Relaxation and Social Anxiety

You might want to try learnimg a few different relaxation exercises (as part of preparartion for systematic desensitization and exposure therpay). These exercises could be used on their own or in combination with each other.

Techniques you might learn include:

  • Diaphragmatic breathingWith this technique, you’ll learn to regulate your breathing by breathing slowly and deeply through your nose, holding the breath for one to two seconds, then breathing out through your mouth.
  • Visualization. You’ll focus on a relaxing scene, picturing it in your mind and concentrating on sensory details, such as sights or smells. This includes guided imagery, which involves someone describing a scene to you.
  • Progressive muscle relaxationYou’ll learn to tense up and release muscles throughout your body. This technique can reduce muscle tension and help you recognize the difference between tense and relaxed muscles. That way, you’ll be able to better recognize when your muscles start tensing up in response to anxiety or fear.
  • Meditation and mindfulness techniques. Learning meditation may help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings as you face a fearful situation. Mindfulness helps you notice what you’re experiencing in the present moment, which can reduce anxious thoughts.

Other relaxation techniques
• Picture something soothing: close your eyes, picture the voice or face of someone you love encouraging you. Or you can picture a place that brings you calm. What do you see there? What do you feel or hear?
• Practice kindness to yourself. Tell yourself that you are strong and you can move through difficult times.
• Celebrate your wins: acknowledge and congratulate yourself for your wins, no matter how small. Tell yourself you did well and you are proud of yourself. – How to calm anxiety