Jul 26, 2008

Brain programming and self-esteem

More and more I am convinced that my recent success in beating social anxiety has more to do with the amount of positive programming about myself that I got. It finally got to that critical level when I began believing it. And it could have been anything: tapes, more therapy, or anything else.

This is not a new idea, I encountered it in more than one self help books: You need to be sure that you are great and wonderful and beautiful and lovable. If people around you reinforce this idea, you will start believing it and acting on it.

Sometimes people make mistakes, even the smartest people act stupid at times. Allow yourself to do or say stupid things. It's not a big deal. Just apologize and move on not giving it a second thought. You will make better decisions if you strongly believe in yourself than if you worry about being wrong about anything you do or anything anyone else thinks.

Having this in mind, it makes a lot of sense to do as many as possible of the following

  • Use tapes like those from Dr. Richards at the Social Anxiety Institute,
  • Keep in touch with friends and family members that make you feel good, and excuse yourself from seeing people that make you feel bad about yourself
  • Find a good therapist
  • Participate in groups for SA or whatever groups where your presence is welcome and you are well-liked
  • Do yoga. Yoga teachers are supposed to be supportive, so it is likely that in a yoga studio you would find a good environment for growing self-esteem
My yoga program was subtitled: Love living in your body. Every week we would hear a variant of encouragement to love our selves and our bodies. "Love your body for what it is now, not next year, not when you'll love 10 pounds or when you'll have a boyfriend. It's perfect, right now, just as it is. You can walk and run and jump and it doesn't hurt to do this. It helped grow these amazing children that you have and helps keep you alive. Touch your thighs and belly and arms and say Thank you, body, thank you!" It worked great and after more than an year of therapy in which I heard a lot of: you're wonderful just as you are, you just need to start believing it, it finally sinked in.

I'm playing with Facebook and Linked In these days and I am so happy to see people trying to connect to me... and I say that they are doing it because I am nice. It's great to love yourself, quite a novelty for me.

Jul 23, 2008


About.com has a page on social anxiety disorder and the moderator, Arlin Cuncic, released an article about the best SAD blogs. My blog is mentioned in that article positively... pretty neat if you think about it. I'm growing. The website is informative and has a forum and a newsletter. I think it's worth keeping an eye on it.

Thank you Arlin.

Jul 13, 2008

I am a Certified Yoga Teacher

Woohoo! I passed the exam. It wasn't that difficult, but while studying I realized how much we learned that other people do not know. I would have loved to go deeper into anatomy and physiology, and to have more power, better balance and less fear, but it only has to start here. I have a lifetime to learn and build my life and my body as I'd like them to be.

I learned an incredible gem yesterday that will probably help me better explain what yoga and meditation does to your mind. Imagine a jar with dirty water. The dirt in the water are our daily thoughts. There are lots of them and they are hanging around popping in and out and moving in no particular direction. You can't see through the water because there are so many thoughts. If you put the jar down and leave it there for an hour or so, all the dirt falls to the bottom and the water becomes clear. Yoga and meditation helps you slow down the stream of thoughts, let them rest, see clearly the things that are important and pick up the important thoughts and make them happen.

Jul 6, 2008

Treasure map

For the last week I worked on my treasure map: a display of pictures that inspire me. I never thought how much pleasure this exercise will bring me. I thought that once again I will think about all those cool things that I'd like to have but never will get around to doing them.

Instead, I had an enormous pleasure putting it together and looking at it. It has pictures with my family and all the time that we are going to spend having fun together. It has my dream house on the beach and a cool kitchen and a swimming pool, my organic vegetable garden, and my athletic endeavors: a triathlon, teaching yoga to kids, and the Appalachian Trail. It also has a picture of a hospital and a hospital dashboard and the verses of The Impossible Dream.

It also felt great to share it with my husband and my baby. It was the first time in my life that I actually dared to accept my dreams. Maybe not all of them will happen, but I have something that I'll see every evening before bed and I know that my priorities should be and what should make me happy. I don't think I ever expressed all these even to my husband.

What a great tool to share. On Saturday I will get it to my last yoga session and we will see each others... that will give us something interesting to talk about! Try it! It will give you a few happy moments, and once it's up you realize that it's not really as impossible as you thought.