Bostin Loyd
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Posted by: juggaknott2022 - 02-25-2022, 04:44 PM - Replies (3)

Boston Loyd passed away kidney failure

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  Anyone know what happened to JuicePal
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Posted by: shade_star - 02-24-2022, 10:55 PM - Replies (6)

I see that he's not on here as a sponsor yet but no response to his last known email address.

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  Anybody follow thedietdoc on instagram
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Posted by: Humana - 02-24-2022, 10:31 PM - Replies (4)

Chad Nicolls 15yr old son benching 425 with some left in the tank.  I've been watching this kid since he was 13 repping 315.  Both his boys are beasts.  thoughts?  One it scares the crap out of me that they are able to do that much weight and I wonder when a tear will happen. Two, are tendons able to keep up with that sort of strength gains?  I don't know.  Just curious.

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User Avatar Forum: New Member Introductions
Posted by: jemgainz - 02-24-2022, 11:30 AM - Replies (9)

New member here. I just wanna say thanks to Scoobs88 for starting up the new forum and thanks to Humana Labs for sharing the link with me and always providing quality gear!

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Posted by: bigcountry - 02-23-2022, 03:19 PM - Replies (6)

Hello everyone, same user name from the old board. Glad we got that whole thing solved relatively quickly. Thank you scoobs for all the work you do. Also thanks to Humana for keeping me up to date and always being there when I need him!

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  The 6 Unwritten Rules of the Gym
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 02-22-2022, 02:20 PM - Replies (11)

The 6 Unwritten Rules of the Gym

Follow Them or Face the Consequences

Broken Rules, Broken Skulls
Does this even need to be written? Sadly, yes. There's just something about the gym that can turn an ordinary individual into a blithering asshole. As a gym owner, I see it every day.

You've probably seen a list of rules at your gym. They're in place to placate the lawyers and to keep you from hurting yourself: use a lock on your locker, don't abuse the equipment, don't smash your fingers in a weight stack, rack your weights, etc. Pretty basic stuff.

The unwritten rules, however, came into being during the 70's and 80's, when most gym members were bodybuilders. These were big, powerful dudes, some of whom were one Halotestin away from going ape-shit on someone. So, a code of conduct had to be established to maintain order and minimize the number of shattered skulls.

Back then, people followed the rules, both written and unwritten, and bodybuilders were able to train together with very few issues. It's when the "normal people" started coming to the gym that the problems started.

I don't want anyone getting hurt or catching a beating, at least not in the gym. I want everyone to be happy and achieve their goals, so we've got to have rules. But apart from those posted on the wall, there's also a set of unwritten rules, many times overlapping the written ones.

Take the "put away the dumbbells" rule. Of course this didn't have to be written. Some of us were raised with the values that would make putting away our stuff automatic. But an inconsiderate douchebag is somehow going to leave a pair of 20's in the sauna despite a rule against it, written or not.

You can't fix stupid, oblivious, selfish, ignorant, or entitled. These people are broken and they will never be fixed. The guy who doesn't rack his dumbbells is never going to do it. And I don't have time to follow him around all day. Should he catch a beating? Absolutely, just not in the gym. So consider this your wake-up call.

1 – Put Your Shit Away
I know it's already written. The unwritten part is that you f*cking follow it without being told!

The gym is a shared place. Mr. Olympia has to put away his weights just the same as the next guy. I have a great picture of Kai Green in my gym wiping down the stepmill he'd just used. Anyone with any sense of decency would happily rack his weights – in their proper place – in anticipation of his fellow iron brother using them next.

No one wants to search a 50,000 square foot facility for a pair of 40's because you're an entitled dickhead who thinks someone is going to come along behind you and put away your shit. I've found dumbbells not only in the sauna, but the parking lot, by the pool, in the spin room, in the boxing ring, at the foot of the stairs, and on treadmills. So far the only place I haven't found dumbbells is the roof, but I'm not ruling out that one day I will.

Putting away your shit not only means racking the dumbbells when you're done, but also handles, bars, end clips, bands, chains AND the weight plates. And if you're the guy sliding three 45-pound plates over the horns on a weight tree or a machine, burying a five-pound plate? Well, f*ck you. That is the laziest thing in the world. You have ostensibly rendered that plate useless. Dickhead.

2 – Treat the Gym Like Your Home (Or Better)
Would you spit on your living room floor? Then don't spit on the gym floor. Would you leave your empty water bottle for someone else to pick up? Then don't do it in the gym. If the 10 grams of creatine you took gave you explosive diarrhea and you blow out your toilet at home, do you leave your shit running down the sides of the bowl for someone else to clean? Then don't do it in the gym bathroom.

Gym owners don't hire people to follow you around and make sure you don't act like a shaved ape. If you treat the gym like your home – and you should – everyone will enjoy a better gym.

And if you really are a filthy animal? Then you're dismissed. Your business isn't worth it. Few, if any, gym owners are going to tolerate anyone abusing their gym or its equipment. If you're an inconsiderate mongrel with no manners who needs to pin three 45-pound plates to a weight stack and let it slam so hard it shakes the floor and bends the pin every rep, then you're too big and strong to train in my gym. I can't imagine anyone else would want you either. Stay in your garage.

3 – Don't Flirt. Or At Least Don't Be Creepy
While the gym is an easy way to find common ground with a potential mate, that's not the intended purpose. Most people go to the gym to train, or at least they should. And even if someone is nice to you, it doesn't mean that they're comfortable with your advances. It just means they're afraid of hurting your feelings because you reek of desperation and it's sad.

If a woman has her earbuds in, a hat pulled down close to her eyes, and doesn't make eye contact with anyone (my wife calls it "bitch face"), she's probably not going to appreciate you going up and interrupting her in the middle of her timed set so you can suavely ask her if she's getting ready for a show, or something equally transparent.

Clearly, she's not interested in talking. If you cross that line be prepared to be labeled an asshole. And if she's married or is otherwise attached, you're causing yourself a problem you might not be able to get out of.

And don't relentlessly hit on the front desk girl. She's trapped there and she's paid to be friendly and nice to you. Don't take advantage of that and make her uncomfortable. It's a lame move and displays weak game on your part.

Ladies, if a guy is trying to focus on his workout consider leaving him alone. If he's not a douche, he'll respect you more when you focus on your workout too. Don't go to the gym to try and find a man, go there to better yourself. Flirtatiousness doesn't make you seem hot, it just makes you seem easy.

Now, some men and woman do go the gym just to look for hook-ups. They're pretty easy to spot. So you people just find each other, make some bad choices together, and leave everyone else alone.

4 – Don't Steal From the Gym or Other Members
Stealing transcends the individual's loss and actually hurts all the gym's members. How? Think about it this way: If you steal personal belongings from other members then you're creating a narrative which will eventually seep into the public domain and label the gym a bad place. News travels fast online and bad reviews grow spiders. A string of thefts can seriously hurt a business. Guess where you get to train when your gym closes down?

Stealing from the gym (pins, bands, handles, weight plates and dumbbells) is as curious as it is pathetic. I can assume that the morons stealing carabiners (the clips that attach handles to cable machines) have a nice place for their keys. Just don't be stupid enough, like one of my members, to stroll into the gym with his keys clipped to the strap of his bag with a very familiar looking clip. Yes, we had a little talk.

Doesn't it piss you off though? You grab the handle you want to use, get to the cable machine, and the carabineer is gone! Or the pin! Thieves suck. And yes, we now have to wire-tie the carabiners and chain the pins to the weight stack. It doesn't matter though, because a douchebag will find another way to do his thing.

5 – Don't Block the Mirrors
If someone's going heavy, don't get between them and the mirror. The mirror is sacred. The heavier the weight, the more sacred it gets. Not for vanity's sake, but as a tool.

For many lifts, your form is going to be more controllable if you can see what you're doing. Seasoned lifters know this and that's why we stay out of the way of someone doing a heavy set in the mirror. For anyone else, that means don't get between them and the mirror! If you want a pair of dumbbells and they're right in front of a guy doing seated shoulder presses with a pair of 90's, you wait. If you have a pair you actually want to put away, right in front of him, that's right, you wait.

That's what he'd do for you. Doesn't matter who's bigger or how much weight is involved. And God help you if you block someone's mirror to take a selfie. Breaking this rule can definitely, and certainly has, ended with hands being thrown.

And don't be the guy who grabs a pair of dumbbells and does his set three inches in front of the rack. There's a two-foot-no-man's-land in front of the mirror. Only cross that path to grab or put away your dumbbells and get out.

6 – Never Distract Anyone Doing a Set
Don't rack weights on the horns of a machine, bench, or rack currently in use. Don't grab a handle from under a guy's feet. Don't bump into someone who's in mid-lift, get too close to them, or interrupt them to ask something.

This even applies to "nice" things like spotting them without their request, or unsolicited encouragement. Don't do anything to distract someone during a set. Being distracted during a heavy set is a great way to get hurt. And distracting the wrong guy during his set is a great way to get yourself hurt.

And don't walk up to a rack someone's using and assume you're welcome to it. Don't take the last pair of plates off before asking if he or she is going to use them. Same goes for end clips, chains, bands, whatever. And absolutely don't ask in the middle of his set!

Also, don't automatically assume you can work in with him or her and dump all your stuff. Some people do timed workouts, circuits, supersets, whatever, and can't fit you in. Sorry, first come first served.

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  More testosterone and less estradiol in coffee drinkers
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 02-22-2022, 01:53 PM - No Replies

More testosterone and less estradiol in coffee drinkers

People who drink a few cups of coffee a day have more testosterone and less estradiol in their blood than coffee abstainers. Epidemiologists from Harvard University write this in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A noteworthy punlication for those who still doubt whether coffee is a superfood.

The researchers used the data of 17,881 women and 8,848 men who were collected within the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

The researchers looked at the intake of coffee in general, but also separately at coffee with and without caffeine. All these analyses came to the same conclusions. The effects of coffee covered by this piece are therefore independent of the effects of caffeine. They may be the work of the phenols in coffee, such as chlorogenic acid.

The researchers found more testosterone and less estradiol in the blood of the study participants who drank at least 1 cup of coffee daily than in the blood of the study participants who did not drink coffee. Those differences were statistically significant

The researchers also looked at the 'good fat hormone' adiponectin and the inflammatory factor CRP. In the blood of the study participants who drank 4 cups or more of coffee per day, they found 16.6 percent less CRP and 9.3 percent more adiponectin.

"Our study indicates that coffee consumption is associated with a favorable profile of plasma biomarkers or metabolic [...] pathways," the researchers conclude. "Future prospective and interventional studies are warranted to confirm our findings."

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  Insomnia tied to higher risk of heart disease and stroke
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 02-22-2022, 01:44 PM - No Replies

Insomnia tied to higher risk of heart disease and stroke

Source: American Heart Association

Summary: Data from more than a million people found that genetic liability to insomnia may increase the risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke. Among types of ischemic stroke, genetic liability to insomnia was primarily associated with an increased risk of large artery stroke.

People suffering from insomnia may have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Previous observational studies have found an association between insomnia, which affects up to 30% of the general population, and an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke. These observational studies were unable to determine whether insomnia is a cause, or if it is just associated with them, explained Susanna Larsson, Ph.D., lead study author and associate professor of cardiovascular and nutritional epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

In this first-of-its-kind study on insomnia, Larsson and a colleague applied Mendelian randomization, a technique that uses genetic variants known to be connected with a potential risk factor, such as insomnia, to reduce bias in the results. The 1.3 million participants with or without heart disease and stroke were drawn from four major public studies and groups.

Researchers found genetic variants for insomnia were associated with significantly higher odds of coronary artery disease, heart failure and ischemic stroke -- particularly large artery stroke, but not atrial fibrillation.

"It's important to identify the underlying reason for insomnia and treat it," Larsson said. "Sleep is a behavior that can be changed by new habits and stress management."

A limitation to this study is that the results represent a genetic variant link to insomnia rather than insomnia itself. According to Larsson, it was not possible to determine whether or not the individuals with cardiovascular disease had insomnia.

Story Source: Materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
Susanna C. Larsson, Hugh S. Markus. Genetic Liability to Insomnia and Cardiovascular Disease Risk. Circulation, 2019; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.041830

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  Androgen Receptors
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 02-22-2022, 01:41 PM - No Replies

Androgen Receptors

One of the most peculiar things about the steroid community, and in particular, the online steroid community, is the ongoing level of misinformation about the androgen receptor and the boogeyman of receptor downgrade. Because most people have experienced receptor downgrade in other forms, it’s a topic that we are somewhat familiar with (i.e. you drink so much coffee that caffeine doesn’t hit you as hard anymore, or you develop a tolerance for alcohol, etc…)

There seems to be a general consensus that the best, most productive cycle is often the first. After that, we’re told, our “receptors downgrade”. Presumably this means they do less, either because they decrease in number, sensitivity, or activity. Of course, this is an oversimplification, but more importantly, is inaccurate at best. The problem seems to relate to how the terms are discussed, as if we have X number of receptors and their sensitivity is a sole determinant of how we obtain muscle growth (or whatever) from the use of anabolic steroids. In truth, receptors are in a constant state of flux, with regards to their number and sensitivity. When we engage in resistance training, we increase the number and sensitivity of our androgen receptors. When we subsist on a hypocaloric diet, once again, we are influencing the status of our androgen receptors. And yes, when we use anabolic steroids, we are again engaging in an activity that affects our androgen receptors. But not the way you think.

The androgen receptor is (obviously) a receptor that gets activated by androgens (testosterone, etc…). When the receptor is paired with a ligand (in this case, an androgen), they form a homodimer and (skipping a few steps) initiate muscle growth (or fat loss, or whatever). [We’re not going to talk about how cortical steroids can also form a heterodimer with the androgen receptor, as it’s a bit beyond the present discussion, but I’ll just throw that into the mix, so we’re all on the same page regarding the complexity of the topic]

When I use a word like “regulation” in reference to the androgen receptor, we’re talking about control or power over the receptor itself, while “sensitivity” will be used to mean the receptor’s level of activity or action, and “number” will be used to mean…ehh…number. Something that regulates the androgen receptor is a thing that exerts power over the number or sensitivity of the receptor itself, either positively or negatively. Increasing AR sensitivity will allow the same number of receptors to do more work, while increasing the number will give us more receptors to accomplish more work. The opposite will also hold true – a less sensitive receptor (or having less in number) will mean less effect being exerted on the cell.

Half-lives and proliferation of the androgen receptor can vary according to the cells examined – meaning an intense HIIT session might cause a severe uptick in number and sensitivity for skeletal tissue, but less for the scalp or epidermis (the latter having a high concentration of receptors). If we look at muscle tissue, and there’s no ligand (androgen) attached to the receptor, we’re talking about a half-life of about three hours. So if you had two receptors, three hours later you’d have one (arbitrary numbers). And if production rate was one per three hours (again, in the absence of androgen), you’d be in a state of homeostasis with two receptors at all times, one dying off as another was formed. But if you add a ligand into the mix, the half-life more than doubles as does the production rate. Therefore, when people talk about a saturation effect, or receptors being clogged or desensitized, they’re not really painting an accurate picture of what’s happening. Not yet, anyway (or at least not on a typical 12-16 week cycle).

In fact, although they didn’t look at the androgen receptors per se, the classic Bhasin et al study showed a disproportionately greater response with the higher (and highest) doses of testosterone (up to 600mgs/week of a long ester). We can’t say that this was due to the receptor activity (as it wasn’t measured), but we can say that no “clogging” or “desensitizing” effect was seen. That study lasted 12 weeks, and it should still be noted that while the greatest results were seen with the highest dose, the majority of those results weren’t seen at the end of the cycle.

In contrast, work by Sheffield-Moore et. al., showed that when older men were given testosterone until their levels reached the higher side of physiological, their AR expression experienced a 200%+ increase after the first month – but after six months had returned to baseline. So again, we’re back to the body being very good at achieving homeostasis, and while a typical cycle won’t cause the downregulation we hear about, any long-term pharmaceutical use will ultimately lose to the body’s ability to regulate itself. Don’t worry though, if you stay off for long enough, you’ll become sensitized again. Just like staying away from caffeine…if you do it long enough, your next double espresso eventually feels like a grande kick in the balls.

In theoretical terms, this might give us reason to think that short, higher dose cycles, followed by aggressive PCT, might result in the greatest gains by the recreational user. We lack the appropriate data to substantiate that theory at the present time. In more practical terms, it’s unlikely that the “cruise” portion of a blast/cruise style protocol will allow for the body to resensitize the androgen receptors. Again, we’re lacking in clinical data for this as well. A less scientific but perhaps more empirical way to go about cycling would be to track gains, and cycle off when they slowed to an unacceptable rate.

Another wrinkle presents itself when we start digging into the binding strength (how tightly the ligand attaches to the receptor), and non-receptor mediated effects of anabolic steroids. Receptor downgrade can potentially be attributed to decreased binding. Or not. Because even if the androgen receptor weren’t present, androgens would still exert some of their classic effects. Let that one rattle around in your dome for awhile. Even if there were no androgen receptor, androgens would still have their anabolic effect. In fact, the greatest myotropic effects are sometimes attributed to some of the anabolics that show the least ability to bind to the androgen receptor – and vice/versa – some of the weakest anabolic effects are found in androgens that bind the most tightly.

Androgen receptor regulation is a complex topic, and certainly not reducible to “use a lot of steroids and you’ll get desensitized.” It’s probably a lot more accurate to say that using a ton of steroids for a long time is going to cause diminished results (on a mg for mg basis), while sensible doses and cycles will produce optimal results. But you probably knew that already…

Androgen receptor in human skeletal muscle and cultured muscle satellite cells: up-regulation by androgen treatment.


Androgens stimulate myogenesis, but we do not know what cell types within human skeletal muscle express the androgen receptor (AR) protein and are the target of androgen action. Because testosterone promotes the commitment of pluripotent, mesenchymal cells into myogenic lineage, we hypothesized that AR would be expressed in mesenchymal precursor cells in the skeletal muscle. AR expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining, confocal immunofluorescence, and immunoelectron microscopy in sections of vastus lateralis from healthy men before and after treatment with a supraphysiological dose of testosterone enanthate. Satellite cell cultures from human skeletal muscle were also tested for AR expression. AR protein was expressed predominantly in satellite cells, identified by their location outside sarcolemma and inside basal lamina, and by CD34 and C-met staining. Many myonuclei in muscle fibers also demonstrated AR immunostaining. Additionally, CD34+ stem cells in the interstitium, fibroblasts, and mast cells expressed AR immunoreactivity. AR expression was also observed in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed aggregation of immunogold particles in nucleoli of satellite cells and myonuclei; testosterone treatment increased nucleolar AR density. In enriched cultures of human satellite cells, more than 95% of cells stained for CD34 and C-met, confirming their identity as satellite cells, and expressed AR protein. AR mRNA and protein expression in satellite cell cultures was confirmed by RT-PCR, reverse transcription and real-time PCR, sequencing of RT-PCR product, and Western blot analysis. Incubation of satellite cell cultures with supraphysiological testosterone and dihydrotestosterone concentrations (100 nm testosterone and 30 nm dihydrotestosterone) modestly increased AR protein levels. We conclude that AR is expressed in several cell types in human skeletal muscle, including satellite cells, fibroblasts, CD34+ precursor cells, vascular endothelial, smooth muscle cells, and mast cells. Satellite cells are the predominant site of AR expression. These observations support the hypothesis that androgens increase muscle mass in part by acting on several cell types to regulate the differentiation of mesenchymal precursor cells in the skeletal muscle.

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  4 top tips for coping with social anxiety
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Posted by: 01dragonslayer - 02-21-2022, 11:41 PM - No Replies

4 top tips for coping with social anxiety

Millions of people around the world experience symptoms of anxiety in social situations. In this Spotlight feature, we offer some tips and tricks on how to cope with social anxiety to make your life easier and more fulfilling.

In this Spotlight feature, we offer some top tips on how to beat social anxiety. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) indicate that about 40 million adults in the United States experience a form of anxiety each year.

Of these, around 15 million have social anxiety, which manifests as an intense fear of being judged or rejected by others in a social context.

"It's like...a very, very heavy umbrella closing around my head."

"An intense fear of being in a situation where I don't know anyone. Worried about judgment from others; for example, I worry that people might view me as standoffish."

"It makes me feel like I don't want to go out and talk to anyone. I would always rather stay at home and curl up on the sofa, or bury myself in jobs around the house to distract myself from any social demands."

This is how three people that Medical News Today spoke with described their own experiences of social anxiety.

For some people, dealing with social anxiety means avoiding a variety of social events, including those that would typically be a source of fun and joy, such as parties, or graduation ceremonies.

Social anxiety can lead to isolation and reduced confidence. As someone told us:

"[Social anxiety] makes me feel as if I am the only one suffering in that way, and everyone else is just fine with going out and having a good time together. It makes me feel that no one likes me, so why would they want to talk to me? When they do talk to me, I always feel they are trying to find an excuse to get away and go and talk to someone else."

1. Avoid negative coping strategies
The negative emotional and mental states associated with social anxiety can lead to physiological symptoms that worsen a person's anxiety and lead to further isolation.

It may be tempting to drink to feel more at ease, but alcohol can actually increase anxiety.

One person told us that his social anxiety used to lead not just to "'internal' feelings [that] include a shakiness in my voice, [and] brain fog that stops me from thinking straight," but also to "[p]hysical feelings [that] include an upset stomach, loss of appetite, sweaty hands, muscle stiffness."

When finding themselves in an unavoidable social situation — such as an office event — many people try to blunt the symptoms of their social anxiety through negative coping strategies, particularly drinking alcohol.

And while the first glass or two of wine may indeed seem like the best antidote against compulsive worry, drinking too much will likely end up making anxiety worse.

Past research has shown that heavy drinking eventually circles back to bad moods, heightened anxiety, and other related symptoms, such as disrupted sleep patterns.

According to the ADAA, approximately 20% of individuals with social anxiety also have alcohol use disorder. Studies have shown that these findings apply to adults and adolescents with social anxiety.

So one top tip when it comes to keeping social anxiety in check and avoiding a potential worsening of symptoms is to avoid drinking too much, even if the initial feeling of relaxation that alcohol can provide seems attractive.

A reader who has successfully kept the symptoms of social anxiety in check told us that besides cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication, leading a healthy lifestyle — including avoiding alcohol — has helped.

"I [...] know [that] if I do the following things, the anxiety is better: exercise regularly, eat well, don't drink too much alcohol, do things I enjoy," he said.

2. Face your fears, don't hide from them
Another go-to for people who experience social anxiety is to avoid engaging in social situations by checking social media or doing other activities on their smartphones.

Hiding behind your smartphone to avoid social interaction could do more harm than good.
"I used to wallow in [my social anxiety] and just sort of stand there and pretend to play on my phone," someone else told us.

A study from 2016 looked at data on 367 young adult participants who were smartphone users. It found "significant positive correlations" between excessive smartphone use and the presence of social anxiety.

A 2017 study found that of 182 young adult smartphone users, those who admitted to being addicted to technology also displayed potential markers of social anxiety, including isolation and low self-esteem.

"Our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, quick, immediate satisfaction, which is very triggering," warns one of the study authors, Isaac Vaghefi, who is an assistant professor of management information systems at Binghamton University-State University of New York.

Moreover, hiding behind a smartphone will only avoid addressing the problem of social anxiety. Although it may seem counterintuitive and even scary at first, it is far better to face social anxiety face-on, through gradual exposure to increasingly complex social situations.

One key therapeutic approach in the treatment of social anxiety calls for intentional exposure to social mishaps. According to researchers, "the goal of the social mishap exposures is to purposely violate the [person's] perceived social norms and standards to break the self-reinforcing cycle of fearful anticipation and subsequent use of avoidance strategies."

"As a result, [people] are forced to reevaluate the perceived threat of a social situation after experiencing that social mishaps do not lead to the feared long lasting, irreversible, and negative consequences."

Put simply, purposely and repeatedly being awkward in social situations to learn that even a few social slips will not lead to rejection or exclusions from social groups. After all, everybody is awkward and makes blunders on occasion.

Someone described her experience of social mishap therapy for social anxiety in this way to MNT: "[F]or a while, when [...] I was doing therapy, my therapist at the time suggested I just 'experiment' with social failure and awkwardness.

This made me place myself in uncomfortable situations in which, if I something I said or did came out wrong, I would only 'win' at the end of the day because I'd just carried out an experiment that nobody else knew about. That gave me back some control over situations that I felt were out of my control."

"But overall, what helped the most was the acknowledgment of the fact that most people go through [these experiences], and we're all in the same boat," she added.

3. Reframe your thoughts
Another top coping strategy for social and other forms of anxiety is to try and reframe your understanding of the stress you are experiencing.

Countering negative thoughts with positive ones could also help you overcome your fears.
"The problem is that we think all stress is bad," says Jeremy Jamieson, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester in New York.

In 2013, Jamieson and colleagues conducted a study showing that when an individual (with or without social anxiety) understands how their their body responds to certain stressors, such as public speaking, they experience less stress in uncomfortable social situations.

"We see headlines about 'Killer Stress' and talk about being 'stressed out,'" notes Jamieson. "But those feelings just mean that our body is preparing to address a demanding situation. The body is marshaling resources, pumping more blood to our major muscle groups, and delivering more oxygen to our brains," he explains.

Understanding that these are just natural, yet false, alarms can help make people feel more at ease when they have to do something that usually makes them anxious, the researchers found.

Other research suggests that a helpful tool in coping with worries and negative thoughts is the "yes, but" technique. This technique requires the individual to challenge negative thoughts and counterbalance them with a positive affirmation.

For example, in a social anxiety scenario, a person would think: "Yes, I will indeed be attending a party packed with people that I don't know. But, I am a funny, interesting individual with lots of hobbies, so I will definitely find something to talk about with others."

Specialists suggest that to turn the table on the negative thoughts completely, a person should counter their fear with not just one, but up to three positive, affirming thoughts.

4. Do something nice for someone
Finally, a good way to take the edge off being in a social situation is to try and distract yourself from all the worries and negative thoughts by doing something nice for someone else.

Doing something as simple as performing a small act of kindness could also help counteract social anxiety.
Previous research has shown that kind deeds can have a positive impact on mood. A study from 2017 found that doing good things for someone else activates a brain area linked with the motivation and reward cycle.

According to a study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion in 2015, selfless acts could help people who have social anxiety feel more at ease in social situations.

In the study, people who actively engaged in acts of kindness towards others, such as helping a neighbor mow their lawn, later felt less avoidant of social situations.

"Acts of kindness may help to counter negative social expectations by promoting more positive perceptions and expectations of a person's social environment," explains one of the study authors, Jennifer Trew, Ph.D., from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada.

"[Kindness] helps to reduce [individuals'] levels of social anxiety and, in turn, makes them less likely to want to avoid social situations."

Jennifer Trew, Ph.D.
People who spoke to MNT also emphasized the importance of replacing negative associations — for instance, of bad experiences in a social context — with positive ones to reduce social anxiety.

"People have a negative narrative in their head because that narrative comes from memories of awkward or embarrassing moments that override everything else," someone told us.

"So if you have one good interaction, you can use that momentum in the same way to get yourself another, and another. Before you know it, you have a library of positive references, and you naturally find that negative self-talk diminishing," he added.

In the end, this person said, it all comes down to building a better mental environment, brick by brick. "It becomes an 'upwards spiral,' if you will," he told MNT.

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