How to Curb Stomp Social Anxiety

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How to Curb Stomp Social Anxiety

I’ve demonstrated before that dealing with society anxiety sucks. Most social events can plainly suck the life out of you because you’re forced to speak to several people.(Some to which you don’t even like.)

Part of the reason for your social anxiety is because you’re a natural introvert and prefer the comfort of yourself. You might not be comfortable with communicating with other people outside of their comfort zone. You might be afraid of social situations because you might do something embarrassing or someone might make fun of you.

Take this for example,

Most people are afraid of doing any form of public speaking because they have to display themselves in front of an entire audience. That audience, to which could mock that individual for anything they do wrong.

Either way, dealing with social anxiety is exhausting because you’re putting up a front while conversing with several people you couldn’t care less about.

What’s worse is that you can’t completely control your internal thoughts because by the time you transfer your thoughts into your mouth, it had to go through the emotional part of your brain. And whenever any logic thoughts have to take a ride in the emotional train, it becomes influenced to do what it wants most of the time. Your nervousness and anxieties are going to turn what could have been a simple clear sentence into series of mumbles, stutters, and doubts.

You make up false illusions that people are watching you every second just to find a flaw in your appearance or personality. (Sometimes you even wonder if they’re reading your mind.) Whether it’s the way you dress, what you enjoy doing, or even the way you breathe, you’re constantly thinking of how someone is judging you.

Logically, you’re aware that everyone you’re looking at isn’t trying to uncover your flaws so they could exploit it on the internet. (And if they are, then that just shows they have some serious problems on their own.)

But when your mind starts to play Jedi mind tricks on you, you begin thinking differently. You add bits and pieces of your imagination together and wonder what their image of you is.

As a result, the stress and insecure parts of your brains are raised and those influence your thoughts before they exit your mouth. You summon up a strange notion that everyone is out to get you after your heart starts panicking. Before you know it, you’re saying something embarrassing to some random person.

That’s because social anxiety doesn’t fall far from the tree in relation to the common symptom known as, “Flight or Fight.” For those not too familiar with the term, it’s a common physiological reaction that occurs in response to an alerted event that’ll either result in their death or survival.

It was normally used in the stone ages where it meant the difference between life and death in the crazy wilderness. But in today’s time, the “Flight or Flight” response is normally brought to teenage boys when they’re about to ask some girl to Prom.

A personal experience I had was having a problem maintaining a conversation because I was constantly worried that someone would find me boring and walk away. This fear usually led me to avoid others not because I wanted to be the rudest person in the world, but because I didn’t want to get trap in a conversation I wasn’t sure I could manage.

I often made silly attempts to avoid speaking to people because I was that afraid. For the “Flight or Fight” response, I usually chose flight. (Because who really wants to talk to some random stranger when you don’t have to?)

But facing your social anxieties is more than just getting over the fear of speaking to strangers or those you’re not comfortable with. It’s about escaping your comfort zone so you could excel in other areas in your life.

The more you allow social anxiety to rule your life, the more difficult it is to have an adjusted lifestyle. It makes climbing the ladder of success gruesome because we all need people to continue moving forward. We need to know how to relax our minds before it freaks out on us.

You can’t become the CEO of a company if you’re too scared to speak to your employees. You can’t ask a girl out on a date if you’re worried she isn’t going to like you. You’re not obligated by any means to speak with the entire world, but removing this burden from your shoulder does make it easier to face those challenging moments in the future.

For the shortcut to how to curb stomp social anxiety (normally because you don’t have the time and want to cut to the chase), it’s:

#1 Focus on what’s happening around you 

#2 Let Go of the Need to Control Everything

#3 Adopt a Lifestyle of Exercising one foot at a time

#4 Embrace Those Horrible Social Situations

#5 Sit down somewhere and meditate

#6 Consider Breaking Up with Caffeine (Or at least decrease your pleasure time with it.)

# 7 Learn to laugh at your own mistakes

For my readers who want to dig deeper into the topic, let us proceed…

To curb stomp social anxiety into the ground, it’s strongly recommended to combine these methods for maximum results. Though some people only need to follow one to two steps from this list, there’s still a possibility they will eventually fall off the wagon and repeat their social anxiety habits. Instead, combine every point to ensure social anxiety remains defeated.

 

#1 Focus on what’s happening around you

You tend to focus too much about yourself when dealing with society anxiety. You become too concerned about how you speak, how you dress, how you look, and what you’re doing. You’re so busy trying to find your own flaws you fail to notice the outside world occurring right in front of you.

Simply focus your thoughts to what’s happening around you and feed from it. Think about the weather, how the other person dresses, what their facial expressions are, and what kind of environment you’re in. (Especially if you’re in a bad neighborhood.) From there, you can conjure natural conversation starters to keep it flowing.

For instance, suppose you were at a party and wanted to speak to someone. Don’t just concentrate on how to not make yourself silly in front of them. Comment about the drink they’re holding, the strange people surrounding you, or the music that’s playing.

I’ll even demonstrate a short dialogue as a better example:

[Settings: You’re at a bar]

Random Person: “Hey, what’s up?”

You: “Hey, I’m good. Great shoes! [Everyone lose a compliment. Don’t be afraid to compliment someone’s appearance whether it’s a guy or girl.]

Random Person: “Thanks. They’re new actually. You’re actually the person who noticed them.”

You: “I’ve been thinking about getting a new pair of shoes recently. Where did you get those?”

Random Person: “From the Chula Mall.”

You: “Awesome. I haven’t been there yet. Are there any cuties there?”

Random Person: “Are you kidding? There’s TONS of cuties there. You have to go. Plus there’s this cloth store that has the best looking women there. You’d like it.”

You: “Awesome. Is that where you bought your those blue pajamas you wear to bed?”

Random Person: “Wait….how do you know what color they are?”

Besides the last two dialogue points, you saw how a conversation was started just by commenting on their shoes? Avoid focusing on how you’re behaving so you can see the bigger picture. And worse case come to shove, ask silly and strange questions because that raises up more discussions. Don’t be afraid to explore their interest as you share your own.

To get Deeper into the topic: 12 Ways to become a skilled conversationalist

 

#2 Let Go of the Need to Control Everything

Sometimes when you’re feeling anxious, you try controlling everything around you to avoid someone from thinking low of you. Until you take control over a situation, person, or event you experience a dose of vulnerability because you’re not sure where you’re going.

For example,

People who are riddled with social anxiety often find the need to be very critical of themselves and are fueled to control their relationships. They’re afraid if they don’t manage the entire relationship themselves, it’ll head towards a dark direction. Eventually, they cause their love ones and themselves to become stressed out because of their constant need to make a sense to order.

When you’re not reaching the level of control you’re aiming for, you doubt your abilities and receive low self-esteem. You question your ability to speak to other people and grow fearful of engaging with strangers you have no control over. This then makes you cling even tighter to someone or something you have control over.

Which is why relinquishing those thoughts is what will set you free. Of course this isn’t an instant solution, but once you place yourself into a mindset of letting go and accepting your flaws, it starts the chain of releasing those anxious feelings.

This means you have to balance your life and improve it one day at a time. Balance your work and pleasure. Spend an equal amount of time with others and yourself.

When dealing with social anxiety you’re quick to stick to a fixed pattern of behavior and keeping the same people in control from your social circle. But once you grasp the ability to let go of the fear of someone leaving your life, acting on their own, and not accepting you for who you are, it eases your heart. You no longer seek after perfectionism and feel great about yourself.

An example of someone who incorporates a lifestyle of letting go of perfectionism is Michael Hyatt.

Who’s Michael Hyatt?

Besides being a full-time self development coach, he wrote an Amazon bestseller that helped an endless amount of individuals. In a recent post he published, he mentions the type of freedom you receive the moment you drop perfectionism. And in doing so, you must change your perspective, narrow your focus and never confuse perfection with excellence.

Stop asking, “Is it perfect?” and start asking, “Will it move the needle in people’s lives?” -Michael Hyatt

#3 Adopt a Lifestyle of Exercising one foot at a time 

All it takes is 15 – 20 minutes of walking, swimming, running, or weight lifting before your mind and body balances itself. Whenever you devote your time to cardiovascular activities, you’re keeping your muscle tissues in tight order. This allows you to breathe in a more stable and natural level. Your heart rate lowers and you release those feel-good brain chemicals that helps you.

I know exercising is the last thing anyone might want to do, but it does make a big difference in your normal routines. Not only will it reduce your blood pressure and provide a healthy lifestyle, but you get the chance to meet other people who enjoy the same activities. You receive more energy throughout the day without the need of coffee and energy drinks.

A major benefit is that if you exercise outdoors, the natural sunlight and external stimulation will improve your immune system and lower your anxieties.

If you’re struggling with the process of exercising, Nerdfitnss has a hot post about 25 to exercise without realizing it.A few examples are hiking, walking, and LARPING (Not sure what LARPING is? Check it out.) Even if you’re not comfortable with that article, he has a variety of effective techniques that can change your life.

Must Read: How to get motivated to exercise

 

#4 Embrace Those Horrible Social Situations

Rather than avoiding every social situation that exist out there, try putting yourself apart of it. Speak to someone you usually don’t see and get to understand them a little better. (Those people could be clerks, neighbors, or students.)

You don’t have to know their entire history. Only ask for small details such as what school they’re attending, one of their hobbies, or what’s they like wearing to bed.

The goal isn’t to make as many friends as possible. You’re just expanding your bubble of comfort and getting the chance to understand someone who isn’t your immediate relative, friend, or work colleague. It’ll be difficult maintaining the conversation once you get started, but such as building a muscle it gets easier overtime.

The first conversation you share with someone might not go as well as you’d hope. But instead of always using that bad experience as your only reference point, fix your mistakes for your next conversation.

By speaking to at least one person outside your social circle a day, you broaden your familiarity with the world and expand your comfort zone. Before you know it, you’ll be able to willingly share a meaningful conversation with someone you meet in line. (I once got into a one hour conversation with someone I met in line off the topics of Superheroes.)

Put yourself out there forcibly and willingly. Take small steps if necessary, but ensure you make some gradual elevation. As long as you notice your improvements and focus on them, the process becomes easier.

Adjust your expectations and don’t be too hard on yourself. You are going to make mistakes when speaking to people. Not everyone is going to love you immediately. Just take it one person at a time.

 

#5 Sit down somewhere and meditate

Based off a study from a group of random Scientists, what they uncovered was how meditation actually reduces your anxieties as much as 39%. How? After gathering 15 healthy volunteers who suffered from some kind of anxiety and never meditated before, they enrolled them into a meditation class. (Awesome, right?)

After they completed four 20-minute sessions on learning how to meditate, breathe properly, and properly examine their thoughts and emotions, they found something extraordinary. Every participant who had their brains retested was found to have their anxieties reduced as much as 39%.

This showed that just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help reduce normal everyday anxiety,” Mr. Zeidan said.

If you’re concerned that meditation is an activity that isn’t for you, here’s a Few false beliefs that people usually make towards it:

You have to sit in a Certain position: No. Not at all. People assume you have to be in the lotus position such as Monks and Karate Masters, but meditation is taking a position that best suits you. So long as it doesn’t make you want to fall asleep, sit in a fashion that comforts you most. (Last thing you want to do is only concentrate on how uncomfortable you are.

You have to end all your thoughts: On the contrary, you’re suppose to engage with all your thoughts. (Think of it like an intervention.) The idea of turning your brain off seems crazy just thinking about it.

You have to sit for hours and hours: Ain’t nobody got the time for that,” which a woman once said during a News interview. Such as that quote, everyone doesn’t have the time to spend it meditating all day. All it takes is 10 minutes to reduce your stress and experience pleasure. All it took was 20 minutes a day for those lab participants to experience some real time results. 

 

#6 Consider Breaking Up with Caffeine (Or at least decrease your pleasure time with it.)

Just thinking about forever giving up caffeine is a scary thought to me. At one point in my life, it was the only thing that allowed me to function properly throughout the day. I was an avid energy drinker and formed a dependence on it.

But other people are addicted to other caffeine sources. One of the most popular being coffee. It might not faze the average person that drinking coffee regularly is a bad choice. It wakes you up, gets you energized, and makes you more active than before. Caffeine increases alertness and can even elevate your mood. And up until a certain point, that may be the case for most people.

But what happens when you have too much?

Once you step past the edge, it begins messing with your natural body stimulants. It no longer acts as a normal consumption, but as the primary driving stimulation. Once caffeine starts familiarizing itself with your body, it’ll begin manipulating your “fight” or “flight” responses towards every event. It’ll make you question other people motives and your own thoughts, eventually conjuring up irrational beliefs. A simple email directed towards you can become the center of your world when your body won’t shut off.

Still don’t believe?

Throughout a variety of gathered studies, psychologists have continuously proven how the natural effects of caffeine can trigger a person’s anxiety and depression level. Examples would be:

1. Am Studies: 83 Patients treated for depression had a habit of consuming a high amount of caffeine that was greater than 700 mg a day. (To break it down, that’s 7 cups of coffee.)

2. Travis Bradberry: He mentions how caffeine affects your behavioral because “it raises your blood pleasure, stimulate the heart, and produce rapid shallow breathing.” What are the consequences of those symptoms? You make faster responses instead of logical ones, your sleep pattern is messed up, and you receive withdrawals whenever you’re trying to quit or haven’t recently consumed any lately.

# 7  Learn to laugh at your own mistakes

Anxiety already adds stress into your life. For many of us, it might seem the end of the world when you encounter a negative situation. You become obsessed with simple mistakes, concerned about how others are going to think of you. You’re afraid your mistakes will make you lose respect and your reputation will be ruined.

You might be afraid that you’ll disappoint your own reality and head towards an uncontrollable road. But being able to laugh at your own mistakes and not take life so seriously will give you control over the wheel again.

A simple study of 70 people revealed that people who can laugh at themselves are more happier than people who prefer to remain mad at the world. You gain nothing when you shove your negative emotions into the world. People shy away from negative traits and those who act as “energy vampires.”

Be willing to humble yourself so when you hear others laugh, you won’t assume they’re thinking the worse of you. You lower their opinions of you and this gives your head room to think about more important topics.

 

To Get Deeper in the topic….

Hottest Books to beat your social anxiety into the ground:

1. Trauma Releasing Exercises: Are you scared about looking weak or vulnerable in front of other people? People are so self-conscious of their own behaviors that they give themselves a great bundle of stress to hold onto. This makes getting over any trauma or depression more difficult. This book helps you find ways to release those negative thoughts and fight the anxieties that may be kicking in.

2. Play: How it Shapes the Brian, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul: This may be a great start for anyone dealing with any sort of anxieties. The truths in it will explain the common symptoms the average person with anxiety faces. But not only that, it helps you find ways to overcome those barriers and how to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed.

 



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About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He’s traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)

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