Dealing With Social Anxiety

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What is social anxiety? Well, it's more common than you might think. Many people suffer from it without even realising. Effectively, it's a condition where you get really nervous and worked up in social situations. This means you feel really anxious when doing simple things - like ordering food at a restaurant. Perhaps you get very nervous and your heart starts beating like crazy whenever you have to meet new people for the first time, even in an online situation?

Social anxiety manifests itself in many ways, but the best description is that you find it hard to cope with various social situations. It's not just some mild nervousness, it's a feeling that makes your heart race, your palms go sweaty, and you really do not want to be in the situation you're in. As a result, you can imagine how a condition like this will impact on your day to day life and make everything a lot harder and more stressful.

Keeping that in mind, how can you deal with social anxiety?

Take small steps every day

The biggest problem with social anxiety is that you almost slip into a self-fulfilling prophecy. You start to believe that you can't cope in social situations, which makes you withdraw from them. In turn, this compounds the problem because your social interactions become rarer, making them even harder to cope with.

The best approach is to take small steps every day. Slowly venture outside of your comfort zone and force yourself into these situations. This doesn't mean you have to stand in front of a crowd and give a big presentation! No, it's something as simple as calling someone to book an appointment or going into a coffee shop and ordering something to drink. The more you put yourself in these situations, the more you get used to them and the symptoms of anxiety will start to subside.

Find ways to calm down

When anxiety flares up, it can lead to a panic attack quite quickly. Therefore, you need ways of calming down. Clearly, seek medical advice before taking any medication or supplements. Anything you see in this article is merely a suggestion. Things like CBD gummies have become popular as you're not taking any medication, they're discreet, and the small dose of CBD has a natural calming effect. It's something you can easily take when your anxiety flares up in social situations, calming you down.

Another idea is to practice the art of deep breathing and centring yourself. Whenever you feel a panic attack rising, concentrate on your breathing and slow it down. Long, deep breaths will calm your nervous system and help you feel more centred and relaxed. Again, it works well in different situations and is particularly effective before you have to go somewhere.

Dealing with social anxiety is a struggle, but it can be done. As with all mental health problems, the worst thing to do is avoid addressing the situation. If you let your anxiety manifest, it will slowly lead to other issues - like depression. I'm a huge advocate for facing things head on and talking about it. Opening up these conversations is the best place to start.

Ranae x