Summary & Extra Resources
Social anxiety is excessive and persistent fear of what other people think of you.
And when it comes to the question of how to overcome social anxiety, the most important distinction to keep in mind is this:
Whatever caused your social anxiety originally is not necessarily the thing maintaining it now.
This means that in order to effectively overcome your social anxiety, you need to identify the habits in the present that are keeping your anxiety strongor even making it worseand work to eliminate them.
To review, here are the 10 tips I recommended to get you started:
Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:
Learn From The Stoics
The ancient Greek and Romain Stoics understood the concept of the dichotomy of control very well.
Everything in the world is either in your control or not in your control.
Things you can control are how you feel or how you respond to things that happen to you. You cant control what happens to you or what happens around you.
Understanding this is important because it allows you to focus your energy and thoughts on what you can control, and relieve yourself of the anxiety that comes with worrying about things that you cant control.
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How To Calm An Anxious Stomach: The Brain
Ever wonder why you get butterflies in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is tied in knots after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasnt caused by anything you ate? Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.
Whether its a single nerve-wracking event or chronic worry and stress over time, stress can exact a physical toll on your digestive system. When you are anxious, some of the hormones and chemicals released by your body enter your digestive tract, where they interfere with digestion. They have a negative effect on your gut flora and decrease antibody production. The resulting chemical imbalance can cause a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- and peptic ulcers
Six Tips for Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Easing Your Mind With Self
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Ten Ways To Get Rid Of Generalized Anxiety Symptoms
I know you want to get rid of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Keep in mind that anxiety can be treated in the short term, but long-term treatment and practice of new skills is what it takes to get rid of anxiety altogether. Today we’ll discuss ten activities that get rid of generalized anxiety in the long term.
How To Stop Feeling Anxious Right Now
While itâs normal to get nervous about an important event or life change, about 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder, which is more than the occasional worry or fear. Anxiety disorders can range from a generalized anxiety disorder , which is intense worrying that you canât control, to panic disorder — sudden episodes of fear, along with heart palpitations, trembling, shaking, or sweating.
For those with an anxiety disorder, itâs important to look into strategies that can help manage or reduce anxiety in the long term, like talk therapy or medication. But everyone can benefit from other ways to reduce stress and anxiety with lifestyle changes such as eating a well-balanced diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and taking time for yourself.
Plus, there are steps you can take the moment when anxiety starts to take hold. Try these 10 expert-backed suggestions to relax your mind and help you regain control of your thoughts.
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Think About Something Funny
Visualize your favorite humorous moments, says Sultanoff. One where you laughed so hard you fell down and peed your pants. These can be real situations, or they can be situations you saw on sitcoms, in stories, jokes, or cartoons.
If its difficult for you to come up with something in the moment, try picking a couple of memories ahead of time, so you can go to them as soon as you start experiencing anxiety.
Like most mindfulness training, humor visualization takes you out of worrying about things that might happen in the future and focuses you back in your present circumstances, in the now.
It does a few other things too. You experience mirth, which is the uplifting reaction to humor, explains Sultanoff. You feel emotions such as joy, pleasure, or delight all powerful emotions that can help you reduce anxiety quickly.
And if youre able to make yourself laugh by remembering that funny moment, he says, humor visualization is even more effective.
When you laugh, you contract and expand muscles, which reduces physical anxiety, stress, and tension, he says.
Laughter also combats the production of cortisol levels in the body, he adds.
Tone Your Inner Power Daily
Think of your inner power as a muscle just like any other muscle. The more you use it, the more toned it becomes and the more you are able to accomplish. Every time you practice a healthy life strategy, you actually increase your ability to conquer your anxiety. What you couldnt do yesterday, you can do today. With practice, your new skills will become automatic. This is how you create lasting freedom from anxiety.
In the words of Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
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Prevalence Of Anxiety And Depression In Men
On average, one in 8 men will have depression and one in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.
Men are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than women. They are also less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their anxiety or depression going unrecognised and untreated.
Untreated depression is a high risk factor for suicide. In Australia, there are about 3,000 suicides each year. Around 75% of people who take their lives are men, with an average of almost 7 men taking their lives every day.
Its important to remember that anxiety and depression are conditions, not weaknesses, and effective treatments are available.
The Types Of Anxiety You Should Get Rid Of/reduce
Once anxiety becomes intense to the point of making you suffer and inhibiting the fullness of your life, its no longer useful. Here are some examples of what this type of anxiety can do to you:
- Constantly feeling restless or on edge despite there being no apparent cause
- Becoming lost in a rabbit hole of worry
- Sleep problems
- Panic attacks
- Social isolation
Rather than focusing on rational issues such as childcare and deadlines, these types of anxieties often cause people to ruminate on a series of irrational fears, including:
- Fear of imminent death or bodily harm
- Sudden fear of embarrassment or illness
- Worries about everything in your life being wrong
- Constantly imagining worst-case scenario situations, asking a chain of What if ? questions
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Facing The Anxiety Triggers
Another important component of managing anxiety is to learn to face your anxiety triggers and not fear the anxiety itself. The mind is remarkably adaptive. Studies have shown that placing a person in direct contact with a fearful stimulus causes them to adapt and get used to that stimulus over time.
They used to do this with a psychological technique known as “flooding,” which has since fallen out of favor due to safety concerns but provides some useful insight into how the mind works. Flooding involves placing a person with a phobia in a room with the items they fear until they are no longer afraid. Someone with a deathly fear of spiders would be in a room filled with spiders. Someone with a fear of rats would be in a room filled with rats.
At first, people are so terrified they have horrific fear reactions, possibly even coming close to passing out. When they not allowed to leave the room, their minds adjust and the fear subsides. The mind doesn’t want to stay “afraid” of some type of fear stimulus for lengthy periods of time, especially when nothing happens to support the fear. By the time they leave the room, they likely will no longer be afraid of the stimulus.
These are examples of facing anxiety fears, and they can be very valuable ways to address and attack your anxiety. Alone they may not eliminate anxiety altogether, but combined with other useful tools they can be very powerful.
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.
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Find What Relaxes You
There are already things in your life that relax you. You may find it beneficial to make a list of things you enjoy and that help you to relax so you can reference it when symptoms of anxiety arise. When you notice your anxiety rising turn to those activities to help stop symptoms before they escalate.
For example, if you find that a warm bath is relaxing, don’t wait, draw a bath, maybe light some candles or add a few nice scents and get in. Whether it’s a bath, a shower, skipping stones at a park, getting a massage – if it works, do it right away, rather than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by your anxiety.
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
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What Are The Four Ps For Managing Speech Anxiety
Pace, Pitch, Pauses Controlling the pitch and tone of your voice helps control the emotional mood of the presentation and prevent you from sounding monotonous. And while you should be meticulously prepared for what you are going to say, you should also strategically deploy periods of saying nothing at all.
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