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In this post, we share how to go from overwhelm to clarity when you have social anxiety. We’ll give you one 7 step exercise you can implement immediately.
Here are some things you’ll learn:
Your more optimistic way of being is naturally there, but it’s kind of hidden by all these negative, overwhelmed emotions. But as you start to do the tapping, you’ll feel some relief as they start to go down. Your natural more optimistic self will start to come to the surface and you’ll get more empowering thoughts.
Sebastiaan: Hi, my name is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com. I’m an ex-social anxiety disorder sufferer and I’m a social confidence coach and I help people to release their social anxiety and feel more confident in social situations. And if you’ve been following these videos for a while or if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while then you’re probably familiar with a technique that I frequently use. And that technique is called “tapping”. I’ll get into a little bit about how to use that in later on in the video.
But I wanted to talk with you today about clarity and the importance of it. So, people typically when they’re socially anxious and they’ve been in social anxiety for a long time convinced looking for solutions, you know, they’re often overwhelmed. They don’t really know you know how to get started or what to do, there’s so much information and where do I you know, where do I begin, what is step one? And I deal with that problem sometimes myself as well. You know, it’s not for social anxiety, that’s not my problem anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have any problems in my life anymore. Yeah, well, I wish it was that nice, but you know, it’s not happening. Life is messy, and problems are ongoing. They’re part of life.
So, I just got back from at the Sunday evening as I’m shooting this. So, I just got back from going to this place in nature where you can get some nice coffee, or you can sit down. So, I sit there with a couple of friends, did some reading, did some writing and eventually my friends left, and I was like, “Great. This is my hour for myself where I’m gonna do some writing and I’m gonna get some clarity on this problem that I’m dealing with”. And so, what I did is it’s a process that I frequently do which I’m going to talk you through, is “I’ll go over it”. It’s actually I named it, the process – “Overwhelmed to clarity”.
Alright. So, step one – get a notepad and a pen. This is mine as you can see it’s, it’s written full with stuff which is always the case because I do this work a lot. And then step two – go somewhere quiet for an hour. Step three – do a brain dump. Write about the problem. So, write about your social anxiety, write about your situation as it is. Use a pen, don’t type. The act of writing things down is a lot more powerful. And then, four. Look at the shit that you’ve put on paper. Step five. Use this tapping tool that I’ll give you a little bit information on to tap on the thoughts and feelings that have come up for you as you’re looking at the stuff on paper. And then six, look for or write down better feeling thoughts that come up. And then step seven, repeat.
So, I’ll talk you through it. So, get a notepad and a pen. Really simple. I rather than just a single piece of paper I like to have notepad so that I can go back over it in case that’s necessary. It keeps it in nicely. Get yourself a nice, pen you know, if you can afford it I got this one from a birthday for my sister and I always have a nice pen. If I don’t get it from my sister I’ll buy it myself because you know, journaling, writing lists of positive aspects things that I’m grateful for like training my mind to be focused on the things that are realistic and optimistic and you know, keeping myself focused on my goals. I do that every single day. It’s very helpful. Otherwise our monkey mind starts to focus automatically and all these things that we don’t want to focus on.
So, since I do that a lot, and this is a process I do frequently it’s important to me to have a nice pen. So, I sit down with my nice pen, I got my notebook and I’m like, “Alright. Let’s look at my crap basically. Let’s look at my issues and get some clarity on what’s going on and where I want to go with this”.
So, step two – Go somewhere quiet for an hour. You can lock yourself up in your room or which I highly recommend is go somewhere out in nature. Go to a park, go to a quiet place somewhere, go to the beach, that would be great. You know, these places where you’re in nature however corny that might sound there’s a different kind of vibe, there’s a different kind of energy. You’re more connected to your nature than being you know in the middle of a busy city. So, when you go to these places you become a bit more reflective and there’s… I don’t know some kind of a supportive… It’s kind of a supportive environment and I find that to be very helpful and definitely I’m not the only one in this.
So, step three – Do a brain dump. So, write about what is. So, you simply write down on top of your paper “This is my problem:” And then just start writing. Don’t edit, just do a brain dump. You’re not looking you know, don’t care about grammatical errors or writing it perfectly or whatever. You can do it in your own language, you can do it in English. Doesn’t matter. What is important is that you keep writing. So, you’re writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing. Get it all out on paper like you’re complaining to a friend, you know. “My social anxiety is so miserable and I don’t know what’s going on and nothing works and I feel so frustrated and why is this happening to me and why can’t I overcome this and I feel like a loser and this is not happening and I feel uncomfortable about this situation that happened like you know, what if I never overcome this and I’m bothered about this guy looking at me and you know, this is how will I ever stop blushing and bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla”. You just do a brain dump. Is and write and write and write and write and write. And once you put all of that on paper, take a breath. Done.
Alright. And then you look at it and just the act of having it on paper and reading it over and it’s that already in it, in it of itself creates some kind of a shift. Because now it’s from out of your head onto the paper and you’re more dissociated from it. You can now see it for what it is. And that in it of itself is already very helpful because you can see, “Hey, you know, this is the stuff that’s going on there. These are the tapes that are running that are torturing me constantly and now it’s on paper”. So, it gives you a bit of control, right?
So, then which is step four, now you move on to step five. Tap on the thoughts and feelings. Alright. So, in case you don’t know what tapping is, real quick, tapping is a technique where you know, it’s like acupuncture. Which is where you put all the needles in your body but instead of using needles you tap of the tips of your fingers and specific acupressure points in the body. If you’ve never heard of this, you probably think I’m crazy or I lost it but it’s an amazingly effective technique to rapidly reduce and release negative stuck emotions and to get rid of negative limiting beliefs. And what you do is you tap over these tapping points. Now, if you’re not familiar with it yet, just type in in Google – “EFT tapping points” and you’ll find the tapping points.
Basically, what you then do, you only need to know the tapping points. So, they’re here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. But you don’t need to get them in the right sequence, you don’t need to get all ten of them or however many I tapped. You can just pick five, six or seven of your favorite ones and just tap over those. And that will already bring you relief, okay?
So, what you do is you don’t, you don’t get all fancy with it, simply remember this formula, “Problem + Tapping = Relief”. So, you focus on the problem, now you feel upset, now you do the tapping, blah, blah, and you focus on the problem and you’re tapping and as you’re focused on the problem, the emotion comes up, you add the tapping and emotion goes down. Okay? That’s the simplest way I can explain it.
So, then what you do, and you know, you can go to different videos and you know, I’ll explain it in more detail or you can go to my website social-anxiety-solutions.com and you know, you can get my free social confidence starter kit there where I teach those, where I teach that technique to you. So, great. Okay, you can also get my eBook – “How to overcome social anxiety” and I tell my story how I overcame it and all that stuff. Where’s my pen? Okay. Right.
And then, so, what you do is you use this technique to deal with the feelings and the thoughts or the beliefs that have come up. So, now you’re looking at your stuff, you’re looking at that shit on paper that you’ve put down on paper and you’re like, “Alright, how do I feel? I feel overwhelmed”. Okay, great. Just start the tapping, move from point to point and all you do is you focus on that feeling of overwhelmed. So, maybe you feel like a tension in your chest or something. Okay, just focus on the tension in your chest while you do that tapping. You move from point to point. You can say things, you can say, “I feel so overwhelmed. I feel so overwhelmed. I feel so overwhelmed. I feel so overwhelmed”. Or you can go into, “Why I feel overwhelmed? I feel so overwhelmed because it’s too much to deal with and nothing seems to work, and I don’t know where to get started”. You know, you can verbalize the reasons why or you can simply focus on the feeling. But basically, you focus on the feeling, you focus on the problem and you do the tapping.
Now, I actually start doing that slowly but surely the feeling is gonna start to decrease. And that’s what you’re looking for. Now this is not a perfect exercise. This is just to give you a bit of relief. Okay. So, you might run into blocks, you might run into resistances, you might not clear everything. That’s okay. That’s to be expected. I can only give you so much in a quick video like this. I can’t explain to you in depth how all of this works what to do when it doesn’t work, blah, blah, blah. This is just get an experience of it.
So, you look at it, you look at you look at the crap that you’ve put on the paper, you look at how you feel, you do the tapping, you notice how you feel and then you just you know, notice how you feel after one round of tapping. One round of tapping or two rounds of tapping, it’s like all the tapping points once. So, you know, all the tapping points while you remain focused on that emotion and then at the end of the tapping round you take a breath and then you check in “How do I feel now? Alright I still feel overwhelmed, but I feel less overwhelmed. Great, I’ll do another round”. Same focusing on the same feeling, right? Okay. Great. Another round. Deep breath. “How do you feel now? Well, I don’t feel so overwhelmed anymore but now I feel really sad that I’m dealing with this”. Okay, now focus on the sadness. You know, sadness, sadness, sadness. Reasons why you’re sad and so on.
Round two. “Tapping, deep breath, how do you feel now? Less sad but you know, I’m looking at my piece of paper and I see this thought here that says you know, I’m a loser because he didn’t, you know, he didn’t reply to me.” Alright then you just focus on the thought “I’m a loser because he didn’t reply to me. I’m a loser because he didn’t reply to me. I’m a loser because he didn’t reply to me.” You keep tapping, and you just go like that, just go through the thoughts, you just go through the feelings.
Now this is going to make a difference for you. When you actually do this exercise you’re gonna feel some relief. Might be a little bit, might be huge relief. Alright. Well, when you do the exercise like I’ve instructed you, you’re gonna make, you’re gonna make a difference in your emotions. So, that’s what I suggest. And then as you’re doing that what typically tends to have tends to happen is you’ll start to get more empowering thoughts. So, your more optimistic way of being is naturally there, but it is, it is kind of hidden or veiled or walled up by all these negative emotions. But as you start to do the tapping, these negative emotions start to go down and your natural more optimistic self is starting to come to the surface and from that place more optimistic thoughts kind of start to pop up.
So, if we would stay with the same example of the thought, you know, “He didn’t look at me, so, I’m a loser”. I hope that I remember it correctly. As you start to focus on that you know, “He didn’t react to me that means I’m a loser. He didn’t react to me so I’m a loser. He didn’t react to me and I’m a loser. He didn’t react to me so, I’m a loser”. All of a sudden those positive thoughts kind of start to pop in. So, you might just and you’re not really looking for it, it just happens automatically. And you know, you are kind of starting to get the insides like, “Oh, okay, well, maybe he just had a bad day”. Right? Or “That moment in and of itself doesn’t define me as a person” or whatever. Those thoughts will kind of start to come in and as they do write them down, okay? That’s how cool that’s relieving. That helps you, kind of to tune into more of the reality of what is instead of all your emotions and thoughts about the… about what’s actually going on.
And that’s what you keep doing, so at the end and at the end of your tapping you might also just want to look at what you’ve written down and then challenge some of the thoughts that are there, and you look at them from a different perspective. So, say that you have a thought in there that says, “I’ll never overcome my social anxiety”. You might question that by saying, “How do I know that to be true?” Or you know, “Other people have overcome it. What other people can do, perhaps I can do it too”. And you want to make sure that you believe the thoughts that you’re writing down. This is not optimistic positive thinking, you know, being, being a Pollyanna, being a Pollyanna. Which is like a hyper optimistic person that ignores reality. You need to look for thoughts that you actually believe to be true. So, you know, “Other people have overcome it” that’s a thought that feels true and so, that gives you a sense of relief. That’s what you’re looking for. You’re writing down thoughts that give you a bit of relief.
Alright. And then you write it down. So, you look for the thoughts that are negative, irrational, that feel really bad and you’re looking to challenge them a bit and you come up with better feeling thoughts. So, you know, if one of your, one of the crappy thoughts that you’ve put down was like, “I’m a loser and I’ll always be a loser”, alright, you can write down the thought of “I can make a little bit of improvement. You know, it’s possible for me to work on myself and improve what’s going on. Or you know, my history doesn’t define me as a person”. If you believe that. Basically, you’re just looking for better feeling thoughts that you actually believe that give you a sense of relief and you write it down.
Okay. So, to go over the steps real quick. One, get an, get a note pen and a piece of pen. Two, go somewhere quiet for an hour. Three, do a brain dump. Write about the problem, write about what is and that might take you five minutes or ten minutes. It doesn’t need to be this piece of work, you know, it’s not an art work though you know, whatever feels best to you. Four, look at the crap that you’ve put on paper and that even already gives you a bit of distance from it and gives you a sense of being more in control. Five, tap on the thoughts and the feelings that come up one by one. Focus on whatever comes up even if you just sit and you look at it and you do just 15 minutes of tapping while you read over it a couple of times and you just keep tapping over these tapping points, that’s gonna give you some relief. You know, do it. And then afterwards, you’re looking for better feeling thoughts. And that’s, that’s the process. And then step seven is repeat.
So, you want to do this do it you know maybe once a week. You do that, you know, once a week, find a place you know, deactivate your phone, stop watching TV, go somewhere and do this exercise. If you say that you want to get rid of your social anxiety, if you say that you want to make a change in your life, nothing is going to happen if you don’t take any action, you know.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and over and expecting a different result. You know, you’re not gonna get anywhere unless you take some action.
So, here’s my challenge to you. Do this exercise. You know, don’t just watch this. Man, information is useless, it’s all over the place. Actually, do this exercise. It’s super simple, I’ve summarized it for you. So, go out do this and then either in the comments section, either put down your experience of it and I’ll be in there replying, you know, unless you write something offensive or something then I won’t. But if you write something good, I’ll be there and in there you know, giving some thoughts, maybe it can be helpful or something like that. And then either you write down your experience or in the comment section write down your excuse for why you’re not going to do it. Alright, let’s participate a bit, you know.
So, I hope this has been helpful. My name is Sebastiaan van der Schrier, social-anxiety-solutions.com and like I said you can get the tapping, you can get my social confidence starter kit. It’s a free starter kit where I teach you to tapping in a bit more detail. And you can get my eBook pulled “How to overcome social anxiety?” completely where I teach you how to overcome… Why you can overcome your social anxiety using this tapping tool instead of the you know, force yourself to muscle through and you know, exposure therapy and that kind of stuff. It’s a… This is a more gentle and in my experience far more effective way of going about it to create lasting results. But even though it is this more gentle and it’s more effective, you do need to take action. Alright? No action, no results. So, go do it and then I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now.