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Anxiety Message Board

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I can only suppose you aren't in the USA. Over here as well as most other populated areas we have stop signs or red traffic lights that mean stop the car. Every time you feel the mildest sensation and think you might make noise when you notice you are swallowing imagine in your mind a red light or stop sign. What you need to do is interrupt the behavior even for a half a second. If you do this and use the rubber band with a snap you will slowly be able to stop making the noise. You can also then quickly distract yourself. Eventually the behavior will extinguish or go away. You could also replace the behavior with a better one like a smile or snap your finger quietly or tap gently on your leg. This replaces one behavior with another. Most important is that you learn that shame or embarassment are wasteful emotions and are not awful or horrible. You can do things purposely to shame yourself to see you won't die and that acting weirdly is just acting weirdly according to some arbitrary standard of someone else who may be weirder. You could also use "paradoxical intention" where you actually force yourself to make even louder noises when you swallow and bring everyones attention to it. Doing this you may find you can't make louder noises or its just too exhausting and that nobody cares about it anyway so why should you and therby you stop doing it. Quirky behaviors are just quirky behaviors, they don't define you, make you better or worse then anyone else and are harmless unless you tell yourself they must not happen and you are a piece of crap that they do, which isn't true.

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