Utilizing Complementarity to Address Social Anxiety (and other physiological dysfunctions)

Complementarity is the inherent cooperation of our human system components in maintaining physiological equilibrium. It is mind, body, spirit, and emotions working in concert. Sustainability of our social anxiety as well as efforts to recover require simultaneous mutual interaction.

How is this physiologically relevant? 

Every thought and behavior generates a realignment of our neural network which produces a correlated change in our thought and behavior. Our neural network transmits the chemical and electrical maintenance that maintains our vital functions: heartbeat, nervous system, and blood–flow. It tells us when to breathe. It generates our mood, controls our weight and digestion. It provides acetylcholine for learningnoradrenaline for concentration, glutamate for memory (Mind), adrenaline for muscles, endorphins to relax (Body), dopamine for motivation, GABA for anxiety (Spirit), and serotonin for mood stabilization (Emotions).

Examples of Complementarity (Simultaneous Mutual Interaction).

  • The freeway fender bender: I could have died (mind); I’m sweating and my heart is pounding (body); I’m angry, and frustrated (emotions); I’m suddenly conscious of my mortality (spirit).
  • The social gathering: everyone’s looking at me (mind); I’m aware of my posture and walk (body); I’m nervous about making a good impression (emotions); yet I’m confident I will do well (spirit).

Mindfulness of Complementarity.

Recognizing that the “Self’ is not a single entity but a complex collective of four major components: mind, body, spirit, and emotions (“MBSE”); accepting that these components react simultaneously and work in concert. One component will appear to dominate, depending on the situation. 

How is this relevant to social anxiety?

The symptoms of social anxiety attack our self-image. Because this causes us to build up defense mechanisms, our reactions are often irrational (self-destructive). This is especially pertinent in situations where our anxiety and depression generate self-denigrating or unhealthy responses: the social event, job performance review, the interview, the classroom.

The clinical term ‘disorder’ identifies extreme or excessive impairment that negatively affects functionality. Feeling anxious or apprehensive in certain situations is normal; most individuals are nervous speaking in front of a group and anxious when pulled over on the freeway. The typical individual recognizes the ordinariness of a situation and accords it appropriate attention. The socially anxious person anticipates it, takes it personally, dramatizes it, and obsesses on its negative implications. 

Let’s look at an example applicable to social anxiety disorder: We find ourselves in a social situation where our apprehensions and fears overwhelm us. We feel incompetent and unattractive. Our dysfunction persuades us we are being judged, criticized, or held in contempt. We either feel we are the center of attention or invisible. Our deflated spirit and fraught emotions fight for dominance. 

Addressing the complexity of the individual personality demands integrating multiple traditional and non-traditional approaches, developed through client trust, cultural assimilation, and therapeutic innovation. Any recovery program must the subject’s environment, hermeneutics, history, and autobiography in conjunction with her or his wants, needs, and aspirations. Absent that, their complexity is not valued, and the treatment is inadequate. A working platform showing encouraging results for most disorders integrates positive psychology’s optimum human functioning with CBT’s behavior modification, and neural restructuring via proactive neuroplasticity – the deliberate, repetitive neural [input of] information input (DRNI).

Why is your support essential? ReChanneling is dedicated to the research and development of methods to alleviate symptoms of physiological dysfunction and discomfort (neuroses/disorders). Our vision is to reshape the current pathographic emphasis on diagnoses over the individual, which fosters a deficit, disease model of human behavior. Treatment programs must disavow ineffective, one-size-fits-all approaches and target the individual personality through communication, empathy, collaboration, and integration of historically and clinically practical methods. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.

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