Tip : Learn To Calm Down Quickly
While socially interacting with another person face-to-face is the quickest way to calm your nervous system, its not always realistic to have a friend close by to lean on. In these situations, you can quickly self-soothe and relieve anxiety symptoms by making use of one or more of your physical senses:
Sight Look at anything that relaxes you or makes you smile: a beautiful view, family photos, cat pictures on the Internet.
Sound Listen to soothing music, sing a favorite tune, or play a musical instrument. Or enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature : ocean waves, wind through the trees, birds singing.
Smell Light scented candles. Smell the flowers in a garden. Breathe in the clean, fresh air. Spritz on your favorite perfume.
Taste Slowly eat a favorite treat, savoring each bite. Sip a hot cup of coffee or herbal tea. Chew on a stick of gum. Enjoy a mint or your favorite hard candy.
Touch Give yourself a hand or neck massage. Cuddle with a pet. Wrap yourself in a soft blanket. Sit outside in the cool breeze.
Movement Go for a walk, jump up and down, or gently stretch. Dancing, drumming, and running can be especially effective.
How Can I Help Myself
Face your fear if you can
If you always avoid situations that scare you, you might stop doing things you want or need to do. You wont be able to test out whether the situation is always as bad as you expect, so you miss the chance to work out how to manage your fears and reduce your anxiety. Anxiety problems tend to increase if you get into this pattern. Exposing yourself to your fears can be an effective way of overcoming this anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep an anxiety diary or thought record to note down when it happens and what happens. You can try setting yourself small, achievable goals for facing your fears. You could carry with you a list of things that help at times when you are likely to be become frightened or anxious. This can be an effective way of addressing the underlying beliefs that are behind your anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep a record of when it happens and what happens.
Increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise requires some concentration, and this can take your mind off your fear and anxiety.
Learning relaxation techniques can help you with the mental and physical feelings of fear. It can help just to drop your shoulders and breathe deeply. Or imagine yourself in a relaxing place. You could also try learning things like yoga, meditation, massage, or listen to the Mental Health Foundations wellbeing podcasts.
Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation
Find Purpose In Life By Helping Others
Its also worth considering how much of your day is spent with someone else in mind? If its very little or none at all, then youre at a high risk of poor mental health. Regardless of how much we work or the amount of money we make, we cant be truly happy until we know that someone else needs us and depends on our productivity or love.
This doesnt mean that we need peoples praise, but doing something with someone else in mind takes the spotlight off of us and places it onto others and how we can make a difference to them.
For people who think theres nothing to live for, nothing more to expect from life the question is getting these people to realise that life is still expecting something from them.
Knowing that someone else needs you makes it easier to endure the toughest times. Youll know the why for your existence and will be able to bear almost any how.
So how can you make yourself important in someone elses life? It could be as simple as taking care of a child or elderly parent, volunteering, or finishing work that might benefit future generations. Even if these people never realise what youve done for them, it doesnt matter because youwill know. And this will make you realise the uniqueness and importance of your life.
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People With Social Anxiety Don’t Want To Be Alone
Chances are likely, depending on the severity of your symptoms, that you may benefit from being on medication. If youre thinking, Nope, absolutely notI dont want to rely on anything, then Ill challenge you with this: Is your quality of life getting better each day, or you struggling to make it through the day? Is your own contempt about medication, prior to investigation, really worth it? Have you done your research on anti-anxiety and depression medications, such as SSRIs, to the point where you know enough about them, or are you making a blanket statement that you refuse to take medications?
Ask yourself these difficult questions. For me, it was incredibly helpful to be working with a therapist who I trusted and with whom I developed a strong rapport with before making these decisions with her help and guidance.
We dont overcome depression we dont prevail over anxiety. We accept that we have them, and we treat them effectively. We cant think our way out of a clinical or chemical issue. We cant self will our way into happiness, groundedness, and wholeness.
There is so much freedom in surrendering to the stark truth that we cant do this on our own.
This post became way more clinical than I had intended it to be, but I found that after posting a poll on Instagram about what topics people want to read about, overcoming depression and anxiety beat out the other topics by a landslide.
This is a real issue. You are not alone.
Learning To Be Assertive
Being assertive means communicating your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in a direct and honest manner without intentionally hurting anyones feelings. A person with an anxiety disorder may have trouble being assertive because they are afraid of conflict or believe they have no right to speak up. However, relating passively to others lowers self-confidence and reinforces anxiety. Learning to behave assertively is central to developing a stronger self-esteem.
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How To Distinguish Between Productive And Unproductive Worrying
If youre focusing on what if scenarios, your worrying is unproductive.
Once youve given up the idea that your worrying somehow helps you, you can start to deal with your worry and anxiety in more productive ways. This may involve challenging irrational worrisome thoughts, learning how to stop worrying, and learning to accept uncertainty in your life.
Realize That Now Is The Perfect Time To Start Feeling Better
And finally, realize that your anxiety and fear will not go away until you stop waiting and start learning. There are many resources available to you to help you overcome your anxiety books, courses, doctors, counselors, support groups, and more.
Some of you have been waiting for the perfect time to conquer your anxiety. You may be saying to yourselfI cant tackle my anxiety right now. Ill wait until my symptoms arent so strong to make changes in my life. Or Ill start making changes when my life is less hectic. The list goes on and on.
Heres what Ive discovered: Youll be waiting a lifetime for these things to happen. Because when you wait for something else to happen to improve your life, youre giving away your power. You feed your anxiety and feelings of loss of control.
The only perfect time to conquer your anxiety is right nowthis moment. You do not need to feel symptom-free or confident or energetic, or anything else to begin. All you need to do is take the first step.
Practice these six habits daily, and youll see your skills improve as you take back your power from anxiety.
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What Is It Like To Have Gad
I was worried all the time and felt nervous. My family told me that there were no signs of problems, but I still felt upset. I dreaded going to work because I couldnt keep my mind focused. I was having trouble falling asleep at night and was irritated at my family all the time.
I saw my doctor and explained my constant worries. My doctor sent me to someone who knows about GAD. Now I am working with a counselor to cope better with my anxiety. I had to work hard, but I feel better. Im glad I made that first call to my doctor.
When To Worry About Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Social anxiety disorders can also lead to physical symptoms. You might experience blushing, sweating, or a subjective sensation of feeling suddenly cold or warm, says Dr. Potter. You might also have physical tension, which could cause aches and pains, like a stomach ache. You can also experience symptoms associated with panic, even if you dont have a full-blown panic attack. Panic symptoms are your heart beating fast, shortness of breath, a subjective feeling of losing control or a fear of sudden, impending doom, says Dr. Potter. People with social anxiety will typically experience some of these symptoms, including at a lower threshold, too.
Determining whether these symptoms are from anxiety, or a more serious medical condition can be difficult. If the pain goes away quickly after the anxiety-provoking situation has stopped, and if you have a subjective sense of knowing that you are currently afraid of something, then its more likely what you are feeling is probably anxiety, says Dr. Potter. But if youre in doubt, you should definitely talk to a doctor about it and get advice on specific signs to look out for and what your risk factors are. If you have a known heart condition, this advice is even more important. You want to be much more careful about seeking medical care for any of these types of symptoms, she says. And if you have cardiac conditions and you have anxiety, you should talk to your doctor about how to differentiate the two.
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Aging & Chronic Illness: Redeeming The Destiny We Were Born To Fulfill
American culture overvalues youthfulness and undervalues or completely dismisses the value of aging. Acute illness is viewed compassionately and treated aggressively chronic illness receives less attention, support, and sympathy.
As members of our death-denying, youth-inspired society, we unconsciously adopt these values for ourselves. Without even realizing it, we cut ourselves off from our inner elder who holds the wisdom that we secretly long for. It is never too late or too early to make the acquaintance of the Wise Elder archetype that awaits redemption. Nor is it too late to help patients develop an exit strategy by providing them with a prognosis. Provocative videos and thought-stimulating questions to help people openly address serious healthcare dilemmas. This presentation will take you into your depths to discover ways you can access the interior Sage awaiting your acquaintance.
Practice Acts Of Kindness
In a 2015 study of 115 college students living with social anxiety, performing small acts of kindness for 4 weeks helped reduce the desire to avoid social situations.
The link between kindness and social anxiety may not be immediately clear, but it makes sense, when you think about it.
Social anxiety generally involves some fear of rejection or disapproval. But if youve just done something kind and thoughtful, like bringing a sick co-worker their favorite soup or offering to pick up your neighbors grocery order, the person you help is far more likely to have positive feelings toward you than negative ones.
Earning this approval on a regular basis can help decrease your fears around social situations, so you might find that interacting with others gradually becomes easier.
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How Do I Know If I Need Help
Fear and anxiety can affect all of us every now and then. It is only when it is severe and long-lasting that doctors class it as a mental health problem. If you feel anxious all the time for several weeks, or if it feels like your fears are taking over your life, then its a good idea to ask your doctor for help, or try one of the websites or numbers listed at the back of this booklet. The same is true if a phobia is causing problems in your daily life, or if you are experiencing panic attacks.
Ways To Help Lower Anxiety Naturally
Research shows that after a full night of sleep â 7-9 hours is ideal â weâre likely to feel less anxious and more confident. Physical activity during the day will help us sleep better, too. And remember: if winding down for the night inclues reading before bed, don’t make these mistakes.
Science is discovering more about the âgut-brain connection.â Researchers often refer to the belly as the second brain, since about 95% of serotonin receptors are found in the lining of the gut. Science shows that foods containing certain vitamins and minerals may help reduce anxiety, so when weâre thinking about natural ways to help anxiety, consider filling up on these:
It might also be a good idea to limit caffeine and alcohol â both of which can aggravate symptoms of anxiety.
Research shows that B vitamins have many health and quality of life benefits, and supplementing with B vitamins is gaining scientific traction. This 2018 study found that people who ate food high in B vitamins showed significant improvements in their anxiety and stress scores than those who did not. Taking a high-quality B-complex supplement is generally very safe, since B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning the body excretes what it doesnât use. But always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements since they can interact with medications or have side effects.
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Focus On What You Can Change
Many times anxiety stems from fearing things that havent even happened and may never occur. For example, even though everything is okay, you may still worry about potential issues, such as losing your job, becoming ill, or the safety of your loved ones.
Life can be unpredictable and no matter how hard you try, you cant always control what happens. However, you can decide how you are going to deal with the unknown. You can turn your anxiety into a source of strength by letting go of fear and focusing on gratitude.
Replace your fears by changing your attitude about them. For example, stop fearing to lose your job and instead focus on how grateful you are to have a job. Come to work determined to do your best. Instead of fearing your loved one’s safety, spend time with them, or express your appreciation of them. With a little practice, you can learn to dump your anxiety and pick up a more positive outlook.
At times, your anxiety may actually be caused by a real circumstance in your life. Perhaps youre in a situation where it is realistic to be worried about losing your job due to high company layoffs or talks of downsizing.
When anxiety is identified as being caused by a current problem, then taking action may be the answer to reducing your anxiety. For example, you may need to start job searching or scheduling interviews after work.