Many people face some form of social anxiety at some point in their lives. For some, it comes in the form of stage fright when they look out into a crowded room of people, whereas others live with social anxiety every day when they leave their house. Social anxiety, as challenging and difficult as it is to overcome, is deeply rooted in the fear of being judged negatively by other people. Due to this fear, sufferers start to panic about or over think the most basic of interactions, from speaking to the bus driver to paying for their items in a store. If you are someone who struggles with social anxiety, here are a few tips to help you manage and cope with the difficult symptoms.
Identify Causes and Triggers
Like most mental health disorders, social anxiety often has one or more root causes, and can also be brought on by very specific triggers. It is important to work out what these are, as once you identify this, you can start to come up with solutions. Triggers can be identified by keeping a journal of times of day when you’ve felt particularly panicked and keeping a record of what you were doing or who you were speaking to around that time. Identifying the causes of anxiety can be more difficult, and may require you to see a medical professional who can support you through therapy.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Your lifestyle can have a large impact on the way that you feel within yourself. Diets which are particularly high in sugar and carbohydrates often make people feel more tired and prone to mood swings, which in turn may exacerbate the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Implementing a healthier, realistic diet and exercise regime will help you to feel more comfortable in your own skin, not only because of any resultant weight loss or muscle growth but also because you will be reducing the amounts of toxins you are putting into your body.
Talk Through Concerns
Talking is one of the best and cheapest things you can do to help you overcome your anxieties. For example, if you go out with a friend and you start to feel anxious about something, instead of bottling it up, try and verbalize how you are feeling. Not only will this give them more empathy towards your condition, but it will also help you to hear your thoughts out loud, and put any unwarranted concerns to rest.
Clear Your Mind
One issue with anxiety is that it often spirals from one initial concern into a whole host of different worries and issues. One of the best things you can do, therefore, is to find ways to clear your mind of all of the noise. There are multiple ways you can do this, from writing down all of your thoughts to practicing meditation and breath work to calm your mind. This is especially important to do before you go to sleep, as anxiety is strongly linked to insomnia, and a lack of sleep will only serve to worsen your symptoms. A good mindset to adopt is to try and focus on the here and now, rather than thinking about possible issues that could arise in the future.