Be Kind to Yourself as You Heal: My journey in overcoming social anxiety
By Lisa Klarner
Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is possible! It takes patience and determination. And, all along the healing process, it is also critical to be kind to yourself. People with SAD are more likely to be perfectionists and to set the expectations they have of themselves very high.
As a person who has moved beyond SAD and as a recovering perfectionist, I can attest to the fact that when we set realistic expectations of ourselves, this can help us to see that we really are making great progress along the way.
Following Dr. Richard’s program can help you progress through therapy at a realistic pace. Beginning to address the cognitive side (those darn negative thoughts!) first and gaining insight into the power your thoughts have on your mind and body can help you experience more positive outcomes when you begin to work on your behavioral hierarchy.
It’s difficult for a person with SAD to understand that something as simple as walking through the grocery store can cause intense levels of anxiety. But, even though people have a hard time understanding, you must be easy on yourself and recognize your own triggers. Slowly introduce social experiments using your behavioral hierarchy and set aside any judgment or expectations you place on yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back when you complete something, no matter how large or small. Every step is a step in the right direction!
I have found that we never really know what’s going on with other people and we aren’t mind readers. But I do know that people can’t see our anxiety as much as we think. People are wrapped up in their own lives. I can attest to the truth of this fact, because once I started opening up about my battle with SAD, many people were surprised. All along I was sure everyone thought I was weird with my red face and the other unexplainable signs of embarrassment I displayed socially. I guess those thoughts I was having were irrational after all!
If you would like to hear more about my journey though SAD, check out my website at www.releasingsocialanxiety.com. My book, Releasing the Secret Pain: Moving Beyond Social Anxiety Disorder, is available on my website, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
It is my hope that you are kind to yourself and that you can give yourself encouragement with every step you take. YOU are a great person and when you set realistic goals in your healing, you can begin to live a less anxious life filled with more peace!!
Peace, Love and Joy to you today and always,