The therapist and I decided that a fun and productive way to explore my social anxiety was to go to the club every week. Basically, she was suggesting habituation. It was something where I could explore the feelings of fear and anxiety – yet it was familiar… a childhood kind of familiar. It was also something I really liked doing so the inner battle between going and not going was basically even.
I was never able to expel the anxiety completely, I was able to dispel it to a manageable level. The anxiety and the fear of not being accepted eventually became so familiar, that I was able to recognize the feelings and know that they weren’t real.
Social Anxiety and FitnessTracking using humans vs technology Lisette Sutherland
Social Anxiety: how itdeveloped Grade school: lived on American AFB, went to German school Moved to US: culturally different than others Teens: Goth University: Hydrologist Goth Natural personality trait: ENFX (90% F)
Social Anxiety: How did itmanifest? Low self-esteem Lots of self doubt Highly emotional (ENFX) Wanted to go out but dreaded it (ENFX)Got tired of dreading it and started looking for solutions!
Therapist asQuantifier/JudgeSocial anxiety is an irrational fear: wanted a sympathetic/compassionate solution and an objective judgeCriteria: objective/honest judge someone not a part of my life “normal” well-adapted person
Social Anxiety: HabituationRepeated presentation of a stimulus will cause a decrease in reaction to the stimulus
Social Anxiety: The PlanHABITUATIONChoose activity I like but dreadDo it over and over againReport experience
Social Anxiety: The PlanHABITUATIONChoose activity I like but dreadGoing dancing at clubsDo it over and over againDeath Guild every MondayReport experienceWeekly therapy sessions: use objective human to guide directions
Social Anxiety: FindingsI SHOULD HAVE QUANTIFIED!But I can say: Feel better overall Healthy self-esteem/confidence Go out regularly Go out alone without hesitation Armed with coping mechanisms & knowledge
Social Anxiety: Findings Reprogramming is possible! Cheer! Habituation is an awesome tool Habituation is totally hard Important to find activity you truly like Over time (~5 years), the feelings became so familiar. I learned to recognize that they weren’t real. Severity decreased. The human sympathy from therapist was helpful & motivating
And now... real quantificationHow much can I eat and weigh 63kg?
Fitness: Findings Food has too many calories! To weigh 63kg: Eat less and move more ◦ East less than 1500 net calories per day ◦ Add walk to end of day of all sitting ◦ No eating after 9pm ◦ Consider ADCR/16-8 Tracking exercise helps motivate me to do more Tracking calories helps me eat less I have more self control before 4pm than after Good reminder: Be careful of meaningless coincidence
Meaningless coincidenceI never cycle on the 11th, 24th, or 29th
Tracking: Human vsTechnology Accountability partnerships are powerful Tracking/quantifying is essential Use methods/tools designed to fit your situation and your style