What does it feel like to be free of social anxiety?
It feels generally good.
And generally good is our default state.
Somehow, someway, we picked up limiting beliefs that make us feel NOT good in social situations.
Anxious. Embarrassed. Shame. You name it.
Tapping helps you get back to the present. It helps you get back to the normal, natural good feeling state.
I always say that “If you don’t tap on the right way, you won’t overcome your social anxiety.”
So today, I will share to you one very simple and powerful technique that you can do during tapping. I will teach you a basic formula so that you can get relief, feel less upset, and hopefully makes you feel a little bit better.
Also, watch out for my live coaching session on April 2, 2020 via my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCacfBm8HqpuX9Svn9i8uYXA?view_as=subscriber
See how I help a client on her social confidence journey through coaching.
Show up for it. Be there with me. It’s going to be a good time.
Hey, welcome! This is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com. I am a former social anxiety disorder sufferer and a social confidence coach. I helped people overcome social anxiety so you can become relaxed and at ease in social situations.
Since 2009 on YouTube at least, I have been preaching about a particular way that you can overcome social anxiety without forcefully facing your fears. It’s a different kind of integrated approach. One key element of that particular approach is addressing your social anxiety not just by addressing the symptoms but looking at what causes the symptoms to get triggered in the first place.
You might have heard me say this before: Social anxiety is the result of activation of the Flight-Fight-Freeze response. When you are in a social situation and you all of a sudden start to get anxious. Your heart starts to race, your mind starts to blank out, you start to sweat, and you start scanning for things that could go wrong.
At that moment, your brain is perceiving a threat. That might not be a real threat, like a wild bear or a tiger is approaching you. It is not a life-threatening situation like that. Your brain does not distinguish between a real threat and an imaginary threat, like getting rejected, being ridiculed, being made fun of, looking foolish, embarrassing yourself, getting judged, them seeing you anxious, etc. It reacts the same way. It activates the body’s biological survival mechanism, a.k.a. the Flight-Fight-Freeze response. Your system is flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. Your heart starts to elevate. Your system is prepared to optimally deal with the threat that its perceiving. Blood goes away from your digestive system into your head and your outer limbs. With cortisol and adrenaline, your heart pumps faster, and your blood going there, that makes you stronger, stronger as possible, to fight the threat that is there, or to run as fast as you can, or to freeze if you can’t do either. That’s what’s happening.
The key to overcoming your social anxiety is addressing the thing that activates the Fight-Flight-Freeze response and that is your perception. When you perceive that you are going to get rejected, that your expectation is you cannot handle that, then being in that social situation is a threat. Hence, your system fires up the Fight-Flight-Freeze response and now you feel anxious. That’s what’s happening. The solution is to get rid of the perception of threat.
Your perception of threat is there as a result of ‘beliefs’. Such as “There is something wrong with me. I’m not okay with what I am. I can’t make mistakes. I have to impress people. I got to be cool.” and a whole bunch of them.
What I have been sharing for a long time is that you can use a particular technique to address the emotional side of your social anxiety problem. That is the much bigger part of it.
It is, in my experience, only a very small part of a thinking problem. It is not a thinking problem. Your thinking comes forth from your emotions and your beliefs system.
You want to address the negative emotions that are connected to your problem. You want to release the beliefs that are connected to your problem. In other words, the beliefs that are responsible for your brain perceives a threat.
Belief is just a thought that you believed to be true, that you feel is true. Even though might you logically object to it, you might feel on a gut level that there is something wrong with you, or that you are not okay the way you are, or you are not good enough, or whatever the belief might be.
Logically, you might know that “I’m a great girl. I’m nice. I’ve got a good sense of humour. I pay my taxes. I’ve accomplished this.” or whatever it is. You may have built up a good case for why you are good enough and you feel good at the moment doing that. But then, you go out into a social situation and boom – you are triggered just as much.
That is because that belief didn’t get changed. Because that “I’m not good enough” a belief is something that has an emotion connected to it. You have emotional evidence to back up to that belief system. To back up that “you are not good enough.”
You might have learned early in life from the criticism from your parents for example. Constant criticism, perfectionistic parents, a difficult teacher, being compared to your siblings, not living up to expectations, or whatever. You might have learned over time through emotional experiences that that’s the way for you. That you end up a “not good enough person”.
You might have some specific traumatic experiences. Some people have, some people don’t. But somehow, someway, you picked up that particular belief. Now it’s an emotionalized thought. That’s another way to see a belief.
Changing that is very difficult and challenging just using your thinking. To address that emotional side of your problem, you need to have an emotional tool. One that I have been preaching about for a long time, since my first video in 2009, is tapping.
Tapping is a psychological form of acupuncture. Instead of using needles, you tap using the tips of your fingers at specific acupressure points of your body. If this is your first time hearing it, welcome! This is very weird, very bizarre, it’s out there, but it works amazingly well.
Today, I want to share a very simple technique with you to use during this tapping. It’s very simple and this is how that goes.
I am going to assume that you are familiar with the tapping points. If you are not familiar with the tapping points, I just want you to follow along and tap where I tapped.[taps at the top of the head] I will just briefly go over them. [taps at the beginning of the eyebrows] They are here. [taps at the side of the eyes] Here. [taps under the eyes] Here. [taps under the nose] Here. [taps under the chin] Here. [taps on the collar bone] Here. [taps under the arm] Here. [taps on the liver point] Let’s skip the liver point because otherwise, I will have to hop up. [taps on the wrist point] Then on the wrist point. [taps at the top of the head] Then back at the top of the head.
We will just use those. There are more but we are going to use only those.
What I want you to do is follow along with me and notice what happens.
The simplest way to use tapping is to focus on something.
This is the formula: focus on something + tapping = relief.
Focus on a particular problem which triggers the emotions connected to it. Add the tapping. And now, you get relief.
Not always, not all the time. If that was so easy, nobody will still be having social anxiety who has heard this message. There are all sorts of things that you need to do whenever it seems not to work.
This is the basic formula. Any problem that you run into when it doesn’t work, there are solutions for. Alright, let’s keep it very simple.
One very simple way of starting to tap without knowing any of the techniques, just to experiment with it, is to focus on a particular feeling or a thought, add the tapping, and keep on doing that. Keep on moving from point to point.
Focus on the feeling. Focus on the thought and just tap.
So that’s what we are going to do.
I want you now to close your eyes for a moment with me.
Do this exercise. Don’t just watch this. I’m not your entertainer here. I can be a little entertaining but I have my moments.
Close your eyes. I want you to scan how you are feeling.
If you are not feeling generally good – and generally good is our default state of being – notice how you are feeling. Maybe you are feeling frustrated. Maybe you are feeling anxious. Maybe you are feeling worried. Maybe you are feeling embarrassed. Maybe you are feeling shame. Maybe you are feeling guilt. Whatever it is. Just check-in and see how you are feeling.
Notice how you are feeling in your body. Maybe you feel tightness on your chest. Maybe you feel a lump on your throat. Maybe your stomach is constricted or there is a heaviness in the pit of your stomach. Maybe you are feeling jittery and nervous all over. Just be aware of how it is that you are feeling. Just become conscious of that.
If you are just feeling neutral, then think about how you feel about your social anxiety. That will likely bring up some feelings for you.
Rate how bad you are feeling on a scale of 0 to 10. 10 is horrible. 0 is “I feel generally good.”
Now, open your eyes.
Start tapping at the beginning of your eyebrows and focus on the worst feeling that you have.
Keep focusing on it without trying to change it. This tapping is not intended to get rid of the feeling. You are allowing the feeling to be there while you are simultaneously tapping.
You are giving it permission to be there. You are the observer of it while you are tapping.
The tapping, simultaneously with the observing, and the mindset of allowing it to be there, is like a combination of mindfulness and tapping.
What this allows is it allows you to complete emotional cycles from the past that have not been completed. It allows you to decrease emotions that are present that are not necessary or are excessive.
Just observe whatever you are observing while tapping.
Keep tapping from point to point just like what I’m doing.
Now, if a particular thought comes to mind such as “This is bullshit.”, then focus on that particular thought at each point.
You might say it out loud, “This is bullshit. This is bullshit. This is bullshit.”
You might think it at the back of your mind while you tap. That’s fine.
You might have a thought that “This will not work for me. I don’t want this to work. I don’t want to feel good. I refuse to feel good. I can’t let go of this.”
You might have resistant thoughts like that.
Whatever you are aware of, just focus at it and allow it to be there.
Keep on moving from point to point.
Often, you’ll find that either the feelings decreased or sometimes they start moving locations. It could start from your belly and moves to your chest. It could start from your chest and it moves to your throat. It could start from your throat and moves to your belly. It could be in all three locations and it stops being here and now it gets stronger here.
Just follow it using your attention. You are just putting on your focus at wherever it is most uncomfortable next.
Look for where it is most uncomfortable. If you don’t know, just pick it. Follow it with your attention. Rest your attention with the discomfort. Give it permission to be there.
Emotions come in like waves. They peak in at some point and just fall. Just like waves in the ocean.
What we’ve done throughout our lives, a lot of us, is we’ve repressed those feelings. We have pushed them away.
“I don’t like to feel this way. I don’t want to deal with this. I shouldn’t feel this way.”
Those kinds of thoughts you may have in your mind. If so, focus on them a little bit.
As you keep those thoughts in your mind, they are emotionalized thoughts, the emotions start to disconnect from those thoughts. They have less power over you and that moves away. That moves through. Then, that’s the next thing you focus on.
As you are tapping, observing, maybe thinking, or maybe saying out loud certain thoughts that are popping your mind, just notice on what’s happening with your experience.
Are you feeling better? Are you feeling less good? Are you feeling worse? Are you feeling the same?
Have no judgement about it. All of it is okay.
If you have a judgement about it, that’s the thing you are going to focus on.
“Man, I should be feeling better right now.”
“It’s stupid that this doesn’t work for me. Why is this not working for me? I’m such a tough case.”
“Maybe, there’s a part of me that does not want this to work.”
Play around with it.
I’m doing this so you get an understanding that this is a very versatile and forgiving technique.
I sent out an email to everyone on my mailing list. If you are not on there yet, you can subscribe right here at social-anxiety-solutions.com
In that email list, I told people: “If you don’t tap on the right way, on the right targets, you won’t overcome your social anxiety.” That’s true in my experience. That is true.
It is an education to understand your own psychology, what emotional health is, how to use the tapping in the right way. There are different stages, order, and sequence in which you make this tapping more effective. If you are just shooting in dark, you are not going to overcome your social anxiety.
After I sent that out, I have my coach on my neck saying, “I tell my clients that tapping is a very forgiving technique. In order to encourage them to give it a try, the way that you’ve written that on your email seems to imply that tapping does not work if you don’t do it on the right way.”
I told her that, “People on my mailing list has been there for a while and they have learned how to tap already because they get a free course for signing up. They are already familiar with it. They understand what I mean.”
Just in case, I want you to understand that you can play around with the tapping and be very easy about it. You might not overcome your social anxiety if you don’t know how to apply it in the right way. At the very least, you can start making some progress on your own and you can start getting some result.
Getting some result will motivate you to start doing it more. That’s what it has been for me. I started getting results and I was like, “Wow! There’s finally something that actually works. I’m going to do more of this.”
Let’s do one more round of tapping.
Just close your eyes and focus on where the feeling is the worst at right now.
Then, repeat after me out loud.
I release all my emotional attachments to my resistance, to letting go of this, and feeling good.
Tap at the beginning of the eyebrows. Notice what’s happening. Notice the feelings.
Again, you’re tapping while you are observing it. It’s like you are watching your own TV and you’re watching your own show. You are the observer of your own thoughts while you are tapping. You are curious about it. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not easy to do this. It’s helpful and it gets better the more you do it.
Just observe your thoughts and thinking. Again, when a thought pops up, focus on the thoughts, say the thought over and over again until it loses its hold on you. Then move on to the next thought or feeling.
Move on the top of your head. Take a deep breath and relax.
Close your eyes again. Notice how you are feeling now. Compare it to how you felt before.
Do you feel just as bad?
Do you feel worse? It happens sometimes. Sometimes you feel worse which only means that you have uncovered some stuff that’s underneath it. In which case, keep tapping. Keep tapping.
In other scenarios, you have encountered resistance to letting go of the problem. Therefore, your problem seems to be bigger, but it isn’t. Now, you just need to focus on the resistance. Keep tapping. Those are less common scenarios.
The most common one is that you feel better. You feel less upset. You feel less strong emotions. You feel relieved. You feel a bit more at ease. Weights lifted off your shoulders. That’s a common experience.
Check-in for yourself right now.
See, “Is my number still the same or is my number different?”
Write down on the comments section, please pretty please, what your experience was. What your number was before and what your number was after.
I know that might be scary to do but I would really appreciate it. Others as well can see and might be inspired to watch the video. I often do that. I look at a video, I look at the comments underneath it, and see how much they like it. Is this a good video or not?
So please let them know that this is a good video if you got some benefit out of it by hitting the like button, or put a little comment about your experience, and subscribing if you are not already.
Also, you might find that your emotions have shifted. You started feeling ashamed and now you are feeling more frustrated. That is big progress.
In EFT land or tapping world, that is commonly known as shifting aspects. It means that you’ve dealt with one emotion and now, the other one is most prominent, most in your focus, most in your awareness. So, you just want to keep going. I’m only giving you a taste of how you can do this for yourself.
A great practice to do is to sit by yourself. Notice as you tap what’s happening inside. It’s making you more aware. It helps you get back to the present. It helps you get back to the normal, natural good feeling state.
Hope this has been helpful. This is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com
I release videos like this every Thursday. On Tuesdays, I release Testimonial Tuesdays.
There’s a lot of good and exciting stuff coming. On the 2nd of April, I’m going to coach someone live on my YouTube channel. Let the world know about it. Show up for it. Be there with me. It’s going to be a good time.
This is all for now. I will connect with you soon. Bye for now.