Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Among the different kinds of psychotherapy available, cognitive behavioral therapy which involves making changes to the way you think and feel about a situation, which, in turn, can help you modify your behavior is a helpful way to approach social anxiety. With social anxiety specifically, you want to identify patterns of thinking that cause you to avoid social situations like if a persons always expecting the worst outcome, or a person is fixated on the fact that someone might see them blushing, or sweating or stammering, says Dr. Potter. You want to help them learn to challenge those expectations and adopt more positive self-talk rather than negative self-talk.
Limiting Anxietys Impact On Your Leadership
Once you have a better sense of how you experience anxiety and how you can manage it daily, its time to turn to how it affects your leadership and management abilities.
Make good decisions
Anxiety can impair our judgment. It can cause us to focus on the wrong things, distort the facts, or rush to conclusions. Ideally, we could postpone critical decisions until were in a better frame of mind, but thats not always possible.
In anxious times its important to proactively set yourself up to make good choices. Much as you do when separating the possible from the probable, start by acknowledging that your emotions can make you an unreliable narrator and that you will likely be prone to negative thoughts. Lets say youre prepping for a speech and the last time you spoke to a group of a similar size, you felt that you bombed. You may even have a long-held belief that youre a terrible public speaker because a middle school recitation drew snickers. Ask yourself: Are you being objective? If youre not sure, check whether your memory is correct, perhaps by asking a colleague who was in the room for feedback.
Of course, you need to ask the right people. Boyes suggests you find a trusted adviser with a decision-making style that differs from your own. If youre impulsive, consult someone who is methodical and conservative, for example.
Practice healthy communication
Dont Drag Others Down
Office drama can be entertaining at times, but it ultimately makes the environment more stressful and lowers morale. Try changing the subject when people talk poorly of coworkers or the boss, or simply come up with a reason to leave the room. Dont respond to texts or emails that seek to drag others down.
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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.
How To Calm Anxiety: 8 Natural Ways
Occasional anxiety is a normal human experience. Mild anxiety can occur before interviewing for a new job. A higher level of anxiety can occur from barely avoiding a car crash. And an even higher level may come with the loss of a loved one. There are also those people who experience anxiety persistently. However, learning how to calm anxiety is essential for your quality of life. Its also important to know what causes anxiety to determine the best way to alleviate it.
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Heres How To Help Your Travel Anxiety
For some, just being out of their home and familiar surroundings can be enough to bring on travel anxiety, especially if you suffer from panic attacks. Meeting new people or experiencing new foods can also make people feel insecure, plus worrying about how youll react emotionally may trigger anxiety.
If you have travel anxiety these tips should help you feel more in control:
If youre scared of flying , these tips can help make your next flight the best youve ever taken:
Tip : Practice Mindfulness
Worrying is usually focused on the futureon what might happen and what youll do about itor on the past, rehashing the things youve said or done. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present. This strategy is based on observing your worries and then letting them go, helping you identify where your thinking is causing problems and getting in touch with your emotions.
Acknowledge and observe your worries. Dont try to ignore, fight, or control them like you usually would. Instead, simply observe them as if from an outsiders perspective, without reacting or judging.
Let your worries go. Notice that when you dont try to control the anxious thoughts that pop up, they soon pass, like clouds moving across the sky. Its only when you engage your worries that you get stuck.
Stay focused on the present. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment.
Basic mindfulness meditation
Click here for a free mindful breathing meditation.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
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.
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How To Ease Anxiety: 5 Ways To Feel Calmer Right Now
When we’re anxious, our breath becomes rapid and shallow. Deep belly breathing helps decrease anxiety by stimulating the bodyâs relaxation response, lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. Itâs a powerful technique that works because we canât breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. There are many variations to try, including this simple exercise:
Inhale deeply for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale for a count of 4. Repeat several times.
Exercise is one of the best anxiety remedies, immediately and long term. Going for a walk creates a diversion from worries and releases muscle tension. Grab your headphones or earbuds on the way out:studies show that listening to music brings its own calming effects.
Long term, regular exercise triggers the release of feel-good neurochemicals in the brain, building up resilience against stormy emotions. It boosts confidence and mood, and we donât need to run a marathon to feel the benefits. Washing the car, hiking, gardening, a pick-up game â anything that gets us moving counts. Research shows that 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week can help to significantly improve anxiety symptoms, but even 10 minutes can make a difference.
Try To Model Healthy Ways Of Handling Anxiety
There are multiple ways you can help kids handle anxiety by letting them see how you cope with anxiety yourself. Kids are perceptive, and theyre going to take it in if you keep complaining on the phone to a friend that you cant handle the stress or the anxiety. Im not saying to pretend that you dont have stress and anxiety, but let kids hear or see you managing it calmly, tolerating it, feeling good about getting through it.
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Express Positive But Realistic Expectations
You cant promise a child that their fears are unrealisticthat they wont fail a test, that theyll have fun ice skating, or that another child wont laugh at them during show & tell. But you can express confidence that theyre going to be okay, that they will be able to manage it. And you can let them know that as they face those fears, the anxiety level will drop over time. This gives them confidence that your expectations are realistic, and that youre not going to ask them to do something they cant handle.
Help Someone Who Is Anxious To Temper Their Thinking
Youll be a more useful support person if you educate yourself about cognitive-behavioral models of anxiety, which you can do by reading or attending a therapy session with your loved one. But, in lieu of that, you might try using some techniques that can be helpful to people suffering from anxiety.
Typically, anxious people have a natural bias towards thinking about worst-case scenarios. To help them get some perspective on this, you can use a cognitive therapy technique where you ask them to consider three questions:
- Whats the worst that could happen?
- Whats the best that could happen?
- Whats most realistic or likely?
So, if your loved one is anxious that they were supposed to hear from their parents hours ago but havent, you can suggest they consider the worst, best, and most likely explanations for the lack of contact.
Take care not to overly reassure your loved one that their fears wont come to pass. Its more useful to emphasize their coping ability. For example, if theyre worried about having a panic attack on a plane, you could say, That would be extremely unpleasant and scary, but youd deal with it. And, if your loved one is feeling anxious that someone else is angry with them or disappointed in them, its often useful to remind them that you can only ever choose your own actions and not completely control other peoples responses.
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Think Things Through With The Child
Sometimes it helps to talk through what would happen if a childs fear came truehow would they handle it? A child whos anxious about separating from their parents might worry about what would happen if a parent didnt come to pick them up. So we talk about that. If your mom doesnt come at the end of soccer practice, what would you do? Well I would tell the coach my moms not here. And what do you think the coach would do? Well he would call my mom. Or he would wait with me. A child whos afraid that a stranger might be sent to pick them up can have a code word from their parents that anyone they sent would know. For some kids, having a plan can reduce the uncertainty in a healthy, effective way.
Encourage The Child To Tolerate Their Anxiety
Let your child know that you appreciate the work it takes to tolerate anxiety in order to do what they want or need to do. Its really encouraging them to engage in life and to let the anxiety take its natural curve. We call it the habituation curve. That means that it will drop over time as he continues to have contact with the stressor. It might not drop to zero, it might not drop as quickly as you would like, but thats how we get over our fears.
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When To Seek Immediate Care
Sometimes, anxiety can be overwhelming and it could lead you to experience great distress. This is natural and not uncommon. A therapist can help you find more effective ways to manage these emotions.
If your anxiety is persistent and intrusive, consider seeking the help of a professional. You can also check out our free anxiety quiz to find out whether what youre experiencing might be something more.
If youre feeling anxious, there are things you can do to help yourself calm down quickly. There are also lifestyle changes you can make that can help lower your stress levels and help you cope with potential triggers.
You might also find it helpful to talk to a therapist.
These resources might help:
Respect Their Feelings But Dont Empower Them
Its important to understand that validation doesnt always mean agreement. So if a child is terrified about going to the doctor because theyre due for a shot, you dont want to belittle those fears, but you also dont want to amplify them. You want to listen and be empathetic, help them understand what theyre anxious about, and encourage them to feel that they can face their fears. The message you want to send is, I know youre scared, and thats okay, and Im here, and Im going to help you get through this.
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Easing Your Mind With Self