Making headlines today was the release that Jennifer Lawrence, from X-Men and more recently, the Hunger Games, suffered from Social Anxiety. Although our society is becoming more understanding of mental health issues, stigma still exists. When it comes to discussing mental health issues and getting treatment, there is still not enough openness regarding this topic.
For a celebrity like Jennifer Lawrence, to publicly share her challenges is inspiring for us all. It helps to reduce stigma and increases awareness about mental well-being.
Social Anxiety And It’s Prevalence
According to Statistics Canada, social anxiety, is one of the most common anxiety disorders. Social anxiety is
“a disorder characterized by a fear of situations in which there is potential for embarrassment or humiliation in front of others. There are generally two subtypes of social phobia: one involves a fear of speaking in front of people, whether it be public speaking or simply talking with a person of authority; the other subtype involves more generalized anxiety and complex fears, such as eating in public or using public washrooms, and in these cases individuals may experience anxiety around anyone other than family”.
In Canada, anywhere between 8-13% of Canadian’s will be influenced by social anxiety. The disorder is more common in women than in men. Also, there appears to be an environmental and familial link to the disorder.
Jennifer Lawrence’s story of facing her fear of social scrutiny head-on teaches us all one important thing. Facing the things that cause us anxiety is the best form of treatment. Hence, the best example is exposure therapy combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
If you’d like to inquire about social anxiety treatment in Mississauga or Bradford Ontario at Real Life Counselling, don’t hesitate to call us at 289-231-8479.
The year was 2005.
I was in my last year of my Bachelor’s program, meticulously spending hours checking my research data and putting the final touches on my thesis defense. Night after night, I found myself ruminating over having to present in front of my professors, not to mention mine in front of my peers. Ever since I could remember, public presentations, regardless of size or length, caused me grief. I mean, not your typical 11th hour jitters, but…blushing, shaking, nauseous stomach, cold sweats – you name it, I had it.
So, the day had come. I was to defend my thesis. Although most of the day felt like a blur, a few moments still stick with me. The first was feedback from one of my peers as we were standing in the halls practicing our scripts. I shared with my friends how nervous I was, feeling unable to control the physical and emotional reactions happening in my body. My friend, Susan*, turned to me and said, “…instead of telling yourself you’re nervous and scared, why don’t you say you’re excited!”. I listening, and thought to myself – “heck, I have nothing to lose!” So, minutes before my hour of fame, I said, “I’m excited”, “I’M excited”, “I’M EXCITED!”. I think after the 3rd excited, I was starting to feel it. The reaction kicked in! Then, before I knew it, I was done.
I think that’s the second part of my memories of my thesis. My accomplishment. I “felt the fear but did it anyway”. There’s no better feeling then working through a tough obstacle. Or, overcoming a fear.
I encourage you to feel inspired, to reach out for help if you need it, and to “feel the fear and do it anyway” (as Susan Jeffers would say).
Ashley J. Kreze
I hear my clients struggling with different kinds of problems. Some are shy and have difficulties making new friends, some are constantly getting into conflicts, some are staying in destructive relationships or on the job that’s making them miserable, and some are dreaming about their perfect life without making any move towards it. This is just a teeny-tiny portion of all the different struggles my clients are facing; but every one of them is unique to that person’s life situation. However, one thing stands out as the background issue of almost all of the problems I hear about. It’s fear. Fear of rejection, fear of uncommon, fear of change, fear of failure. Even I myself was struggling with anxiety in public-speaking situations, which you can read about HERE. Additionally, many have no clue how to overcome fears, so it can all get pretty messy.
Once you learn to face your fears and stop running away from them, but instead do the thing despite the fact you’re scared, you’ll transform. You’ll discover there are many great opportunities you’re able to catch, you’ll learn to live the life you want and you’ll discover some awesome parts of yourself you maybe didn’t even know existed. Sounds exciting? I agree. But it needs work and effort.
How to overcome your fears?
The first step is to discover and make yourself aware of your fears. Second, and the most difficult step, is to face your fears. To let yourself feel the fear, and do the thing you’re scared of anyways. Only this way, you can come to the third and final step, and that is overcoming your fears and, with that, transform your life.
This is exactly what Susan Jeffers talks about in her book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. This book contains tons of enlightening ideas and useful techniques that will help you get out of passivity-mode and start working on facing your fears. Additionally, Susan teaches you how to stop negative-thinking patterns and start implementing positive thinking into your daily habits. There is much more to this incredible book, so I recommend you start your transformation by reading it.
Most people believe we have many emotions. However, according to Dorothy Lee, all our feeling and reactions are based on just two basic emotions – love and fear. The closer you can come to identifying your emotions as love or fear, the closer you are to determining which emotion is driving you. Further, knowing the base of your emotions will lead you closer to inner peace and personal empowerment.
One of the most important things that will help you live a happy and healthy life is to get rid of your fears. We also talked about fear in our article: “Overcome Your Fears and Transform!” According to Dorothy, fear is the background for numerous negative emotions that can cause physical and mental health problems. For example, emotions such as anger or hate have their roots in fear. We can all choose how we react and how we feel; emotions are not something out of our control, as many believe. Here is the whole article: http://www.edgemagazine.net/2010/03/you-have-a-choice-love-or-fear/
So, what is your choice today?
There were, without a doubt, situations in your life when you were scared. But what is Fear? Let’s break it down:
Yes, fear is often the result of irrational beliefs and exaggerating the possibility of negative outcomes to happen. Again, as much as it is hard to believe – fear is often the result of false expectations.
FEAR can also mean two things:
Forget Everything And Run
Face Everything And Rise
It is your choice. But it’s a hard choice, with the second being MUCH more difficult than the first one. However, if you choose the easier path, your fear will remain. However, if you choose to face your fears, although it’s hard and uncomfortable, it will set you free.
You Must Act to Overcome Fear
One of the greatest surprises you’ll experience is when you discover that you can do what you were afraid you couldn’t do. If you hold on there for just a little longer, you’ll experience courage. Yes, that’s right. Courage does not mean the absence of fear; it means being scared but resisting the urge to run away. It means being scared but doing it anyway.
And then the magical thing happens…
Your obstacles will melt away if, instead of cowering before them, you make up your mind to walk boldly through them.
Do the thing you fear and fear disappears. Confront your fears; list them, get to know them and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead. When you face the things that scare you, you open the door to freedom.
Remember – the only thing you have to fear, is fear itself.
If you’d like to inquire about mindfulness or self-esteem enhancement in Mississauga at Real Life Counselling, don’t hesitate to call us at 289-231-8479.
Are you willing to take risks in life or you rather prefer to play safe? Your preference might have an effect on when you’ll decide to get married.
The Role of Risking in Life and Marriage
Spivey’s interesting study shows that people who prefer not to take risks in life often decide to marry sooner.
- “Finding an ‘‘acceptable’’ mate is easier than ﬁnding the ‘‘perfect’’ mate. The risk-averse searcher may be willing to accept one of the ﬁrst options that comes along. That’s because waiting for a potentially better option is not worth the uncertainty” (p.501).
- “For example, if both spouses work and one faces an unemployment spell, one income remains to support the couple in the interim. The shorter the time to marriage, the sooner the risk-averse individual can insure themselves against exogenous income shocks. However, the higher the quality (a function of income) of a potential spouse, the greater the insurance provided against exogenous income shocks” (p. 502).
- “Risk aversion should also have some bearing on whom an individual marries, not only when they marry” (p. 511).
- “…Search theory predicts that the more risk-averse will marry the more risk-averse at an earlier age, while the risk-lovers will be more likely to marry each other later in life” (p. 514).
How Do Women See Riskiness in Men?
- “Wilke et al. (2006) ﬁnd that women’s perceived riskiness of activities in various domains is negatively correlated with the attractiveness of men participating in them” (p. 513).
- “Extremely intelligent and successful women may have a harder time ﬁnding partners because ‘‘men want somebody intelligent enough so that they can recognize the man’s brilliance, but not necessarily enough to challenge them—or so smart that they ﬁnd someone else more interesting’’ (Klein 2006, 60). This could be related to why very risk-averse men in the current study marry women with the lower quality compared to more risk-loving men, who may be willing to take a chance with the intelligent women” (p. 513).
Spivey, C. (2010). Desperation or Desire? The Role of Risk Aversion in Marriage. Economic Inquiry, 48(2), 499-516.