. We may be very socially intelligent and know what we should do, but cannot do so.

Others in turn may react by distancing themselves from us. If we do not know why someone distanced themselves, then we may become excessively self-conscious; wondering if everyone we meet will turn there back on us due to something that we said or did that we were unaware of.

Letting go is key

Building the habit of relaxing the body and mind as a moment to moment practice allows us to create a head-space or buffer between what we experience and how we react to those experiences.

~ Dr. Paula Bloom, Clinical Psychologist, CNN, http://www.paulabloom.com

Relaxing and Letting Go as a Daily, Moment by Moment Practice.

Learning to implement the habit of letting go and relaxing the body and mind may be the key to healing anxiety.ASAC Buddha Black and White

• we cling to our fears of the present

• we hold on to the regrets of our past

• we grasp at the anxieties of our future

It’s time to start building, bit by bit, the habit of letting these things go.

It does not happen right away.

We did not become anxious over night and we will not un-become anxious over night. ‘Letting go’ is not something that we can do in one sweeping action that forever changes our lives. It is something that we implement day by day, minute by minute; slowly replacing the habit of rumination** …with liberation.

The A.N.T.s

When we feel conspicuous in a crowd or self conscious while talking to someone new, it is our Automatic Negative Thinking that tells us that the others are thinking bad things about us. It is an automatic response.

~ Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step, by Dr. Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D.

** Rumination: Mulling over, recent or past, negative memories; Compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions. Both rumination and worry are associated with anxiety and other negative emotional states.

~ Nolen-Hoeksema

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