Intro Post

Welcome to Anxiety Takedown! :)

Please read this if you're interested in joining!

In a Nutshell
This community faces social anxiety with an action-oriented focus on meeting challenges on a biweekly basis. Other posts consist of progress pat-on-the-backs, and helpful resources or information. The purpose of the community is to focus on sharing experiences, supporting one another, and in doing so, learning to be more forgiving and accepting of our own struggles.

What is a "Challenge"?
A "challenge" is simply a social task to complete that takes you out of and pushes the limits of your comfort zone. This can be anywhere from as simple as ordering over the phone, or taking a walk with a new friend. After attempting a challenge, members can share in the commenting section with their reactions, difficulties and all.

Response Format
This is changed from how responses were originally formatted when the community first went up a few years ago. Having each member separately post their responses was a little chaotic and disorganized, and prevented everyone from discussion. I think having everything posted in the comments section makes a lot more sense :)

Here are some things that would be great to hear from your response:

  • How you carried out the challenge. For example, if it was a phone call, the type of call, and so on.

  • Your rating of the task's difficulty before and after completion (1 to 5 scale, 1 being the easiest, and 5 being the most difficult)

  • Your thoughts and feelings before, during, and after the challenge. What did you think would happen? Did it happen? Was it as bad as you thought it'd be?

  • How you would feel about trying it again

And if there's anything else you'd like to add, go ahead! This isn't that strict, just a format to get you thinking about all the thoughts that impact your anxiety.

Why Challenges
The purpose of these challenges is this: we spend a great deal of time beating ourselves up for what we can't bring ourselves to do. It is my hope that we can gain confidence after intentionally committing ourselves to doing an activity even when knowing it might make us anxious. Regardless of whether you're able to entirely complete a challenge, you can still feel proud of pushing your boundaries.

I'm sure everyone's heard the method of exposure as one of the more successful ways of overcoming social anxiety. By repeating an anxiety-inducing activity and forcing yourself to stay in the situation, you gradually become more and more desensitized, especially as you realize that hey, you're still standing by the end of it. Ideally, you get to the point where the activity no longer provokes any anxiety at all.

In no way is this community an official substitute for exposure therapy (or any therapy at all, for that matter!); it's simply inspired by that concept.

I want this to be an action-oriented community, committed to DOING, so we can find our way out of the cycles of obsessive, self-criticizing thoughts and mental ruts. Hopefully, knowing that others are attempting the challenges along with you will help and provide a bigger incentive to complete those tasks. There should be plenty of encouragement, compassion and support for others and ourselves. It's not going to be easy, but everything needs that first push.

We all intimately understand what it means and how difficult it can be to endure social anxiety, and there's no need we have to feel like we're alone :)

Good luck!!!