social & performance anxiety
Have you ever walked into a room full of people and immediately doubted your right to be there? Or stared at yourself in a dressing room, convinced you were looking into a funhouse mirror? Did you ever wonder if everyone around you could tell you were faking it (whatever “it” is), and that at any moment, they’d call you out as a phony?
It’s hard enough existing in the unforgiving public eye, let alone when we carry that punishing and often cruel perspective into our most private spaces. And I don’t just mean our houses — I mean our hearts, souls, minds, bodies, and spirits.
We found this article in Spirituality and Health by self-confessed introvert, S. Rufus, to be really smart, fun, well written, insightful and resonant, reflecting thoughts we’ve had, too. And because we couldn’t figure out how to improve upon it, we’re just sharing it with you here.
So, what are you – introvert or extrovert? And how do these pointers strike you?
For loners, recluses, and other solitary types such as myself, sheltering-in-place feels natural and normal.
However scary other aspects of this pandemic might be, for us, this aspect isn't.
Here’s an inspiring and heartening story for you. We got this email from a woman who’d been suffering from a fear of flying that restricted her life and severely limited her options. She describes how a little therapy, some guided imagery and a couple of audios opened up her world again. Here she is:
Dear Health Journeys and BR,
I had to write and tell you this!!!!! I have been afraid of flying for many years, ever since I was a young teenager and we ran into some turbulence on a family plane trip to Mexico. Over the years, it has gotten worse rather than better. The fear became more and more pronounced.
At work I was passed over for promotions in the past few years, because of my inability to travel. My social life and vacation choices were also limited. My fear was an embarrassment and I could not readily explain it. I believe it made me more shy around people and closed me off from sharing myself with others, for fear that the topic would come up.
Hi BR,I have a 16 yr old grand daughter who is frightened at night, can't sleep without a night light, and any small sound - even normal ones - causes her such anxiety, she has even asked her Dad to stay with her until she goes to sleep. This is fairly new.
What bits of wisdom or generalized instructions can you offer to parents and families who want to begin using guided imagery with their children?
A psychologist asks for help in choosing a program from among our selection of audios that target performance anxiety, to augment his work with a musician who suffers from near-paralyzing fear. . .
My 12-year-old grandson is suffering from insomnia. When he closes his eyes, he sees very scary images, feels a lot of anxiety and stays awake most of the night. . .
If you're planning to start or return to college in the fall, summer is an excellent time to try some self-soothing techniques that might come in handy when back-to-school time rolls around.
Anxiety has surpassed depression as the most prevalent mental health issue among college students, according to organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI on Campus) the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA) and the American College Health Association (ACHA).
Mounting academic pressure, financial concerns, compulsive interaction with social media, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and a lack of self-soothing skills are some of the factors that have contributed to an increase in mental health issues (particularly anxiety) among college students.
Symptoms might be mild and resolve on their own, such as experiencing jittery or queasy feelings before tests and social events. Symptoms that don't resolve can get worse, leading to insomnia, social isolation and physical complaints. Some students experience severe anxiety, including panic attacks and an inability to carry out simple tasks, leading to missed classes and failed courses.
Researchers from Örebro University's School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, in Örebro, Sweden, investigated whether the promising results gained by internet-based cognitive behavior therapy with college students suffering from social anxiety and public speaking fears, could also be achieved with high school students.
In this randomized pilot with a pre-test/post-test design, 19 speech-anxious high school students with social anxiety disorder were randomized to either 9 weeks of Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy or to a wait-list control group.
We got this note from a grateful Mom:
Our seven-year-old son Sam is a very sweet boy who has had problems with anxiety since pre-school. He now is in second grade with an excellent teacher and many neighborhood friends in his class. He is also a bright boy - schoolwork has never been a problem for him. In spite of all this, at the beginning of the school year he became very anxious, was reluctant to go to school and started wetting the bed again.
This happened at the beginning of first grade too, lasting for many months. This year, my social worker sister predicted this was likely to happen again and coached us to become proactive. She recommended we keep tools on hand from your website to help Sam.
We used two CDs – Sleep Fairy guided relaxation right before bedtime and Magic Island kids meditation in the morning before school – sometimes with breakfast in bed! He enjoyed listening to them immediately.