Tips on overcoming social anxiety:
Ignore the area around you
Become more self aware in YOURSELF. Direct your energy to yourself and try to feel yourself becoming one. Only you have the ability to change these fearful thoughts of social anxiety. I’ve said this before, but feeling your feelings is so important. Being able to pinpoint an exact feeling and why will help you overcome the situation much quicker. No one can feel your feelings for you. You need to sit down, take a deep breath, and concentrate on your feelings. Whatever you are feeling in the moment of a social anxiety panic attack does not define who you truly are. You are not your anxiety; you are better than your anxiety. Remember this when trying to fight off these demons.
Laugh it off
Direct your attention to something else. Maybe it is a funny video you saw on Facebook this morning, something Grandma said at Thanksgiving 5 years ago that still makes everyone in the family laugh, or even simply just forcing a laugh. When you don’t feel like smiling or laughing is when you need it the most. It is truly proven that if you smile (even when you don’t feel like it), your mood will boost. Find something to laugh at and laugh at it. Positive energy wins every single time.
Remember that you are your worst enemy
Most of the information that is flooding your mind, creating your anxiety, is made up from your worst enemy… yourself. It is so sad how hard we are on ourselves. If you are trying the best you can, then there is nothing to worry about. Tell your mind to pipe down and get some rest. You will run yourself into the ground by letting your mind control you. You are not what you think you are. Discover what it is that makes you talks so negatively to yourself and make sure you kick whatever it is, out of your life. Life is so much easier when you don’t have someone keeping you on edge all the time.
Focus on what you are doing
Stop focusing on what everyone else is doing; it is none of your business. For instance- yesterday at the shooting range. I was so worried about everyone else watching me and judging me. But why? We are all there for the same reason, so have fun and get PRACTICE. Now yes, Justin and I had friendly competitions (mainly because he is more competitive than me… which is hard to beat ;)). But honestly, I was not in a competition with ANYONE else in that building… so why was I so worried what everyone thought about me? One of my favorite traits about Justin is that he does not care about what is going on around him, he is focused on what HE is doing, not what everyone else is doing. That is a great trait to have and luckily, it is definitely a learned behavior; it just takes practice to be able to obtain the trait.
Remember everybody has imperfections
You have just as much worth as the person standing next to you, so stop worrying that your ‘imperfections’ are being noticed. My parents always tell me that I am so much harder on myself than I need to be. You know yourself inside and out, we are trained to point out “I need to lose my love handles” because saying things like “I look so beautiful in this dress” implies that you are ‘cocky’ or ‘self-absorbed’. I think this is one of the worst messages that the media can portray. If you think you look beautiful, SAY IT. There is ALWAYS going to be someone, somewhere who feels the need to disagree with you, but if you believe that you look beautiful, by heavens you should be able to say it. Stop pointing out your imperfections, everybody has them; instead, focus on the beautiful qualities that you possess.
Go out of your comfort zone more often
There have been so many different situations lately that I have felt defeated, before I even took on the challenge. What is the challenge exactly? More likely than not, the challenge is just walking in a building or walking into a crowd of people… I have already decided that I am going to be anxious. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I have my workout planned and ready to go and I have to switch it last minute because there are too many people at the gym and I get too anxious to be in the crowd. This especially makes no sense to me, but that it a conversation for a different time.
Every time that I am with Justin and I don’t want to do something or I get nervous to do something, he can see it in me and he pushes me to do whatever the situation is. Whether that is walking around the MCX with him, going to the shooting range, or checking into a hotel on my own… he makes sure that I overcome the anxiety. I don’t thank him enough for this. In these moments, I forget what I am doing; I am shaking, sweating, and super quiet. Dating someone who has anxiety is not easy to do, so if you are willing to take that challenge, I commend you on having the patience. Thank you for accepting the baggage of people like me.
I have been carrying my anxiety baggage with me for about 5 or 6 years now, and I still have not completely overcome the anxiety of being around people. But, I do try to work at it. Sometimes, it gets so strong that I won’t get food because I am scared to order it, or I won’t buy something at the store because there are too many people around. These are the little battles that I need to work on getting over. Sometimes I have the courage to overcome them, but sometimes I do let my fear get the best of me.
Unfortunately, there is no ‘quick fix’ to anxiety. But the good news is that with practice, persistence and patience, I know everyone who suffers from forms of social anxiety can overcome it. Social anxiety all just boils down to self-acceptance. When you learn to accept yourself, you are not worried about being accepted by others. Learning to accept yourself could be an entire post on its own. But for this post I am just going to leave it at self-acceptance is the key to overcoming social anxiety