December 19, 2008


Many methods have been conceived over the years to treat social anxiety and there is no one-size-fits-all therapy. Meditation has been effective for calming some forms of anxiety, and mindfulness, a form of meditation, has been shown to be especially effective.

Many who suffer from social anxiety spend a great deal of time and effort ruminating about bad things that have happened in the past or worrying about things that they think may happen in the future. Sometimes the focus is on perceived imperfections, weaknesses, or shortcomings.

If you had the option of worrying about bad things that may never happen to you or feeling calm and relaxed, what would you choose? I think most people would choose feeling calm and relaxed, yet the struggle to keep the mind off these worries can remain.

There is a saying that I used to have on my office wall that said,
“If we spend our time ruminating about the past and worrying about the future, we have no today to be happy”. That’s where mindfulness is so helpful. It’s being present and thankful for the moment we are currently in.

This world really is an amazing place, so take the time to appreciate it. Whatever you are doing can be interesting if you allow yourself to experience it fully.

Children are fascinated about the world around them and it is wonderful to watch a child experience something new. I wish we would never lose the ability for that excitement. It comes so easy for a child but we have to work at it.

Mindfulness is a practice that helps ground you. Practice being aware of your surroundings and utilize all of your senses, the texture, sound, smell, look and even taste of life.

The practice of mindfulness helps to take the focus off the “what ifs” and perceived flaws and put it on the beauty of the moment. One of my favorite affirmations is, “my self worth does not depend upon how anyone else views me”. Each and every one of us has something unique to offer that no one else can.

So get out there with your unique self, take life in, seize the moments and refuse to let it pass you by. Believe me, you’ll be much happier.

By Nyla Lengacher