I’ll be honest – at first, when I was taking Bach Flower Remedies to help me deal with my severe social anxiety, I doubted their efficiency. I was taking them for a few weeks and my social phobia didn’t seem to be fading away. I also took the Rescue Remedy during a state of panic in a social situation and didn’t feel like it changed anything for me.
So why do I still think Bach Flower Remedies are one of the best choices to help heal social anxiety? Here’s my story…
After a few weeks of taking a personalised mix of flower essences for social anxiety, I had a very bad day. Actually, pretty much every day during that period of my life was bad, and it seemed like nothing was working. After several months of investing all my time and energy to make it work, it all fell apart and I found myself even deeper down than when I started.
I was sleeping at my family’s place during that period and my uncle had a huge home library of books on Bach Flower Remedies. I came to their place late in the evening after a long, disastrous day. Everyone was already sleeping.
I was in a state of complete despair – disappointed, depressed, beat down, confused about what to do and didn’t see a way out anymore.
I wanted to take a Bach Flower Remedy but I didn’t know which one I should take. I didn’t know them well back then. I also didn’t have the energy or motivation to dive into books and search for the right one.
I found a scheme of the remedies with very short descriptions for each one and of them said: “absolute despair, no light at the end of the tunnel”. This describes it pretty well, I thought! The flower essence of Sweet Chestnut.
I still wasn’t sure if I made the right choice and I was so down I really didn’t expect much from it. I took it thinking it can’t hurt anyway, and didn’t know what else to do to ease my inner despair.
Another reason why I didn’t think it will help much is simply because the Bach Flower Remedies didn’t seem to help me in the past months since I started taking them.
But I still decided to take the bottle of Sweet Chestnut essence and put a few drops directly on my tongue.
What happened next changed my view on Bach Flower Remedies forever.
I felt the energy going from the bottom of my feet all the way up through my body, flushing away a heavy stone from my chest, leaving me with lightness inside. I still vividly remember myself sitting in that kitchen, unable to think of anything but “WOW”.
Of course, my problems were still there and I was still confused about what to do to solve the situation that brought me down so much.
But without that heavy stone in my chest and without all the heavy feelings of being stuck and depressed, I could now think much more easily, clearly and constructively.
It was a really crazy experience to feel such a difference in a matter of few seconds!
There were other moments later in my life when the effect of Bach Flower Remedies was so obvious and healing that it confirmed to me again and again that they do have effect.
My explanation to why they don’t have the same obvious effect every single time is that every situation, every problem and every person’s path is different, so effects are different too.
In my experience, it does take longer to heal deeper rooted emotions, so I wouldn’t expect something like a social anxiety disorder to be healed overnight. But I think it’s definitely worth using Bach Flower Remedies as a helper to heal social anxiety, along with other methods.
So let’s finally get to the point – which Bach Flower Remedies are best for healing social anxiety disorder?
I will tell you a few classic examples but please note that there might be different underlying causes of social anxiety and therefore different remedies needed for different people despite having the same symptoms.
I highly recommend exploring the subject yourself with the help of a book on the subject and I’ll give you my book recommendation later in the article.
Some of the Bach Flower Remedies for overcoming social anxiety to start with:
Star of Bethlehem: Healing of past trauma. Social anxiety is most often a result of childhood trauma or some other trauma in the past, so Star of Bethlehem is a good choice for the starting mix.
Larch: Feeling like we’re not good enough and not as capable as other people. Helps to gain confidence and trust in ourselves.
Mimulus: Fear of known cause, fear of something known and specific – in this case fear of people and social situations.
Pine: Feelings of guilt and deep feeling of unworthiness – these are often a big part of social anxiety.
Gentian: Pessimism, giving up easily. In case of discouragement when we tried several different methods to overcome social anxiety or when we feel we’ve had it for so long that we can’t get out of it.
White Chestnut: Overthinking, thoughts running in circles and you’re not able to them.
Aspen: Fear for no apparent reason or fear of unknown. This one is related more to general anxiety but I’m adding it because general anxiety often comes in pair with social anxiety. Besides, people with social phobia are often highly sensitive and prone to these vague fears.
To ease panic attacks in social situations:
Rock Rose: A state of panic and sheer terror.
Cherry Plum: Fear of losing control, the feeling of having a tempered bomb inside. This is also more general anxiety related but it was a big thing for me, so I decided to add it.
Rescue Remedy (a mix of 5 remedies: Rock Rose, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum and Impatiens): States of shock and panic.
While Rescue Remedy is very popular and most people report great results with it, I have to say that it never did much for me. Every person is different and we have to find our own “rescue flower”, so don’t get discouraged if Rescue Remedy doesn’t work for you either!
Other essences may apply, depending on person’s character, past and underlying causes for social anxiety disorder. As I mentioned earlier, I highly recommend learning more about the remedies because it helps us learn more about ourselves and consequently grow and heal.
Personally, I’ve found even just the research process very enjoyable, healing and rewarding!
I read quite a lot of books on Bach Flower Remedies (BFR) and I think the best by far is “The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy” by BFR practitioner Mechthild Scheffer.
Just reading descriptions of different inner states corresponding to different essences makes you a learn a whole lot about yourself and helps you become aware of many thought patterns and emotions we cultivate.
Besides in depth descriptions of every essence, it also includes extensive questionnaires to help you find the right remedy for you.
Dr. Bach, the founder of Bach Flower Remedies said “heal thyself”. He discovered and created the flower essences with simplicity and self-help in mind, so that we could all heal ourselves by learning about our own emotions and picking the flower essence which we resonate with most.
Please note that I’m NOT a certified Bach Flower Remedies practitioner and this article is written based on my personal experience, opinion and research. I also don’t see BFR as a substitute for any therapy or treatment but rather as a very helpful addition to it, which might speed the healing process.
Let me know if you have any questions regarding Bach Flower Remedies. I’m very passionate about them and will be happy to help with any information you might need. I’d also love to hear about your experience with them!
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