Beating any kind of anxiety is super easy. We need to start with basics here, obviously a right level of awareness is most crucial to beat any kind of anxiety including social anxiety. Any kind of anxiety or panic they all have one important emotion and feeling behind them, which is fear. Plus there is always a trigger, this trigger can be anything from seeing someone to watching tv or things happening around you.
There could be multiple reasons for these triggers to become a trigger. A trigger is something which has enough power to instigate that chain reaction of emotion which could be a mix of fear, dissatisfaction or inability towards something. So in this case the trigger is fear of leaving the house, meeting new people, making friends. Whenever you got put in such situation, your fear just engulfs you and things comes to standstill.
There are multiple ways of dealing with this, but let's first deal with this fear and then we can work on the how part more deeply.
Most important thing to understand is, it always starts with a thought. Whatever you been through in the past which has resulted in this anxiety where you are at, right now, has now become your past. That incident has no power to affect you. What is affecting you is your memory of that event, plus your imagination on the top of it.
Memory and Imagination are such two powerful tools, if not understood well can result in lots of sufferings. Our past and future can’t affect us, as past is gone and future is not here yet. It is our memory and imagination is what troubling us.
Next important thing to understand is these memories and imaginations they always happens via thoughts, means they are processed in our mind through thoughts. So it all comes down to our thoughts. This is how things happens.
A good thought will always yield good feelings on the body and bad thought bad feelings. It will never be the case, where good feelings comes with bad thoughts. So our mind and body are extremely cross linked. Why these memories and thoughts they affect us so deep and bad? Because we start personalizing them. Whatever comes to our mind and body we feel its us.
For e.g Say a memory got triggered, now a thought which will arise in the mind will say I can’t do this or I m going crazy or I m going helpless or I m getting scared or panicked. What we have done here is we have personalized this thought way too much by using this “I” here, we start thinking what's happening on our body is happening to us and what thought is going in mind, that is me. So feeling is, I m my thoughts plus the resultant feelings arriving on the body. Once body is under the control of these feelings, it becomes hard to get out of that chain reaction.
How to break the chain?
With right understanding this chain can be easily broken.
1: ME and Mine: There are two things one is mine and one is me. Something coming out of your body can be yours but not you isn’t that true. You cannot be the sweat coming out of your body, same way you cannot be the hair falling from your body. They can be yours but not you. It’s like a chair in your house can be yours but not you.
2.Thoughts: You are not your thoughts period! If I ask you to stop your thoughts and then I again ask you to start thinking? Can you do that, of course you can. Its like eating food, you eat and then it becomes your body and then it leaves your body. But you are not that food, right. Same way your mind works through thoughts, you are not your thoughts, when you can switch them on and switch off. You are producing them, you are not them. To much identification is happening here.
So next time when you go out to socialize and a thought comes to your mind which says you cannot, then like a master tell the monkey mind to stop jumping and only use it when you need it. It’s very simple, something which you can stop and start that thing in no way possible is you. What you are is your consciousness, the awareness inside you which is just pure joy and no fear.
That is you and that should controls everything. It's just you are playing this game of lawn tennis with your mind and not putting the racket down. Can you play a tennis non stop your whole life? Put the racket down, just stop this game you playing with your mind and go out. It is so simple, as simple as just opening your mouth and saying hi how are you. Things will happen automatically from there.
You need to make new bright memories, train your mind with this new mindset. It will take time and patience, but it will change definitely.