Many people throughout the world suffer from social anxiety and many cases go undiagnosed for years. There is still a stigma attached to mental disorders, but there is more help than ever out there. Not only are there many support groups, doctors, and therapists to choose from but there are also simple things you can do that will help you get through your social anxiety.
You Are Not Alone
One of the most important things to keep in mind is you are not alone. Many people suffer and don’t realize what’s ‘wrong with them’ or feel inadequate because of their illness but that doesn’t have to be you.
A few things that help a lot with anxiety are staying active and eating right. While this may sound too good to be true; you’d be surprised what a little alteration to your lifestyle can do. Exercising releases ‘feel good’ chemicals called Endorphins in your body; and gets your heart rate up.
A fatigued body is not a happy one and if you have become too scared to leave the house and experience social situations, you are most likely missing out on exercise. The same goes for eating right, when you feel good; you either do not eat because you’re so upset or you eat too much and end up eating the wrong things, using them for comfort food.
A lot of people with anxiety lean towards sugary foods; or even caffeine to help them feel ‘normal’. In the long run, these things actually hinder you, instead of helping you. Sugar and caffeine are highly addictive and cause intense crashes when you go without them for periods of time.
The body of someone with anxiety is already off-balance a bit, so when you make other alterations, this can cause more dramatic affects. Instead of leaning on unhealthy foods, reach for some Chamomile tea as this is a proven remedy for anxiety.
There are many other herbs out there and natural remedies for anxiety such as Kava, and various types of roots. As always, talk with your doctor before beginning.
When working on yourself, keep in mind you cannot get rid of social anxiety overnight. The process can be long and tedious but very much worth the wait. Learning to take a moment to take a few breaths (even leaving the room if you need to) in order to get back your composure is a great step. Keep thinking positive thoughts while doing this and in time it will become easier.
The “T” Word
The word therapy may sound intimidating and as if it’s for the ‘weak’; but it truly isn’t. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective ways to combat anxiety. The whole process is very positive and helps you figure out the roots of your anxiety and triggers.
Your therapist may recommend that you keep a anxiety journal in which you write out things like what time of the day it was when you had an ‘attack’, what you were doing, what you were thinking; what you ate etc.
There are many things that can alter the body, leading to an anxiety attack and figuring out what they are is most important when it comes to getting better.
If nothing seems to be working, do not fret. Your therapist may just put you on medication. The “M” word is another word that freaks people out; leading many individuals around the world left untreated from a serious health issue that’s affecting their lives.
Anxiety is a mental disorder so it’s much harder to understand than say, diabetes. Would you go untreated if you had diabetes? Probably not. So, why go untreated for something that’s also an illness.
Remember, you did nothing wrong. You are not ‘crazy’. This is the life you were given and it’s best you do what you can and take care of your body so you can enjoy it the way you were meant to. You deserve to be happy and get rid of your social anxiety.