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Learn to Live LLC
P.O. Box 19672
Minneapolis, MN 55419
DATE OF LAST MODIFICATION
December 31, 2014
Learn to Live LLC (“we”, “us”, “our” or the “Company”) operates the site located at www.learntolive.com (the “Site”) providing, among other services, self-help information and skill development based on the fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to educate people with social anxiety and related issues (the “Service”). The Site should be regarded as a general approach to self-development and not as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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Learn to Live LLC
P.O. Box 19672
Minneapolis, MN 55419
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Learn to Live LLC
P.O. Box 19672
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Date of last modification
December 31, 2014
Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari
Adobe Flash (v. 10 or later); Adobe Reader (required to view PDF files); desktop computer, laptop computer, or iPad 4 (or later)*
*The Social Anxiety Program is not currently available for mobile devices such as phones and tablets.
Turning your audio on and having occasional access to a printer are recommended to maximize your experience.
Much of social anxiety rests on negative thought patterns: Everybody is staring at me. Nobody thinks I’m funny. My boss thinks I’m stupid. These negative thoughts are typically provoked by a trigger of some kind: a sideways glance, distracted friends, a boss having a bad day. One of the most helpful ways to overcome social anxiety is to challenge these inaccurate thoughts, but that requires some active planning and some (more) accurate thinking. Here’s a quick list of ways you can work on overcoming your own negative thought patterns.
Tags: Anxiety, dr russ, dr. russ morfitt, overcome anxiety, social anxiety
1) Aim for some perspective.
When things go wrong, try to avoid the tendency to blame yourself. There’s a lot in life that has little to do with you. Someone’s bad mood, a missing invitation, someone’s averted gaze – they most likely have nothing to do with you. Do the friend test: would you say what you’re thinking to a friend, blaming them? If not, try to find a more realistic description of the situation.
2) Accept that you are less than perfect.
Many of us are perfectionists who like to hold ourselves to impossibly high standards and then beat ourselves up when we fail to meet a single one of them. We’re made up of thousands of thoughts and actions. A single flaw on any one of them does not determine our success or failure as a human being.
3) Fake it ’til you make it.
It’s important to keep a balanced view of yourself. What do other people value about you? What are your strengths? Have you ever noticed how more peaceful people deal with challenges, even minor ones? Think about how you would react in the same situation. It may seem strange, but it’s actually helpful to try to adopt their optimism and persistence in the face of difficulty.
4) Keep a journal of your negative thoughts.
It often helps to write down your negative thoughts (and their triggers) in a journal as they occur and then to revisit them later when you’re in a calmer mood. This allows for some perspective as you consider the merit of the negative thought. Does the thought seem justified? Does the same thought come to mind or do you now see the experience differently? Your boss not looking at you may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with her having a bad day. If there’s a chance that the thought has merit, can you identify some ways that you could cope?
5) Avoid exaggeration.
We often exaggerate in using words like “always” and “never” to describe our perspective of a situation. They rarely describe a situation accurately. Instead, try to use words like often, normally, many, etc. Even that small distinction can cause a huge shift in our thinking. And try not to exaggerate the importance of a single event. How important will your gaffe (if indeed it is one) be in a month, in a year, in five years?
This post was written by Dr. Russ Morfitt