Even if social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a widespread anxiety disorder with over 7% of the U.S. population suffering from it, we cannot minimize the devastating effect that this anxiety disorder can have on our lives. For this reason, it is essential to give you some tools to ease your social anxiety and gain your happiness and freedom back.

Tips against social anxiety

  1. Insight and relativization

First of all, you need to understand why social anxiety, to a certain extent, is normal behavior for human beings. We are social creatures, and being accepted by our group is a big part of our ability to survive. Because of this simple fact, it is normal that we seek appreciation from people surrounding us. But if we are too worried about social acceptance, it starts to interfere with healthy interactions in our life. It will begin to be pathological and an anxiety disorder. So what should we do to avoid this or turn this back if you already have social phobia? It is quite simple, in the same manner, that you seek acceptance from the people around you, the people around you also want to find acceptance from others. So it is useless to feel less secure or inferior as everybody seeks the same acceptation. Much better would be to reach out to other people and accept them as they are, and you will see that by taking the first step, you will have lots of friends before you know it.

  1. Exercise

For all anxiety disorders to be triggered, we need to have an amount of energy at our disposal. The more energy we have at our disposition, due mainly to a sedentary lifestyle and bad diet, the worse our anxiety will be. Why? Because what we know as anxiety today used to be a mechanism that was very useful to save our life when needed. The fight- or flight response was the mechanism that released the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline in order to make our body able to react with as much energy as possible. Nowadays that fighting for our lives is not as common anymore; this mechanism is the base of all kinds of anxiety disorders and panic or anxiety attacks.

So start doing some exercise to release all this bad energy and, at the same time, release the toxins that accumulate in your body. The evacuation of toxins will be done just by sweating. You will soon feel incredibly well because when we do sport, our body releases happiness hormones like serotonin and dopamine.

During and after sport, it is vital to think about staying hydrated. Dehydration is a significant stressor for our body, which makes us prone to feel anxious. So drink around two liters of water each day and avoid drinking soda and coffee as these beverages will trigger the release of cortisol, a stress hormone.

  1. Breathing techniques

Proper breathing is also a crucial factor when you will be interacting with other people, and you feel that this sensation of anxiety is taking control of your body once again. The proper breathing technique is breathing through the nose and stomach. Avoid breathing through the mouth and thorax. Why? To explain this, we need to look at the primates. All animals, when they feel relaxed, apply tummy breathing. It is only when they feel threatened or when they are hunting that they apply the thorax breathing. We, stressed modern homo sapiens, almost consistently use the thorax breathing, giving an unconscious signal to our body and mind that we are in constant threat.

Breathing through the nose must also be privileged to the breathing through the mouth as the air gets filtered much better thanks to our nose hair. The circuit between nose and stomach is also much longer than the mouth – thorax circuit. This is crucial because it allows us to distribute more oxygen through our body, with more efficiency.

  1. Relaxation techniques

It is imperative to also see your social anxiety as part of an anxiety disorder, and because of that, you will need to work on your relaxation every day. Start doing some meditation, writing, listening to relaxing music, or doing yoga daily. You will master mindfulness step by step and cultivate a new approach towards life.

  1. Exposure

An essential factor in anxiety is avoidance. Because something scares you, you will start avoiding this stress factor, and by doing this, you will give a subliminal message to your brain that the threat is real. This is not at all what we want!

By talking to a therapist and doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you will implement

Exposure Therapy. You will little by little work on you disturbed patterns by exposing yourself to these unreal fear factors.

  1. Lower expectations

Nowadays, people face a lot of stress that comes from unrealistic expectations. We want a better job, a nicer car, a bigger house, more friends. But you have to ask yourself the question if you really need all this for happiness and if this pressure is not the primary factor of your distorted self-image and high levels of anxiety.

  1. Diet

A healthy mind starts with a healthy body. Ancient Romans and Buddhists already knew this centuries ago. Implement a healthy diet is the cornerstone habit that will lead you to success. Start eating food high in tryptophan to enable your body to make a healthy dose of serotonin, which is the happiness hormone. Positive people experience a lot less stress and insecurity.

  1. Be rational

To finish let go back to what we said earlier on, the fight or flight mechanism was useful for the troglodyte when he had to flee from a saber-toothed tiger, but let’s be honest… Is the fact that some people will not like you or that you will look goofy in a particular situation or event that you start blushing in an awkward situation life-threatening? Not all, and you know that! What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

Now stand up, put yourself in front of a mirror, and look at yourself. You are a wonderful human being; the fact that you are allowed to be here on our planet is already a miracle of life. So start taking life more lightly, enjoy every moment, and stop putting pressure upon yourself. If things go wrong, if some people don’t like you, it is a blessing because it will enable you to appreciate the good things in life even more.

 

 

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