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Andrew Voller

To do my little bit for society I frequently offer anyone free psychological help.

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Panic and

Social Anxiety

A stricken fear of the unknown.

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"Social phobia is ultimately caused by living in big towns and cities where we obviously don’t know or recognize everyone we see or meet. Helping to make your family more united will help you."

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

 

(Measure for Measure, Act I, scene iv)
 

 


“Things done well

And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;”

 

(Henry VIII, Act I, scene ii)

Social phobia is caused by not trusting or having little faith in other people. Panic attacks are caused by not trusting others and having little faith in yourself.

 

 

 

In our complex society it can be easy to lose our footing and not trust others if we’ve been let down a few times, which causes social phobia and panic. In both social and personal cases, it is not your fault if you feel this way and likely means you are a fair or kind person.

 

 

STOPPING PANIC ATTACKS

 

If you’ve ever had a panic attack you’ll know the frightening escapist symptoms all too well, so let’s learn how to cope with panic attacks which are the root cause of insecurity.

 

 

 

The first most important thing to learn is what physically happens to you when you have a full-blown panic attack. In simple terms, you feel anxiety and fear (the ‘fight or flight’ response) and your body prepares for action by pumping adrenaline away from the stomach to your muscles. If you could somehow just accept it’s happening to you, no matter how unpleasant, and be as calm as possible, that adrenaline will take about 3 minutes to leave your system and it will be over; easier said than done. But being scared during the attack gets the adrenal glands to produce more fear. So try and let it go through you.  

 

 

 

However, completely surrendering to the panic as if it’s in charge, not you, is not the best way of thinking. You must assert your presence; you are in control. Panic, fear and worries trigger by seeing too much detail beyond reality, mixed with imagination. They often occur when you’re in a confused state of tiredness when there’s little mental and visual focus, the body vibrates and perspires, and your legs seem heavy. Put your panic in perspective by reminding yourself of worse situations you successfully got through. This has a habit of making your current panic seem irrelevant.

 

 

 

If you start to panic and feel like you won’t cope, be your own parent. Talking to your mind very calmly and slowly with reassuring sentences really works very well. Speaking very slowly puts the problem into perspective and makes you realise things are actually not as bad as they seem. Say in your mind very slowly;

 

“It’s OK, it will pass and you’ll feel fine in half an hour,”

 

“Be calm, then slow your heart beat and breathing down and you’ll be fine,”

 

“You can cope. One step at a time. You don’t need help; you can do this on your own. Just relax and let the world go by.”

 

Noticeably slow the pace of your inner voice. This will stop you winding yourself up further. Stepping outside of your problems – being your own mentor and guide – and slowing your difficulties down to virtual stand-still, breaks the overload cycle and helps you to remember solutions, manage and overcome all problems.

5 useful ways to think and act about panic disorder

 

 

 

 

Get enough good sleep and you won’t feel this way. If the nausea panic surges occur, don’t worry, it’s just adrenaline and will pass soon. Tell people you have a headache if you need an excuse to escape or just don’t care what they think is even better. Have a nice quiet sit down somewhere, a sip of water and stay as calm and relaxed as you can. When it’s gone don’t be depressed about the situation. You are not a failure! You’ve just temporarily been slowed down for only 5 minutes. Now smile and go and have fun. If you begin to panic follow this 5 step panic prevention;

 

1. Inside your mind, say, “I’m not going to let my fear ruin things!” Be determined to Stop Negative Thinking in its tracks. Shout “Stop!” inside your head to end all negative thoughts. Generating some anger can actually wipe-out panic.  

 

2. To prevent panic, think of a few good things and positive outcomes that could happen in the situation you may feel worried about and aim for them.

 

3. Relax by taking slow, deep, complete breaths. Have some water if you like. Dip your chin to release saliva which triggers relaxation.

 

4. Smile, everything's going to be fine. I have got through this many times before and can again. It's always okay in the end. Engage in conversation with the closest nice person, add some humour and try to enjoy life.

 

5. Accept your feelings.

COMBATING SOCIAL PHOBIA

 

 

 

50 Brainstorming thoughts or ways to cope with stressful obligations, set events, agoraphobia, meeting strangers and a general fear of society:

 

1. Limit your time thinking about it and keep yourself occupied in the meantime with jobs

    that need doing.

 

2. Take your mind beyond the event. Remember how things always work out. Visualise feeling relieved after the event. It's not a big deal, so don't allow it to become one. See the good outcome happening and feel you couldn't care less what happens.

 

3. Choose by your own free will to go there and participate. Don’t feel forced to go. It must be your decision to go happily and then you will feel much better about it all.

 

4. Talk to people and create a friendly atmosphere when you’re there and do something as a warm up before the event.

 

5. Comfort yourself by repeating the line, “Nothing bad is going to happen.”

 

6. Try and humour your way out of anxiety. If it all goes wrong, then it goes wrong. Think, ‘so what’ and laugh.

 

7. Making something worse out of nothing shows there’s not enough going on in your life. Busy bees forget to worry about stuff.

 

8. Phobias form with a lack of planned direction combined with creative negative assumed conclusions. The solution then is to replace your fear of something by transforming it into an opportunity to excel in front of people; small-time fame tames worries.

 

9. The way you feel now is certainly not the way you’ll feel then. Smile and be happy.

 

10. Just let things happen. Be more human about things.

 

11. Detach, accept chaos and talk slow calm reassuring words to yourself.

 

12. Pretend future events just aren’t happening until shortly beforehand.

 

13. Tap into your sense of pride and self-worth to increase your confidence.  

 

14. Worrying takes all the fun out of things.

15. You’ve made it successfully through worse more nervous times before, so you can do this positively now.

 

16. Think, “Fuck it!” I want to hear all positivity from now on, regardless of what happens. Are you going to allow nothing to ruin your day?   

 

17. It’s like your whole mind tunnels into one point of finality. That point (the beginning of the event) is not your whole life. Gain perspective by imagining you’re preparing for something worse than what you fear.

 

18. The fear of the unknown is way greater than the real event which is often enjoyable when you get chatting. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill or think about the event at all until you get there.

 

19. Don't be controlling. If you are worrying, just keep saying, “I can do it”, over-and-over in your head every time the worry pops-up.

 

20. Remember that stressful events are never even half as bad as you imagine. They always work out well in the end, so remind yourself of all the times you were petrified with fear about doing something and how it worked out fine. Also, put your mind ahead of time and picture yourself half way through the event or at the end which will help you gain perspective and reality.

 

21. Talk to as many friendly people as you can in a friendly way before and during. This diverts your nervousness, reminds you who you are and gives you a focus.

 

22. Love and sexual attraction are powerful emotions that can erase negative thoughts and fears.

 

23. Just put yourself into the situation without thinking about it before and during. Keep things simple.

 

24. Remind yourself of all the great things about you and all of your life achievements.

 

25. If worry creeps in just think that your head is empty or each time just focus on one productive job each time.

 

26. You must see the good in everyone. Don’t dwell on potential problems, keep yourself occupied. If you feel different, like an outsider, remind yourself that everyone is a part of this world. You have as much right as anyone else to be where you are alongside other people.

27. Whether you’re delivering a speech, waiting for an interview, etc, accept this is an obstacle that needs to be faced and overcome in order for you to lead a full life.

 

28. People have to learn to live with who you are and you should learn about them in turn.

 

29. Being scared of something that hasn’t happened shows you feel isolated in some or many ways. Also, that you are not having enough interactions with the world on a regular basis.

 

30. Never forget comedy in all situations – the greatest ice-breaker.

 

31. Social phobia can be caused by status anxiety.

 

32. Stick to the main theme of being and feeling of equal worth to everyone else.

 

33. If preparation needs doing, get that done and out of the way, then enter a zone of confidence each time your mind stumbles upon future events. Everything always works out differently to what you fear or expected anyway. You must live in the present because there is enough to contend with today. Mental vision has a habit of becoming negative because there are too many potential variables involved, but only one actual reality plays out.

 

34. We must be part of a group to be valued and worth something.

 

35. Once you have stepped out of life and been a little bit outcast by the popular flow, at some point you will have to go through a potentially uncomfortable Social Initializing Process to regain entry into the fold. You must sip life again. Every ostracized individual has to go through a stressful reintegration to become some kind of member of a group they possibly did their best to avoid in the first place. When that initial obstacle of fear has been overcome, it’s important to acknowledge your playing field has opened-up. Praise yourself for being brave enough to sweat through your anxieties and deep-seated objections to place yourself at the time and place you knowingly need to be. Facing our fears is brave and needs self-congratulation.  

 

36. Your progress and journey has not ended and likely never will if you are the overly thoughtful type who embraces the truth as if it were your only rightful option in life. You may be neither sheep nor wolf, more racoon or blue whale? Whatever differences you’ve shifted your mind into; remember we were born to mix together and there is no avoiding that fact.

 

37. Fears fade away with regularity. Practice facing your fears - starting from the smallest – and trauma turns into anxiety, worry into mild uncomfortableness and concerns become problems solved.    

 

38. One thing is for sure; your body and senses need to be around quite a few people on a daily basis or isolated streaks of negativity will form into panic and malcontent. Choose to enter, take action, go there and smile. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine, well done, you tried and shall just have to try again another day.

 

39. Present the best side of you, not all sides at once. Look out to the horizon and see what’s out there.

 

40. The importance of only day-to-day living can’t be emphasized enough. You only have autonomy over matters when they’re happening.

 

41. Anxiety is only caused when you don’t know what you’re doing in unfamiliar territory. So gain knowledge and experience.

         

42. It’s best to be confident, but if that slips, put on an act if necessary, especially to yourself. People are immediately attracted to contrived displays of power and control. Don’t forget, humour beats all and pulls us all together.  

 

43. Imagine how good things would be if you were just doing without thinking – going through it naturally – rather than dissecting your imagination? Everything is an opportunity to enjoy.

 

44. How do we just Stop Thinking which stops all worrying? You plan well, assume the best outcome, blank all other possibilities from your mind and do some meditation. Is it just having fear you’re afraid of? Entertain no possibilities at all other than what you’re in now.

 

45. Staying indoors promotes anxiety. Daily events need to happen to build familiarity, so go outside every time you worry about anything.

 

46. Stage fright of life anxiety only lasts about half a day before comfortableness with the newness of everything takes over. If you are a shut-in and unemployed, your agoraphobia is definitely curable (however severe it is) and likely caused by a lack of life direction coupled with unresolved past traumas or bullying issues. There's nothing wrong with going outside, it's a question of mental proportion. When chaos (mental illness) takes over, our lives become smaller and smaller until the bedroom feels like the only safe place, where detail seems terribly important, when it isn't. Even that inner sanctum can be invaded by panic if the madness doesn't stop. You have to make the firm decision to rejoin the human race before trying, then fear transforms into confidence.

47. Social phobia is ultimately caused by living in big towns and cities where we obviously don’t know or recognise everyone we see or meet. Helping to make your family more united will help you.

 

48. Be prepared to face fear; if you feel faint, so what; feel chronic panic, big deal - sweat all you like until your body adapts to being scared. Accepting fear makes it goes away.

49. You must start to convince yourself that the world is a better place for having you in it.

 

50. Believe you can cope in any situation.

Authored by Andrew Voller

For the full section on Panic and Social Phobia read my upcoming book Heartwood Economy, or support Children in Need charity and buy The Rainbow Children. Click here.

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Clear Conscience

Good feelings are like angels that only come to light when you open up your conscience. A closed conscience is like a psychological time bomb; sooner or later any sinning or evil committed is going to surface and cause an eruption. Protecting and being honest with yourself and your conscience is vital if you want to be happy.

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