Is this something that happens when you get out of highschool or what? I care SOOO much what people think of me to the point where I do not enjoy being around people. I forgot what it is like to be close to someone. I am always self conscious (not the way I look, but how I act) and try to be cool when I know "trying" to be cool is uncool. I wish I could just be myself and feel connected like I used to. I feel so alone man... is this just a part of life? I remember having that feeling that people were there for me and I was loved. What is this cold lonely feeling I have been having for the past couple of years? YOOO this shit sucks!
asked byBronson_1 (354)
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on January 29, 2012
at 04:53 AM
If you follow a strict paleo diet, I believe you'll find that gluten, sugar, and caffeine play a significant role in the social anxiety mindset. You'll also find that general hyperstimulus (drug / alcohol abuse, pornography addiction, and overeating are some examples that trigger me) will cause the same withdrawn nature.
I also find that once you've created a social mindset, maintaining it is easier than recreating it. That is to say, once I let myself get in an introverted mood, it becomes HARD to break the cycle of wanting to be alone, and being overly self conscious when I'm not. I remind myself that new experiences do not occur until one steps outside of the realm of their comfort zone, and this is usually enough to take the first couple of awkward steps.
Finding an activity that allows you true abandon of the self conscious mindset is also a huge step forward - for me, dance has been the biggest example of this. If I can find the strength in myself to get out in public and go dancing in front of everyone, and completely lose myself and the care of what others think of what I'm doing - I'm pretty well set for a while, as long as I can keep riding on that wave of positive attitude I've created. I think it's sort of a matter of "breaking the ice" on your fears. Find something that lets you feel that sense of abandonment, and cherish it. Moments of true immersion are the key to this, feeling such leaves no room in the mind for self conscious criticisms. You may be immersed by sports, by science, by learning, by teaching, by dancing, by learning another language, by playing an instrument - find something that truly sucks you into the action, and do it in front of others. When you have that "snapping back" feeling of returning to being outside of the present moment, you'll realize that you were just THERE, with nothing but attention for the current action. And that is true comfort with yourself. Cultivate it.
Honestly, you will slip into these introverted phases again and again. Some of us are just less comfortable around others, and with ourselves. If you want to get into the psychology of it, I believe it has a lot to do with feeling judged as a child - my parents were certainly hypercritical. But once you find that key that lets you let go, even momentarily, you'll have a building block to begin "social phases" with. Recognize that these begin with being comfortable with yourself.
Most importantly, do not judge yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. Excessive criticism of the self is a HUGE contributor to this mindset. You are completely worthy of enjoying yourself to the fullest extent, and remember that others will see you as you present yourself. Walk with confidence, and you will become attractive to others, effortlessly. Looking better than 90% of your peers due to eating paleo can't hurt as well.
(edit): I think I need to add a bit more to directly address the line: "I remember having that feeling that people were there for me and I was loved."
It can be a cold fact at times, but for me it has been empowering to fully embrace the reality that I am the only person that I can truly depend upon to be there for me. I have the same tendency to over-value external approval and affection (see my previous comment about hypercritical parents, which translates into seeking approval from those around you, sometimes perpetually.) Once you truly, deeply, accept yourself, you will always carry that sense of love in your heart. Whether or not you currently have an external force in your life that provides you affection.
In my experience this is an on-going struggle; don't expect to just start loving yourself one day and be cured. But you can slowly work to cultivate this sense of loving self-acceptance in your life. And five years from now, you may look up and realize you haven't had an episode of withdrawnness in several months, maybe even a year. Just remember to be gentle with yourself, and work towards changing your internal beliefs towards unconditional acceptance. Everyone has awkward social moments, it's how you judge yourself on them that creates the psychological aftermath.
on January 29, 2012
at 04:50 AM
First off, I commend you for asking this. It's something that I think affects a lot of people, but few share it. I know it has affected me in the past.
As for your answer, I cannot answer with a lot of science, mostly anecdote. Yes, I think paleo will help. Here's why. Paleo ultimately is about optimal health. All of the good nutrients and vitamins you ingest with paleo, the better sleep patterns, the hormone regulation -- all of it can contribute to helping with mood and confidence, directly or indirectly. There are great threads on PH that give the science of these changes.
But I can say from my own experience, too, that having more energy, sleeping better, and being in better shape mentally and physically mean I am in a better mood. Something as simple as sunlight even helpd (and science says it's because of vitamin D).
All of this won't directly change what you think about other people, or if you care what they think of you. But indirectly, a better mood, greater health, and greater confidence in your body can go a long way to making you a more confident person overall -- confident enough, I hope, that you no longer care what others think of you.
What matters most is what YOU think of you, I can't emphasize that enough. And so, if paleo makes you feel better about yourself (science of why the diet is sound aside for the moment), then it is 100% worth it. Find what you need to find to be good to yourself, in mind and body. If diet, exercise, and energy help you to that, great. Get in touch with yourself, both as a person and as a physical being. In my own life, paleo is a part of that. If it is for you as well, all the power to you for it.
I hope this helps. Best of luck. ~Caleb
EDIT: Bronson, I just thought of something else. Paleo for a lot of us means cooking our own meals. If you cook your own food, it tastes better. It's a boost to confidence. And gives you an excuse to invite over a friend and show off your skills. Or at least makes for conversation. People love to talk about food.
on January 29, 2012
at 05:00 AM
Paleo is a good idea for all kinds of reasons. And who knows? It might help with your moods. I come across people who have struggled with depression and feel better when eating a paleo diet.
But lots of the stuff you're feeling is typical of the way many of us felt in high school. Do know that you're not alone in this! You will mature, and life will get better. Don't believe those people who tell you that your high school years are the best of your life. That's hooey. The best years of your life are later on, so hang in there.
Now, about feeling lonely. Are there activities you can get involved in? Interests you can take up? Or maybe you could volunteer somewhere, doing something that would help other people or animals. This kind of thing - getting out there and involved - is a great way to have fun, gain skills, build relationships, and make friends.
One good thing about life is that you can change and improve yours. A paleo diet is part of a good life. Learning to connect with other people, and to build your own self-confidence - well, that's another important part. You can do both.
on January 29, 2012
at 06:56 PM
It's never a bad idea to have a strong nutritional base, but in my experience, paleo has not helped my mood disorders/anxiety. In fact I'm at a low point and I've never been so paleo before. I'm not blaming the diet, I think there's a lot more to anxiety/depression/mood disorders than what you eat. But having that good base can't hurt you.
on January 29, 2012
at 09:45 PM
Paleo changed the way my brain reacts to many things. Krill oil, D3, coconut oil, offal, fermented foods had a major role in that, not just plain Paleo. Since I went Paleo-ketogenic (4 months after going Paleo), I've seen even bigger psychological changes, to the better.
on January 29, 2012
at 07:11 PM
Feeling alone/different can happen whether you really are alone or surrounded by other people. Feeling better has to start with understanding and liking who you are regardless of traits like shyness (which I share) or height or weight.
I do believe that eating enough protein/fat plus moderate carbs (not too many nor too few) is one basic step toward mental serenity. But then you need to think about when you are most relaxed and when you feel most positive and what makes you laugh--and deliberately seek out those things.
Shyness is not a bad thing; it's true it makes it harder to put yourself forward in public, but many people appreciate others who don't come on too strong or compete for the spotlight. When you learn to appreciate your own better qualities and let yourself believe other people can see those qualities, you'll find your feeling of isolation eases a lot.
If your negative thoughts persist despite efforts to be more positive and comfortable, you should seek support from others either friends, family or health care professionals.