07401 127872

Harmony Hypnosis - Sheffield

Life in the tribe, the origins of social anxiety

Aug 23, 2022

 Going back to our roots to understand social anxiety

For most of human history, we’ve been hunter-gatherers living in tribes of 70-150 people, so imagine how well everyone would know each others business in a community that size. Also imagine how many different important roles each individual would have to enable the community to thrive.

If you can imagine those things, it’s easy to understand how appearing weak, unpredictable, unstable or even anti-social could have come with serious risk of being outcast from the tribe.

Why would you want some unpredictable oddball in charge of sorting the poisonous mushrooms from the edible mushrooms that are going in the evening stew?

Having unpredictable members is not worth the risk of the tribe and being outcast means not being able to reproduce and probably worse. None of your ancestors are virgins, so you can start to see how generation after generation of this social expectation and pressure to fit in has moulded our modern brains.

It’s normal to have persona’s or masks for different occasions and it’s also normal to worry about what the tribe thinks of you.

The modern brain doesn’t just have tribes of up to 150 to worry about, it has a global tribe to consider. Big cities and the internet have expanded our perceived tribe and this is something our subconscious minds are having to contend with. Is it any wonder why anxiety is so common?

So what is the solution?

Once we understand the brain a little better and understand our own masks (the word “persona” comes from the Latin for theatrical mask), we can start to use this knowledge to naturally see everyone else’s masks. This is not about being fake or trying to expose anyone, it’s about understanding that we all wear masks and we are all covering up insecurity and vulnerability.

Knowing we are not the only one dealing with feelings of anxiety is a comfort. A great tip to help combat this anxiety is to be more aware of your body language. When you are feeling that stress, you’ll be aware of muscle tension in the jaw, shoulders and neck and perhaps more of a stoop and maybe your hands will be trying to protect your belly or your vital organs. This is your natural fight or flight response kicking in.

When you become aware of these things, you’ll notice how you can take control of the tension in your muscles and relax them. Then you can expose your vital arteries and veins in the neck by lifting your chin a bit, and by exposing the wrists and open up the abdomen area a little.

We naturally protect all these parts of the body when we feel threatened or anxious. This will lead to a more calm and confident posture and will send calm messages back to your brain. You’ll also notice how this makes others around you feel more calm too.

Practice this and then sooner or later, you’ll be seeing the discomfort in others and feeling much less anxious.

 

    Why not book a consultation now by calling 07401127872 or by messaging through the website?

    I offer therapy online or locally in Sheffield.

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