Journal About Your Anxiety
Journaling allows you to write how and what youre feeling regarding the stressors in your life without any judgment. You can pour your emotions onto a blank page and unload your fear, anxiety or depression from your mind and heart. Journaling allows you to keep a record of your emotions, both positive and negative, over time as well as allowing you to reflect and find opportunities for emotional growth.
Spend More Time Around People Who Appreciate You
For some reason, people with social anxiety have this tendency to spend a lot of time with and around people they dont actually enjoy being around.
- You really dont enjoy the people you work with, but youve got it into your head that you should enjoy spending time with them.
- So youre constantly stuck in this push-pull dynamic of telling yourself you should go to these social events you dont actually want to go to, then feeling anxious about it, then berating yourself for not wanting to go, etc.
- And then, when you do hang out with these people, you dont enjoy it, it quickly gets awkward and you start feeling anxious, and then you start criticizing yourself for being anxious and internalizing the whole thing as all the fault of your damn social anxiety.
Look, overcoming social anxiety doesnt mean that you magically start loving to spend time with everyone on Earth. And its completely normal to simply not enjoy certain peoples company, and as a result, avoid spending more time with them than you have to!
Just because you want to overcome social anxiety doesnt mean you have to constantly push yourself to spend all your time in socially draining situations.
In fact, the opposite is often true: It can be very helpful to give yourself permission not to spend time with certain people. And instead, use that time to hang out with people you actually enjoy and people who appreciate you exactly for who you are.
Struggles With Intimacy Or Commitment In Friendships Or Romantic Relationships
Heightened anxiety is essentially your body going into fight or flight mode because it thinks you are in danger. So if your body is working extra hard to protect you and keep you safe, it makes sense that you would find it extra hard to be vulnerable and open up with other people.
But all healthy relationshipsespecially romantic relationshipsare built on intimacy . So if you cant be vulnerable, it severely limits your ability to grow and deepen your relationships, which eventually can lead to conflict or struggle in the relationship itself.
And once again, this unfortunately becomes a vicious cycle: the less willing you are to be vulnerable, the more the relationship struggles but the more the relationship struggles, the more anxious and afraid you are to be vulnerable.
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How Does Anxiety Dizziness Feel Like
Patients describe dizziness as feeling unsteady, lightheaded, or weak. Another common question surrounding the matter is, Why do anxiety and dizziness occur together? Although dizziness is one of the most common anxiety symptoms, it is worth noting that it can also trigger anxiety. All in all, what are the causes of anxiety dizziness? Experts believe that dizziness starts from the vestibular system in the body. The vestibular system consists of certain parts of the brain, inner ear, and nerves.
Research indicates dizziness happens when a section of the brain responsible for dizziness and another one causing anxiety happens to react. In short, symptoms of anxiety dizziness occur when the vestibular system experiences some abnormality. As a result, individuals may experience a feeling of spinning or motion even when standing still. The reason behind this is the physiologic alternations in the brain.
Other causes of dizziness include low blood sugar, low blood pressure, dehydration, heatstroke, and certain medications. Bear in mind that symptoms get more pronounced if a patient experiences anxiety episodes frequently.
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Ways To Manage Social Anxiety
In addition to therapy, there are several other things you can do to help calm yourself down when youre feeling anxious. Although none of these should be a substitute for medical advice from a qualified professional, being proactive about your mental fitness can significantly boost the effectiveness of therapy.
1. Get some sleep
It may be hard to nod off when youre feeling anxious, but getting enough sleep is the number one thing you can do to keep your emotions well-regulated. Lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression. When you arent well-rested, it also makes it difficult to keep up with other healthy habits, like exercise, eating mindfully, and staying connected to others.
2. Be aware of what you eat and drink
If you have anxiety, you should try to avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine. Consuming caffeine often makes certain physical symptoms worse. Drinking enough water can help prevent symptoms of dehydration several of which mimic the symptoms of a panic attack.
You also want to be mindful of your alcohol intake. Some people with social phobia rely on alcohols reputation as a social lubricant to make them feel less self-conscious. However, since alcohol is a depressant, it can leave you feeling worse. Drinking alcohol can also be habit-forming, so its not advisable to use it to treat chronic anxiety.
3. Be intentional about your downtime
4. Give yourself an advantage
5. Challenge your thoughts
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Social Phobia Underlying Fears
Some of the fears commonly aroused by social situations can include:
- worry that others will notice their physical symptoms of anxiety, such as blushing, sweating, and stammering
- fear of looking stupid, silly, or ridiculous
- fear of appearing quiet, boring and uninteresting to others
- fear of being judged as socially inadequate.
Get Help Today For Social Anxiety Disorder
We recognize that social anxiety disorders are more difficult to manage when associated with an alcohol or abuse problem, and our team members are uniquely trained to handle Dual Diagnosis issues. When working in these unique conditions, it is essential to understand what to search for and how drugs and alcohol, and violence can interact with social anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental disorder and is characterized by excessive fear and anxiety in social situations. A sufferer of this disorder will usually avoid most social situations. Instead of feeling at ease and enjoying the situation they are in, they would instead freeze up and feel that they have nowhere to go. As a result their anxiety only grows worse with time. Although it is a very real disorder, it can be easily treated and with the right help you can get rid of it today.
It is said that around 16 million people suffer from social anxiety disorder in the United States alone. Rehabilitation should begin in a positive environment where treatment services are addressed in a structured manner that discusses each particular area impacted by a social anxiety disorder. If you or anybody you know suffers from social anxiety disorder, phobias, or addiction, please call us for more details.
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Social Anxiety And Self
How does this relate to social anxiety? If you apply this to social anxiety, you can imagine that the person struggling with SAD would be stuck at the level of safety needs. If you struggle daily with social anxiety disorder, you may not feel in control of your mind and body. You also might have trouble finding or keeping a job, meeting people, and other situations.
Social anxiety makes it hard for you to seek friendship, improve family bonds, feel good about yourself, and show yourself respect.
It also might make it hard for you to be creative, spontaneous, and accepting. When you are focused on when the next anxiety attack is coming, it can be hard to step back and accept yourself, choose creative pursuits, or make spontaneous plans.
But does it have to be that way? Was Maslow necessarily right in all cases?
Results from a 2011 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggested that a person could achieve self-actualization and good social relationships even if basic and safety needs are not completely met.
Perhaps this means that you can jump up into self-actualization, even if you are still battling social anxiety. Try to make small changes each day to feel more in control. Focus on one area at a time until you have mastered it. Alongside these small changes, you can also be working on overcoming your anxiety.
Talk About Your Social Anxiety More
This one sounds intimidating but its also really powerful!
Im sure you saw Talk about your social anxiety more and thought something along the lines of Yeah, right! Being socially anxious is hard enough without sharing it with other people at the same time!
I get it.
But, the psychology of social anxiety is pretty counterintuitive in this respect.
First of all, talking about your social anxiety will help you feel less alone. WAY more people than you would imagine suffer with social anxiety. Seriously, many of the people you interact with on a daily or weekly basis likely also have some social anxiety but are just good at hiding it.
See, when you start being a little more open about the fact that you struggle with social anxiety, you open the door for other people to share that they do as well. And when it happens, its often profoundly validating and relieving to know first-hand that other people struggle like you do.
But when you acknowledge and express upfront that you tend to get a little anxious in social situations you A) immediately disarm other people by being vulnerable, and B) take off that entire second layer of pressure to not appear anxious.
Thanks to Michelle Cadieux for inspiring this section!
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Avoid Coping Strategies Like Alcohol Or Marijuana
Coping with your social anxiety is a bad idea generally.
Specifically, there are two major problems with the coping strategy approach:
So, whether its impulsive deep breathing exercises, going to your happy place, or taking shots of vodka, the whole attitude of coping with your social anxiety is self-defeating in the end.
But more specifically, two of the most common coping mechanisms people use to manage their social anxiety are alcohol and marijuana.
If you really want to overcome social anxiety in the long-run, its not about never feeling anxious its about building up your confidence to do important things despite feeling anxious.
And youre never going to build confidence if youre always relying on booze and drugs as crutches.
Challenge Negative Thought Patterns
People with social anxiety often spend an exorbitant amount of time worrying about what could happen. Often, these worries are over every little thing that might go wrong in a social setting.
Maybe you worry about:
- Laughing at the wrong time or inappropriately
- Sneezing or coughing
- Falling ill in front of others
While, yes, there is always the potential for these things to happen, and its true they might be a little bit embarrassing, try to keep things in perspective. We all make mistakes, and everybody understands this. Most times, any mistake you could make in a social setting or at a social event would be in front of people who wouldnt judge you. Just because you make a mistake doesnt mean someone is going to think differently about you or look down on you.
If you find that you have negative thoughts about an upcoming event, challenge yourself by trying to replace them with more helpful, positive ones. Try using a technique known as realistic thinking ask yourself questions about the scenarios youre worried about, and then answer in an honest and fair way. When you catch yourself imagining the social situation ending in disaster, you can ask yourself what is the worst that could happen? The best? And whats the most likely? Running through these kinds of scenarios with the help of your therapist can help you refocus your mind away from disaster scenarios.
Some questions you could ask yourself might include:
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What Are The Causes Of Social Anxiety
There doesnt seem to be one cause of problems with anxiety, but there are several factors that might play a part in developing anxiety in social situations.
- A specific incident or event if you experienced shame or humiliation in a particular situation, you may develop anxiety about similar situations or experiences that you associate with that event.
- Family environment parents who were very worried or anxious when you were growing up can have an effect on the way you cope with anxiety in later life, and you may even develop the same anxiety as a parent or older sibling.
- Genetics some people appear to be born with a tendency to be more anxious than others, which can develop into an anxiety disorder.
- Long-term stress this can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, and reduce your perceived ability to cope in particular situations. This can make you feel more fearful or anxious about being in those situations again, and over a long period, may increase your anxiety about those situations.
Visualize What You Want
What exactly do you want? If you haven’t defined this for yourself, then you don’t know where you are headed or how to get there. Do you want more friends, a better job, or simply not to feel anxious all the time? Visualize having those things that you want this will help motivate you to do what needs to be done to get out of a rut.
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Energy Therapies That Heal Trauma
Okay, this one is controversial, but Im going to include it here anyway because its really interesting.
Trauma is not just something that happens to people who go to war or get attacked in the street. Milder forms of trauma can happen to almost anybody in childhood. And many scientists have already studied the link between social anxiety and childhood trauma:
Studies investigating childhood trauma in social anxiety suggest that parental emotional abuse towards the child and emotional neglect may be important factors in the development of SAD.
For example, in a non-clinical sample, compared to women with low levels of social anxiety, women high in social anxiety reported significantly more paternal rejection, paternal and maternal neglect, and paternal authority-discipline.
These types of early childhood experiences of abuse or neglect can cause someone to feel ashamed, insecure or deeply flawed as a person. I talk a lot about this in my social anxiety system and in my toxic shame video here. Trauma comes from disturbing memories int he past that create a psychoenergetic block inside you that affects your life and relationships with people today.
So how to deal with it? Well theres 2 interesting approaches I can share:
EMDR is a type of therapy where you focus on the traumatic memory while moving your eyes side to side. This eye movement is supposed to allow you to reprocess the past trauma.