Social anxiety disorder is becoming more common to find amongst our human population. It is easy to get worked up in situations that come up on a daily basis. Interviews, work meetings, birthday parties, social gatherings…it is even possible to feel anxiety when you know the people you are with and are in a setting that is familiar to you. How do you cope with anxiety? For each person it can be different. Finding what is right for you can take some time but will eventually pay off by helping to ease your nerves in any situation.
1. Reaching out to people you feel comfortable with may help in certain situations. You can talk through your fears and they can be there to help ease the unknown. Having a person of trust present as someone to lean on can take your mind in a different direction from where it could be if you were alone. Don’t be scared to contact a therapist if you feel what’s going on in your life is just too much to handle.
2. If having a close friend around to talk to and go out with is not a suitable option, joining a local (or internet-based) support group will help. There are a few types of support groups that can be of use. People with similar anxiety issues may help to reflect and share common feelings thus alleviating the thought of being alone in your feelings and actions. Together, you can come up with solutions to work through your problems and also make new friends to work together in doing so. Public speaking groups may also help with easing anxiety. It is an intense job to have attention on oneself in front of one or two people, and incredibly intense in front of an entire room. If this class can help to conquer a larger fear, it may be the key to getting through smaller everyday situations. If you want to get through your anxiety set your goals high and stick with your decisions.
3. When feeling anxious, bringing your mind to a new realm helps to calm your body down. If there is an event or activity that is on your mind constantly, try running, biking or going to an exercise class. Exerting your energy in a different direction will take the focus off of your current worries and direct them into a new one. Consider creating goals within your workout. Set your mind to work hard to achieve these and leave your anxiety behind. If exercise isn’t your thing, try a hobby. Either one that inspires you or a new one of interest.
4 & 5. Sleep is imperative, as is a healthy diet. Both of these contribute to a better self-being. When lacking in either of these areas our brain is not at its best and can more easily be brought to a state of mind that you are trying to avoid. Keeping your body in a healthy state all around is always a positive solution for any situation.
All of these methods can help prevent and control anxiety symptoms. The mind is a powerful instrument and it is best to remind yourself that your anxiety is short-lived and can be overcome. Most of the ideas that we worry about are rarely cases that come into play and can be avoided if we focus on positive attributes of the situation and breathe.