What do you experience when you are socially anxious?
Does your heart race? Do you sweat? Do you get a lump in your throat or tightness in your chest or stomach?
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, but how you go about treating them is the same.
In this post, we are answering a viewer question about nervous sweating and how to calm social anxiety symptoms. I share:
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Also, send me your question or situation you’d like help with regarding social anxiety, and I may answer it in an upcoming post.
Sebastiaan: Hello, this is Sebastiaan from Social Anxiety Solutions. I’m a social confidence coach and help people with social anxiety feel relaxed and at ease in social situations so that you can be relaxed, be yourself, have a good time and enjoy socializing, have a good social life.
And in this video, I’m gonna answer a question again. So, sometimes I get some questions under videos and sometimes I get them sent to me and this time I had a good one and I thought “Let me just answer that on video”. So, the question is here we go…
Hey, Sebastiaan, can you make a video on how EFT could help with sweating problems?” And I ask for some clarification. And then BB Coda says, “For example, my problem is that I sweat when I am under people”. Around people I presume. “I’m kind of scared of having sweaty hands when I touch somebody or hold hands.” And this is exactly what happens. Surprise, surprise. “I start sweating. Is there a way to reduce this with the EFT?”
Yeah, there is. Let me just first talk a little bit about the sweating. So, the sweating is simply one of the symptoms, alright? So, sweat breaking out is… it can be grouped or at least in my view of things can be grouped into the list of symptoms that you get.
Heart racing, lump in your throat, tightness in your chest, tightness in your stomach, thoughts raising, pupils dilating, heat rushing to your face. Man, there are more but this is just top of my… these are very common.
So, sweating is just one of the symptoms. And I’ve worked with quite a bit of clients who have that symptom.
Now, interestingly enough not everyone has that symptom. You know, for some people sweating is not a problem and the other ones are. So, in your case you’re just dealing with that particular symptom. Some people become really obsessed about the way their mouth looks or you know, or a variety of other things. I’m really, really expressive and clear at my communication today. Not so much, I haven’t that much sleep, I’m a bit sick.
So, anyway… So, it is a symptom in my book but when you’ve experienced a particular symptom very much you become really… you can become really obsessed with it. So, just like a lot of people are obsessed with not becoming anxious and worried about people seeing them anxious or what if they see me anxious. A lot of people that sweat or blush they get really obsessed, obsessed about that particular symptom.
So, they feel really bad whenever the sweating comes up and it’s like, “Oh, my God what if they see me sweat? What if they notice it?” And they probably notice it and then they have all sorts of feelings about that and also two judgments about it. It’s like, “Oh, man if they see me sweat they probably think I’m disgusting and they probably think that you know, I can’t hold my own and I’m weak and there’s something wrong with me and yada, yada”.
And as a result, they also have, or you probably have all sorts of feelings about it as well. “I am ashamed that I have this, it’s frustrating, why can’t I get rid of it?” And all these feelings and judgments on top off the problem, on top of the symptom kind of lock the symptom in place. They make the symptom a lot worse because now when you’re in a social situation and you start to sweat you’re like, “Oh, my God, here’s the sweating. I’m such a loser, I’m so ashamed of it, I should hide it, let me put my hands in my pocket and you know, I hope I don’t have to shake anyone’s hand and I’m so afraid that they’re seeing me sweat and oh my God I feel the drips running over my head and my armpits are getting moist and they can probably see it. Can anyone turn the temperature down in this room please?”
You know, then, all of that stuff is going on and you’re just blowing it up, you’re blowing the problem out of proportion. And it makes a lot of sense, I get it, it’s just not very helpful.
And to answer your question, yes, you can do something about it with the tapping. And what you can do with the tapping is you can just focus on your feelings about it. So, the shame, the embarrassment, the frustration, the fear that it will come, you just focus on that feeling in your body. So, you think about sweating in a particular situation, you imagine being in that situation and as you imagine being in that situation you might imagine them looking at you and seeing them seeing you sweat, you might see their faces of disgust looking at you and then you notice what your reaction is to imagining that and then you just do the tapping on whatever your reaction is.
So, you might imagine being in a social situation and you know, you’re starting to sweat and they’re seeing it and they’re looking at you with that look of disgust. Not that that ever really happens or if you think about that, it is really rare but anyway it is seeing your imagination, so it feels really real to you. So, when you’re imagining that you might feel you know, a feeling in the pit of your stomach you know, or you might feel ashamed inside you know, in your face, whatever it is, whatever that’s a feeling or emotion or a thought… You know, thought might be “I am disgusting” or you know, “There’s something wrong with me” or “I’m a loser”.
Whatever it is put your attention on the sensation or the feeling or the thought and just aim your tapping. And you can either keep focusing on the feeling, “The shame in my face, the shame in my face”. And you can speak it, you don’t need to but speaking it’s just a way to keep yourself focused into the emotion and just tap and just notice what happens and likely it’s gonna decrease.
And so, that’s one thing. You focus on the feeling or you can just focus on the thought. “I’m such a loser for sweating, I’m such a loser for sweating, I’m such a loser for sweating”. And you can either say the same thing over and over and over or you can just describe whatever your internal talk is. You know, for that an example might be “I’m sweating like crazy. I shouldn’t sweat. They probably think I’m an idiot. I’m such a loser for sweating”. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Either is fine.
You know, the tapping is a very forgiving technique. A lot of people think, “Oh, I got to do it right, I got to say the right words and you know, focus on the right thing at the right time and never do it wrong”. And you can do it wrong all the time and you’ll likely still get some results.
You know, the real magic with the tapping comes by aiming it at the right targets. That’s when you can resolve your anxiety. But even if you don’t know exactly the right targets you can still play around with it and see what results you get by doing so. You know, it’s a very forgiving technique and worst thing is it doesn’t work because you’re not addressing the problem properly, you’re not aiming at the right targets properly. But just giving it a go will likely already give you some relief, okay?
So, again you can focus on the thought, you can focus on the feeling in the body. So, say that when you imagine that scenario they’re looking at you with a feeling of disgust and you do the tapping while you focus on their feeling of disgust and you notice you have a tightness in your stomach. You can simply focus on the tightness in your stomach. You can either just close your eyes if that helps you, you can keep your eyes open as well like I said it’s very forgiving, whatever works for you.
And just simply focus on the feeling in your stomach or you can do the tapping and simply verbalize, “This feeling in my stomach, this tightness in my stomach, this feeling in my stomach, this tightness in my stomach, this time is in my stomach”. The words can take you away from focusing on the feeling in your stomach even. So, sometimes it’s better to just focus on the feeling in your stomach.
Alright. So, that’s what you can do and that will kind of help you get to a place where you’re more in acceptance of the symptom showing up and that will decrease how much of a problem it is for you. In fact, that will do a world of wonder if you actually do that.
Now the fact that the problem comes up, the fact that you have that blushing and it is such a big thing for you how to resolve that now that that’s a whole bigger story, but you know, basically the anxiety comes up because your system is perceiving a threat. Like there’s a threat in your environment and that threat might be “I might get rejected” or you know, “I might be make fun of” or “I might say something stupid” or whatever.
And that threat, you’re perceiving that threat and that perception is learned. You learned that somewhere in your past. It’s maybe when you were you know, 12, you were beat up in front you were beat up at the lockers and you know, that traumatic experience got locked inside your brain. Now whenever you’re in a social situation you’re your subconscious mind that is always generalizing and distorting and deleting information because you get so much information at the same time, so it has to distort, delete and generalize.
So, it’s generalizing this situation and it is looking to your subconscious just like the time when you got beat up around the lockers and it’s saying, “Hey, this is a threat, careful watch out.” You’re gonna experience that all over again and it already gives you some of the feeling that you felt back then to kind of you know, warn you and then you get all the anxiety symptoms. So, you want to go back to that experience.
And that’s just a small example. Usually people have various memories and it’s not just memories, it’s actually the repetitive negative experiences in early childhood. Relationship with your mom, relationship with your dad that started the whole pattern of you not feeling safe to be yourself and then you know, the memories later on in life kind of strengthened those patterns that have been put in place. And then there’s a whole bunch of other stuff that happened.
But anyway, guess what I’m trying to say is your ultimate outcome is you feeling safe to be yourself and what’s in the way of you feeling safe to be yourself is a perception of a threat. And the perception of a threat is learned, and it comes from past experiences and conditioning an early childhood. And you can decondition that, and you can get rid of the beliefs and shift the perception so that there’s no longer a perception that you’re in danger and then you’ll be relaxed and at ease.
You know, if you feel at ease with some person in your life, maybe your mom, maybe your dad, maybe your partner, maybe your child, maybe your dog, whatever, that’s who you are. That’s when you’re relaxed, that’s when you’re you. You can feel that way around anyone and it just takes a bit of work. And when I say a bit of work for some people that’s you know, a month of tapping, for other people it might be a year of tapping.
But once you start applying it, once you actually start doing it, instead of just watching the videos you actually got to put it into practice then you start getting the results. Now if you want to put things into practice and you haven’t already done so, get my free social confidence starter kit and you can get that at my website at socialanxietysolutions.com or you can click the link below this video and you’ll then get a 12 part video series where I teach you to tapping, the basics of it and also guide you through a couple of experiences of it. I give you my 20-page eBook called “How to overcome social anxiety?” which I’ve put a lot of thought into. Which is proofread by my coach who helped me overcome my social anxiety. It is pretty awesome. And there’s also my story how I overcame my social anxiety completely.
So, it’s a really cool package to get started to get rid of your social anxiety completely. One person emailed me already a while ago, he said with just that stuff he resolved or sorry… he reduced 40% of his social anxiety. Imagine that 40% of social anxiety. How much a better would your life be if you had 40% social anxiety less? Yeah, I’m really a bit foggy.
Anyway, I’m gonna go get myself a cup of tea with some honey. And yes, I hope that’s been helpful for you. Thank you very much for your question. If you have a question as well, let me know. You can go to my website socialanxietysolution.com/contact or leave a comment under the video. I see pretty much all of the comments. So, thank you very much and have an awesome week. Bye for now.