Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Work is piling up on me day by day. I officially declare myself snowed under, so apologies for not keeping the blog updated as regular as I should. It's a shame because I'm actually excited about making a good start on this, developing some useful methods and making them work, but I just don't have the time to do it right now. I know I say this every post, but I will get around to it as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I have still been active in searching out little bits and bobs. I've been finding myself going back to my roots and almost regaining my youthful confidence in the power of mind. The human mind is an amazing machine and I always had a great interest in exploring its vast potential. Then, somewhere down the line I began to get side-tracked , disillusioned by the discoveries of the impossible. But man, what happened to the grand old philosophy 'where there's a will, there's a way'? Or how about this one, 'Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve'? I haven't got time to write about it, but I did happen across this interesting article:

The Incredible Power of Focus

The article puts into words very well what I was trying to say about the law of attraction without getting too involved in subjective reality. I personally feel I made mince meat of that article (it seemed a good idea when I started...), so if you want to know what I was trying to say, visit the link and read the writing of a man who can explain this better than I.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It seems I have a lot of work on lately, along with a snot virus and an overwhelming social life, so the blog's been taking a back seat. Ok, I lied about the social life, and the work would be done in very little time at all if only I had any time management skills, but the snot virus is true. So, while I've been busy with other stuff (lying in bed, watching TV, browsing message forums and occasionally doing a little work) I haven't been able to get my teeth into any serious SA issues. How lame is that? Maybe I should do an entry on time management next time. Anyway, whilst I'm filling in a few gaps (I will get onto some serious stuff eventually) I thought I'd add another random post to the blog. Whilst browsing an SA forum today I spotted a thread on daydreaming in relation to social anxiety. Something surprised me about that topic, the fact that I've been browsing SA forums for years yet I've never seen that issue raised in such a simple context. It's something I've thought about a lot, and it is a genuinely thought provoking topic because it holds insight into the nature of the introvert, but not once have I seen it spoken about thoroughly in relation to SA. So, I'm going to make a half-assed attempt at that right now. Enjoy.

Everyone daydreams from time to time, it's a perfectly natural part of our mental processes. I'm sure there are probably some really deep and meaningful reasons why we daydream studied by some of the world's greatest minds, delving all the way into the sub-conscious, but I don't want to talk about that. For a start, I'd probably get lost in my own sub-conscious and I like my sanity just as it is, and besides, I wouldn't have any idea what I was talking about, so I'm only going to be talking about daydreaming in relation to SA. But where exactly does this mental function tie in with social anxiety? The afore mentioned thread was titled I always dream about being a hero. The majority of people who replied also daydreamed about being heroic or important figures, significant to society, or more to the point, cherished by society. These people dream of the very things they find impossible to do in their own lives because of their fears and they dream that they are accepted, even loved, by society. This of course, isn't universal, people dream up all kinds of scenarios. Some may simply dream they are alone on a secluded beach, some may dream they are iconic figures, whilst others dream they are Gods. Each one tells you something about that person. Sitting on a beach appears to be a healthy dream to me. Becoming an iconic figure shows a need to be accepted and feel a sense of importance. Becoming a God would suggest that you have a controlling nature and wish to control your surroundings. I'm sure you're beginning to see where this begins to tie in with SA and self-esteem issues, but this only tells us how our negative self-image guides our imagination. The question of why we daydream in the first place leads us to some interesting answers. Sure, everyone daydreams, but not always to the extent of your average introvert. Why is that? The answer is so simple you'll probably send me death threats for so much as wasting your time with this, but bear with me. You daydream so much because you are an introvert. That's what you do. You spend your time focusing your mind internally, and while you're doing this you'll happen across many dreams. I know, that's not exactly a revelation, but have a think about it for a second. All this time spent daydreaming is strengthening your social anxiety. Daydreaming and introversion are synonymous with each other, you practice one and it inevitably influences the other.

Don't take my word for it, I don't have a PHD in daydreaming and neither do I even own a book on the subject. I base my knowledge almost entirely on my own experiences, but these experiences have always come up with consistent patterns. For example, and this is another important note to make, I always daydream more when I'm anxious. I'm not talking about being specifically socially anxious, just anxious. I daydream the most when my mind is restless and I daydream the least when my mind is calm and relaxed. Furthermore, if I find myself in a restless state and I'm continuously poking about in my imagination I only become more anxious and restless, which then provokes a deeper poking of my imagination, almost as if there is a pot of gold in there and I have to find it. If I am to consciously stop this destructive pattern, my mind immediately begins to relax and slow to a more satisfying pace. The anxiety fuels the dreams, and the dreams fuel the anxiety.

Daydreaming is an escapism from reality and it is often our efforts to protect ourselves from the realities of the world that hurt us the most. When we daydream, we are actually hiding. We are hiding from boredom, we are hiding from physical pain and we are hiding from social interaction. When we hide from social interaction, it eventually becomes habitual and we don't even notice we're doing it. The problem with hiding is that not only are you hiding from any problems you may have, you're also hiding from the solutions. In fact, you're hiding from your life. And it is the real world, out there, that holds the cure to social anxiety. You spend all day daydreaming then it soon becomes difficult to hold a conversation with someone. Why? Because you're suddenly shifting from your internal world to the external world and it's not quite as you imagined it. One thing I know for certain. If you want to be less introverted, then you must be prepared to become less focused on your inner-self, which means stepping away from your dreams and taking a look at your realities once in a while.

Not for one second am I saying you should never daydream, I don't think I could live without it myself. This is more like sex education. It's not that you shouldn't do it, just remember to play safe...

Friday, October 06, 2006


This is a concept I was introduced to recently through a documentary called The Secret. The movie itself is the usual cheese you'd expect from a film claiming to offer a secret that has the potential to change your life. Even so, I'm not one to discard a theory simply on the presentation alone, so I watched it, and to tell the truth I felt far more inspired after watching it than what I did beforehand, so surely that's a good start. I felt inspired, because although I was reluctant to buy into everything the film claims, much of what was said already sat well with my current beliefs. This secret, the alleged answer to everything, is the law of attraction.

I had never come across this theory before, but after watching the film it became apparent that it was far from a carefully guarded secret that no one knew. I was on amazon.com the next day looking through self-help books and I put a search in for a general self-help term (which I forget now) unrelated to the law of attraction. Out of the first ten or so books returned from my search there was at least four on the law of attraction. Around this time I had also been reading Steve Pavlina's blog regularly who was delving deep into the theory of subjective reality. A few days later, he includes an article on the law of attraction. Am I the only one that doesn't know about this? Or did I attract it? It's an interesting theory, so I thought I'd share it with you. First, a little background information on objective and subjective realities.

Objective Reality

The objective reality model is the one most of us have been brought up to believe in. It states that everything within our universe is a fixed object, it's absolute, it exists just as we see it. This computer is real, your books are real, your partner is real... They are all real in every sense of the meaning in the word to you.

Subjective Reality

The subjective reality model is extremely difficult to grasp if you're used to looking at things objectively and suggests that everything is created by our own concsiousness, and that you are in fact responsible for everything you create. It's easy to dismiss this without even giving it any thought, but more and more scientists are opening up to the possibilities of a subjective model due to an inability to prove the objective model whilst holding evidence which points towards the subjective. Quantum theory dictates that sub-atomic particles react differently when being observed as if they are aware. Don't believe me? The famous double-slit experiment. The concept of a subjective reality is an ever increasing one in modern physics.

So what is the law of attraction?

The law of attraction dictates that you create what you think. In other words whatever you focus on you receive. Of course, this isn't always true. I'm sure many of you put your thoughts into winning the lottery each week. You haven't won it yet, have you? There are a few steps you have to take to ensure productivity here, let's use some simpler examples.

Imagine you're having problems in a relationship. You have all these fears and insecurities so you push forward in attempts to gain more stability, but you're primarilly focused on your fears. What usually happens here is that you push in all the wrong directions and this seems to be very common with the socially anxious amongst us. When you push in the wrong directions it creates tension and your partner will inevitably become uneasy before eventually bailing out. On the other hand, if you continually focus on what is good about the relationship, putting the insecurities aside, you will almost certainly become a more enjoyable person to be around and the relationship will work a lot better. This brings forth an argument, and it one that's occupying my mind right now: Is the relationship working better because you're creating it, or because you've simply become more fun to be around and it is merely a reaction to the re-creation of yourself? This is interesting, because the way I see it, this method works on both subjective and objective reality models. Nah, I'm not sure if I believe in that subjective mumbo jumbo crap either. Either way, you're creating something positive through your own positivity (or negative through your negativity). Obviously, under the subjective model, you have the power to create, which is infinite in possibilities, whereas under the objective model you're bound by objective laws. Don't let that put you off.

Is there anyone in history you can think of that made a significant impact without focusing on the impact they wanted to make. Sure, we all wanted to be rock stars and astronauts growing up too, that didn't happen did it? Why not?

There's a difference between day-dreaming and being focused on what you want. The law of attraction suggests that you must focus on what you want, mentally and emotionally. You must be able to feel it as well as think it. You must be able to tune in with it. If you're thinking about winning the lottery all week, or about becoming a rock star, no doubt there is a thought somewhere in the back of your mind saying 'no way, that's never going to happen!', in which case it's not going to happen. If you're thinking about what you don't want all the time, then that is what you're going to get. You must tune in and believe it. If you're getting angry, or frustrated or feeling any other negative emotions, then you're shifting out of balance with your natural flow and your thoughts and emotions are out of line. How new age does that sound? I'm not a hippy, honest! Still sound like a load of crud? When I first watched The Secret, one of the main reasons I kept watching is because of how closely the law of attraction related to what buddhists call karma. I later learnt that the law of attraction is also known as the law of cause and effect. Karma, is best (and often) described as cause and effect. This is a philosophy dating back thousands of years. What you sow, you reap. I had a friend who had little trouble when it came to meeting the opposite sex. I remeber him giving pointers once and his sole advice was this: 'Picture that they are attracted to you, and believe they are attracted to you. Everytime I do this, they become attracted to me'. Whether you're creating the attraction itself or whether they're becoming attracted through your display of confidence that your thoughts are giving to you is irrelevent, it will help regardless. Imagine going to do a presentation. Would it be better to go in thinking about everything you don't want to happen, like jumbling up your words, or having a mental block, or would it be better going in and visualising everything you do want to happen? Olympic athletes have been vividly visualising their perfomance before the event for decades now.

I'm no expert on the law of attraction, so if you're interested I would recommend you look into this yourself. The Internet is abundant in articles on the law of attraction (unlike social anxiety), so there is no shortage of information. There's a lot of common sense in it.

And yes, I'll get back to the SA stuff as soon as I get more involved again.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Yeah, I know, I've been slack. Over a week has passed and you've not seen one new article. If truth be known I've still been busy. I have plenty of stuff I can write about, filling in the gaps, providing a little reading material for your pleasure (or pain), but I wanted to continue along the lines of writing something more instructional than philosophical. Well, that plan's failing because I haven't been involved in anything much SA related this week. Don't worry, I'll get back to it. I think the instructional side of things can make a big impact when used, I just haven't had the time to devise any so called instructions, so while I'm slacking someone asked me to write something up on panic attacks, so here goes.

No doubt people will be boiling over like a whistling kettle when they hear me say this, but panic attacks are a rather simple affair in comparison to the subtleties of SA and other anxiety related disorders. It's still one of the most debilitating, but the way it presents itself is easy to understand and the solutions are almost as loud as that jumper your granny knitted for you last Christmas.
Where do they come from?

If you read Refresh Yourself, the article with the panic chart, then you'll grasp a better understanding of how the panic operates in relation to stress. And this is exactly where they begin in almost all circumstances (other circumstances include chemical changes within your body, possibly influenced by drugs or bodily functions such as your thyroids).

It's interesting to note that many people first experience panic attacks and anxiety as they are reaching adulthood. For many of us, until we reach adulthood we are virtually stress free. Sure, we have all the pressures of teen life, but for the most part teenagers are pretty resilient and will sail through these years thinking they are under loads of pressure, yet enjoying every minute. Then, one day you reach an age where you will find an addition to your list of concerns: you become responsible for your own life. That age is different for everyone. It may even be that you came across that realization before even entering your teens. For most of us it is somewhere between the ages of 16 and 20. I was 18 when I first started having panic attacks. This is a stressful time for anyone, suddenly bombarded with people telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing with your life, what career, what partner, what house, what car, how to pay you bills....'Bills! You're kidding, right?'. Yup, you're on your own, they're your bills now, no more being pampered, it's at this age when you open your eyes to a very real and scary world. A world that you are now responsible for.

That's only one thing that will raise your natural stress levels. There's a zillion and one reasons to get stressed and you will do that at many times in your life. Perhaps all of it! Almost every time, panic attacks are the product of continually rising stress, and let me tell you, that stress can be very subtle in its approach. It took me a good while to learn to monitor my own stress, but the ability to do so will repay you with much needed rewards. I'm getting ahead of myself here, but prevention is always the best medicine and if you can catch it before it bites you will make it a lot easier on yourself. Don't let that stress reach boiling point, it will catch up to you. You're busy? It's your life... Stress breeds panic and anxiety.

What to do

If you're reading this, then I would assume you already have panic attacks. Still, don't disregard the advice above, it will come in handy later on when your panic begins to ease off. If you are having panic attacks, then you need to know a little truth:

  • There is very little you can do for a panic attack for the time it is present.
You can pray to God, you can repeat your affirmations one thousand times, you can do your deep breathing... Some of these things may help take the edge off, don't get me wrong, but once your panic is in flight it becomes unreachable. The first thing you have to do is accept this fact. Let the panic come over you as it pleases. The irony here, is that if you can truly accept your panic, it will leave. It's only there because you fear it. As long as you're looking for solutions you are being led by your fear, looking for a way out. There isn't a way out, there's only a way through. On that path through you're going to be absolutely ****ing terrified! Be terrified, give yourself permission, then carry on with what you're doing. You don't have to ignore it either, just let it be, for that moment in time it will be a natural part of your being, merely a feeling.

If you're having trouble in specific scenarios then it's wise to face up to them. Take yourself into that position, and let the panic come over you. If you run and hide, then this fear will be recorded and logged under this scenario, rearing it's head each time you go back. It's important to face these fears, step by step, with the littlest and most manageable step first.

Claire Weekes is a well respected and highly recommended author on the subject of panic and anxiety. Her general teaching is put into four main categories:

  • Facing
  • Accepting
  • Floating
  • Letting time pass
Since panic attacks are most often triggered by an association to an event, it is important to face the very thing you fear in order to re-program this negative association. You then need to accept this fear rather than frantically try to escape it which will only serve to elevate the fear in your mind. 'Floating' is a word Claire Weekes uses for accepting and getting on with what you're doing, passing through the panic with the greatest of possible ease. If you fight the panic, it will flight back. Of course, afterwards your body will be drained and sensitized to your recently overwhelming levels of anxiety. As with anything, you need time to return to your usual self.

I know how difficult this is myself, it's truly awful. But if you can follow these steps, then you can overcome your panic. It certainly won't happen overnight, I know it took me a good while, but it's there for the taking. If you're having a real problem with this and you want to know more, pick up a copy of Self-Help for your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes, she has a great mind for explaining this stuff far better than I can.

I don't feel I've given way to any marvelous insights here, I would love to write more, but no time at present. I will be getting back to the SA stuff as soon as possible. If anyone has any links to helpful material regarding social anxiety, then please let me know.