7 Ways to Overcome Shyness

Shy people instinctively know that they are missing out. Shyness equals lost opportunities, less pleasure and fewer social connections. Shyness can be crippling but there are tried and tested ways to make it a thing of the past.

When I was fifteen I had a friend who was shy. I recall an attractive girl attempting to engage him in conversation. His shyness made him focus on himself instead of her. He recalled telling me that he heard his own voice but not hers and he thought about what he was trying to say instead of what she was trying to say.

The formula for shyness is “too much focus on the self” plus anxiety. To make it even more unpleasant, sometimes when you are feeling shy you experience physical sensations which ‘hijack’ your calm logical self.

Back to my friend, he state “my pulse raced, my mouth dried up and I felt like the village idiot! I couldn’t think what to say so I said nothing apart from making barely audible grunting noises!” Cary Grant eat your heart out! When he detected pity in her eyes (or was it contempt, or boredom) he mumbled his excuse and got out of there. He hated being shy and was determined to change it.

How shyness is developed and maintained

Shyness really is a combination of social anxiety and social conditioning. To overcome shyness you need to learn to relax socially. This enables you to direct your attention away from yourself and gives you the space to practice certain conversational skills. In most cases, the heightened emotions of socializing when young simply condition the sufferer to respond to social events with fear, instead of excitement and pleasure.

Relaxed socializing is so pleasurable, not to say productive, but it is an advantage denied to many until they learn to relax. To start reducing your own shyness, I want you to absorb the following tips and ideas and start to put them into practice:

1) Think about the way you feel and behave around familiar people you are comfortable and spontaneous around. It’s that feeling transferred to new people and situations that equates to your emerging social confidence.

2) Focus your attention away from yourself. Sure, you can think a little bit about how you are coming across, but if all your focus is on your own words and feelings then you might as well be by yourself. Notice what other people are wearing and make a mental note, listen to their conversation, imagine where they might live, make a point of remembering names. Not only does this give you more to talk about, it also ‘dilutes’ social anxiety leaving you feeling calmer.

3) Ask people open questions. Many people like to talk about themselves and will find you interesting if you find them interesting. Ask questions that require more than a ‘yes’/’no’ response such as ‘What do you like about this place?’ rather than: ‘Do you like this place?’ Once they’ve answered use ‘add-on’ questions connected to the first such as: ‘What other places do you like in this city.?’ Next you can express your views. This is a great way to get the conversation going. If the conversation doesn’t ‘take’ then no matter, you’ve done your bit.

4) Stop trusting your imagination so much! Have you ever had an imaginary picture in your mind of a holiday destination only to arrive and find the reality is different from the way you had imagined? That’s how reliable imagination is. Stop imagining what others think. I do lots of public speaking and I’ve long since stopped trying to second guess what others think of me – it’s just too painful. Besides, what a person thinks about you has a lot more to do with who they are than who you are.

5) Stop using ‘all or nothing’ thinking. The ‘completely this/completely that’ style of thought occurs when you are emotional. People who are depressed, angry or anxious see reality in terms of differing extremes, simplistic all or nothing terms. An angry person is ‘right’ and you are ‘wrong’; the depressed person feels like a ‘failure’ while others are a ‘success’. In reality, life is composed of infinite gray areas. So stop fearing that you might say the ‘wrong’ thing! Or that people will ‘hate’ you. Once you start to relax more socially you’ll notice much less black or white thinking because anxiety actually causes you to think in all or nothing terms.

6) Take your time. You don’t have to blurt things out. Ask questions and if questions are asked of you can take time to consider your response (within reason). Don’t just blurt out what you think might be the ‘right’ answer. A slow answer is a relaxed answer.

7) Finally, use hypnotic rehearsal. Hypnosis is the quickest way to change your instinctive/emotional response to any situation. Only think about meeting others when your mind and body is relaxed. This conditions you to associate relaxation with being around new people. In fact you’ll find that when you relax deeply enough often enough whilst hypnotically rehearsing being comfortable around others you’ll reach the point where you just can’t be shy any more! This is what I call a ‘happy inability!’

My friend now loves meeting new people, and I would suspect that his current social confidence would be unrecognizable to his fifteen year old self.

Two books that can help you in overcoming challenges that might be holding you back are:

The Solution To Social Anxiety: Break Free From The Shyness That Holds You Back

Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness

Contact us and we can help you overcome shyness and anxiety! We can get you #backinthesaddle again!


Exciting New Product for Your Animals!

dohi Center for Well-being and I am excited to announce that we have partnered with a company, Marsyt, to help them in distributing an exciting new product for your equines, goats, and chickens!  Charlotte and I have been testing this product out for the past couple of months to be sure of its efficacy before we brought it to you. We have first-hand testimony of how it has changed our mule’s behavior and the way their digestion processes.  We are super excited to be be able to offer it to you!

What is it?

Triple Performance is a natural nutritional supplement produced from a unique fermentation process that provides optimal support for health and performance. It contains a complex of beneficial and bioavailable metabolites all delivered in a highly pallatable mini-pellet.  It offers Nutrition for Health and Performance.  It offers enhanced nutrient absorbtion for growing, improved performance for equines of all ages, promotes lower lactic acid levels in exercising equines, and reduced risk of colic by maintaining a higher pH in the hindgut.

How will it help my animals?

The best way to answer that question is to tell you how it helped us.  Mules utilize 31739968_1682459698456813_1020922462222680064_nnutrients differently than horses.  Donkeys and mules can utilize more mature, less digestible, more fibrous plant material than a horse. They are able metabolize their feed very efficiently. The donkeys’ efficient utilization of food makes them “easy keepers.”  Studies have shown that donkeys voluntarily consume much less forage compared to horses; 1.5% of body weight (BW) for donkeys compared to 3.1% of BW for horses. The donkeys heightened ability to digest low-quality forage has been likened to that of a goat. Mules are not quite as efficient as donkeys, but are much more efficient than horses.

Mules can be very sensitive and react oddly based upon their diet.  The following is an example:  There was a woman who rode a lot of trails and covered lots of miles with her mule.  This woman spent most days in the saddle, training him for events at a local mule days.  She was feeding him good alfalfa hay and some grain to keep his energy level up, as that is what she thought she should do.  She also added some grass hay.  By all accounts, it seemed like a good combination of feed for the type of exercise her mule was doing.

After her local Mule Days event, she found herself riding the mule less.  As a matter of fact, she only rode him a dozen times over the next few months. Once, fall hit, and it was a little cooler, she decided to go out on a nice trail ride.  However, her mule was acting up.  It seemed that behind every bush and every rock was a mule eater.  Once her mule found the first mule eater (a black rock behind the bush), he was snorting and going side ways down the trail and acting like he was going to be missing a leg before the ride was over. This was causing her to be on pins and needles the whole trail ride. About the time she would get relaxed again, her mule would find another mule eater. He would Jump sideways, run backwards and sometimes spin around. A normally sweet mule was acting very oddly and was creating trauma for both him and his owner.

The reason I bring this example up is that mules can be very sensitive to the types of 31732046_1682459868456796_27152001561264128_nfood they eat.  It is extremely important to make sure they are utilizing their nutrients to the best of their ability.  Charlotte and I decided to try this product out on Mulligan, Socks, and Lauren, our beautiful mules.  We noticed that they weren’t utilizing their nutrients effectively. They were eating more hay than usual and Mulligan wasn’t filling out like he should.  Their behaviors were also very spookish and guarded.  We were hoping that this might be the answer to calming them down and having a more stable mule on the trails.

We started putting a scoopful into their grain in the morning.  The first few weeks we saw that they were more playful with each other.  We also noticed a change in their diet.  They were eating less hay.  They were starting to utilize their nutrients better.  They seemed less spooked by every noise, and had more stamina.  Their muscle tone became better.  They were all in 31497056_1680091372026979_5214756390937034752_nall better mules.

31822976_1682460091790107_1694548487296778240_nThe final observation came when we were with them.  They were less likely to run and wanted to hang around with us more.  They became much easier to brush and to groom.  We had totally different mules!  We were sold!  We knew we had a product that could help all equines, including the mules!  Training a mule isn’t just about groundwork and saddle work.  It starts with their diet.  If their digestion is off or they are not utilizing nutrition effectively, they will be harder to train, often times resulting in the owner getting frustrated and selling the animal.  The good new is you don’t have to do that!  We can help you get back on the right track with your equine.

How do I learn more about it?

Go to http://www.tripleperformanceequine.com and discover how it can help you!

How do I order it?

Again, go to http://www.tripleperformanceequine.com.  Make sure you mention that you heard about it from us Drs. Timothy and Charlotte Test and dohi Center for Well-being!  You can also contact us directly and we will get you squared away!



Equilateral and My Unscheduled Dismount

Many may ask whether the combination on EMDR and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy #equilateralemdr (otherwise known as Equilateral EMDR) really works.  Perhaps like me you had an unscheduled dismount.  It likely has upset the relationship that you once had with your equine.  You may now be fearful of what to expect upon mounting your equine again.  While you may put on a great game face, you know things have changed.  This can have a more profound effect if we are older.  Being 20 and having an unscheduled dismount is much different than being older and realizing our mortality.

I would like to share my story in hopes that my words will help you take the next step and call us to help you get #backinthesaddle.  It started with obtaining a new mule.  Mulligan was 13 years old, had been trail ridden, rode in parades, and was shown as a jumper and halter class in his past.  From all accounts he was a good all-around mule.  We had him transported from North Carolina to a boarding facility in PA while we were preparing our ranch for a permanent home. My wife and I felt that this might give us a good opportunity to get to know Mulligan and him us in a controlled environment.

31531294_1680091778693605_8726872855364501504_nIt started off OK.  Mulligan was cautious and leery at first as all mules generally are.  I did some ground work with him as Charlotte was working with the other mule Socks, we purchased at the same time.  Things were progressing to the point where I felt it was time to saddle him up to ride.  I had just purchased a new saddle and things were not adjusted as they should be.  I got in the saddle while someone else was adjusting the stirrups.  I was feeling uncomfortable as something did not seem quite right. I tried to ignore it (bad idea).  Mulligan seemed nervous and crowded.  I did not have the reigns (another bad idea).  Mulligan decided that he needed to escape from whatever he thought was going to harm him and bolted.  I was not prepared.  He ran to the edge of the fence and threw me up against it.  Thus the unscheduled dismount.  I was a little dazed.  I found myself on the ground.  I looked at my left hand and noticed my finger was dislocated.  A trip to the hospital discovered that my index finger had been chipped and dislocated, an injury that has left my finger somewhat limited in mobility.

After that incident, I noticed that my relationship with Mulligan had changed.  We moved them from the boarding facility to our property, but he was avoiding me.  I noticed I had some trepidation about riding him.  I had no problem getting on a horse, but the mule relationship had changed.  I put on a good game face but he could tell I was faking it and I knew he was no longer sure of me.  It was then that we realized that not only was I traumatized by this experience, so was he.  I wanted to ride him.  I wanted to feel that connection with him, but something was lost.  I now had a constant reminder that I was no longer that Marine who could shake off anything.  I was mortal.  I was fractured and so was he.  I did not know how to repair it.

Charlotte and I went to Arizona for Equilateral EMDR training.  While there I had the opportunity to work on my trepidation and fears and asked the instructor if I could be a 30946180_1824864214219421_1435403019_ovolunteer for the demonstration.  The instructor led me down the path of discovering that the feelings I was having was a culmination of many traumas that I had experienced in my past.  It was not just a matter of an unscheduled dismount but a more complex series of feelings about myself, inadequacies, and not being able to protect myself or others.  Working through these was emotional and enlightening at the same time.  I discovered parts of me that I didn’t realize had existed.  I felt hope that this fractured relationship could be mended.  30976762_1824865010886008_945369903_o

31562003_1680091378693645_8219620952665751552_n31148072_1824865937552582_1792066570_o (2)

Returning from that trip we noticed an unexpected change in Mulligan’s behavior.  Where he would avoid me he was now following me!  He wanted to be in my presence.  He went from avoidance to jealousy if I would spend time with Lauren, our 3rd mule.  It was then that we realized that not only did the Equilateral EMDR help me, it helped him as well!  The couple of hours spent on Equilateral EMDR had not only made tremendous progress in helping me heal, it transferred to Mulligan as well!  31497056_1680091372026979_5214756390937034752_n

My relationship with Mulligan has continued to grow.  I am grateful for my experience and that I have a first-hand testimony of what it can do for you.  So before you stop doing what you love and get rid of your equines, call us first!  We can help you get back in the saddle again!31255618_1824265867612589_1116052433_o