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Helping Yourself Through Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can be a terrible thing, if you let it. While helping yourself through it will not be easy, it’s simply something you’ve got to do.

stress response

Learn To Breath With Total Deliberation

It may sound cliche, but breathing has a major impact on brain and body function. When you breathe deeply and deliberately, you can lower your speeding heart rate and create an opportunity to regain control. Practice your breathing in a calm and familiar place, so that you are prepared to call upon it during situations of high social anxiety. Deep breaths will help you focus your thought process onto something more positive and bearable.

Develop A Support System

Everyone needs a network of support, but those who deal with the pressure of social anxiety really need someone to depend on. Maybe a sibling or close friend would agree to take your calls when you’re feeling the most overwhelmed. Reserve the dialing for the times you are most overwhelmed, then let them talk you down from the heights of anxiety. It’s important to feel safe wherever you go, so if you have a confidant at work or have known the friendly doorman at your apartment building for years, depend on them. You don’t have to confess all your feelings and anxieties, just say hello and make small talk. The interlude will calm your nerves and provide you with a feeling of comfort. Make sure you’ve got somebody to lean on during the most severe bouts with anxiety though, because nobody should have to go through that alone.

Take Baby Steps

When you deal with social anxiety, every little thing can seem huge and insurmountable. Experts recommend that you learn to take life a little more slowly, while still making forward progress. Write down a list of things that cause you the most stress in order of severity. Take the item that’s least difficult and prepare yourself for dealing with it. Expose yourself to it in small doses, getting better at dealing with it each time. You will gain more confidence in yourself with every encounter and once your feel accomplished with one area, get ready to take on the next!

Practice Controlling Your Thoughts

When someone is anxious, their mind runs off in a thousand different directions, usually ending up on the worst case scenario. This is how anxiety perpetuates, leaving you feeling completely helpless and ready to run. Start telling yourself that you are indeed over reacting. Coach yourself through the situation with positive thoughts that remind you that you are the one in control.

Speak With Your Doctor

When social anxiety becomes overwhelming, it can ruin your life. You have difficulties simply speaking with people you know, so unfamiliar events like job interviews, gatherings with large groups and meandering anywhere out in the world can become impossible. If you find yourself facing this situation repeatedly, it may be time to talk to your doctor. You could benefit from some form of therapy or a prescription. This doesn’t mean there’s something terribly wrong with you! It means only that you are human and in need of a little help. Don’t keep the problem to yourself or try to hide it; you deserve to be able to live and enjoy your life.

Helping yourself through social anxiety will take time and practice. Start now. The sooner you begin to address the underlying problems that are taking over your life, the sooner you will get control of them.

So What Helps Anxiety Attacks?

Although anxiety and stress are often linked by many people. They are actually two very different things. In simple terms, stress is often built up by being constantly under pressure, such as deadlines at work, and everything in life seeming to go wrong. Anxiety, on the other hand, is generally worrying about things that have not happened, and in many cases will not happen. It is human nature to plan ahead, and to worry about things, but people that have anxiety take it up a level, and concentrate on only the bad things that may happen.

get outdoorsThe problem with anxiety is that worrying about one thing can lead to worrying about something else, and so it can get into an endless cycle that is difficult to get out of. One common thing people get anxious about at certain parts of their life is death. This is normal for everyone, and we all consider the end of our life, but people who have anxiety can spend months on end thinking about it, and for some, it can lead to them never going out of the house. Other things that are common in anxious people are health and family worries.

So what helps anxiety? The most obvious thing is to stop worrying about things, but this is much easier said than done. For some people the anxiety can build up so much that they end up having an anxiety attack. This is when the body seems to take control of itself, the chest becomes tight, breathing can seem difficult, and it can result in hyperventilating. For a few, this can result in a trip to the hospital. A solution to hyperventilating is to breath in and out with a paper or plastic bag over your airways. This reduces the amount of oxygen in the body, and relaxes the body.

There is no medical cure for anxiety problems, although medication can be prescribed to help a person relax. The only real solution is to take on the mental problems head on, and one of the best ways is writing them down, and going through them. For the majority of people, anxiety problems will eventually go away, and they will lead a normal life. There is a small number that will need counseling to help them through the problem. Physically though, anxiety problems do not cause any long term issues.

Anxiety Treatments Your Doctor May Prescribe

Anxiety is a disorder that is very treatable. Many people who suffer from anxiety find that once they are undergoing treatment, the anxiety is under control and they feel much better. Treatment time can vary from as little as just one or two treatments to treatments that are ongoing. Here are some treatments your doctor may wish to consider for treating your anxiety.

Counseling

If the anxiety has been caused through substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol then the doctor may put the patient into a counseling situation to help get the substance abuse under control. Once the substance abuse is under control the anxiety (if there is any left) can then be dealt with. Often anxiety is caused by something underlying such as drug or alcohol abuse.

therapy

If your anxiety isn’t caused by drugs or alcohol your doctor may still recommend counseling in either one on one sessions or group therapy sessions. Often just discussing the anxiety issues in group will help you to learn to cope better with the anxiety and be enough to keep you off of medication.

Medications

Doctors have a wide variety of medications available to treat anxiety with. The medication your doctor selects will depend upon the severity and specific symptoms of your anxiety. Since everyone is different and everyone’s anxiety is different the medication the doctor puts you on may not be the same one that he put your siblings on. You may be required to take medication a few times per day or once per day. You may only need medication for a short time or it may be for the rest of your life. Your doctor will work closely with you to determine what the best course of treatment is for your specific case.

Clinical Trials

Some doctors will ask you to consider a clinical trial. In this trial you will be assigned a specific protocol and then come back for interviews or group sessions where you may fill out some questionnaires. You may or may not take a medication in this clinical trial. You’ll be asked to fully participate in the trial in order to help the medical field gain a fuller understanding of the disorder and how the specific protocol works on patients.

Your doctor will assist you in selecting the clinical trial that will work best for your specific situation.

New treatments are being discovered almost daily for the care of anxiety. Patients will be required to see their doctor either every six months or every year. At this visit the doctor will evaluate how you’re doing and whether or not you will benefit from further treatment or a change in medication or treatment.

It’s important to be honest with your doctor regarding your symptoms and not hide them. It’s important to take your medications exactly as the doctor prescribes them in order to remain healthy and well.

If you’re in a therapy session it’s important to attend them until your doctor tells you otherwise.

Anxiety is treatable, you don’t have to suffer.