Meditation for social anxiety.

Its been about three and a half years since I started mediating in an attempt to heal my social anxiety. I believe I am at a very 'normal' level now, considering that EVERYONE experiences certain levels of social anxiety, and if you do not experience a healthy dose of social anxiety then THAT IS A BAD THING. Here' s a few things I have noticed.

  • What I learn about my nervous system during meditation carries over into every situation I encounter. Things I have learned 2+ months ago are now subconscious behaviors and executed 'naturally'. Things I am consciously aware of now will eventually become natural. I am always progressing.

  • I meditate on tension in every muscle in my body. There is an ebb and flow of tension after every breath in and out. When there is no reason to be anxious, you should release muscle tension naturally. However, when there is reason to be anxious, if you do not have experience with meditation, the tension in your muscles will build up upon every breath intake. During sessions and during daily life, focus on becoming aware of muscle tension and releasing it. A few major muscles I have found to be the source of a lot of brain fog are in my shoulders, my neck and my sphincter. Yes, I practice relaxing my asshole.

  • Knowing what spikes your anxiety is very important. If you fail to catch it you are fighting an uphill battle.

  • I have usually found that what sets off my anxiety is just an abstract idea or vague memory of something. Perhaps a certain combination of words or images that are very personal to me. Meditation has made me aware of them. Now the next part is what has changed my life. I don't exactly know how to explain how I do this, but its just something I am now able to do. In the past, I would have thought this was impossible for me. As soon as I recognize a pattern that creates anxiety, I just DROP IT. The emotional side of my brain wants to just go full OCD on it and curl into a ball of anxiety. But my training has taught me to go, NOPE, and just continue to carry on with what I am currently doing. I still experience a slight bit of uncomfortableness, but it usually passes within 15-30 seconds and I am back to normal. This is how I know for a fact that meditation is legit.

I'll try to explain what goes through my head during that split second that I just 'drop it'. First, I notice that my thoughts are in a negative, OCD state. To me, this state feels compulsive, needy, desperate. Now the act of 'dropping' this feeling literally takes a bit of courage. My emotional mind wants to keep the feeling alive, without it, I feel lost and unsafe. So what do I do? I allow myself to feel lost and unsafe and I prove to myself that after 10..20..30 seconds, I am completely fine. It was irrational. AND NOW MY BODY HAS PHYSICALLY LEARNED THAT THERE IS NO NEED TO BE AFRAID OF THIS CIRCUMSTANCE. Understand? I am teaching my body and I am unlearning things that were perhaps instilled in my at a younger age.

You're 6 months in and you are making progress. Sounds good to me. You just need to keep at it I think. If you have any questions feel free to ask me.

/r/Meditation Thread