12 Struggles Of Having An Outgoing Personality But An Anxious Mind

Outgoing people with anxious minds – or minds that overthink – tend to feel anxiety the most intensely, often because we don’t talk about it. And by “often” I mean never.

Our anxiety is a contrast to our big, bold personalities. Strangers would never guess it. We never know when to fight or flight, and our self-angst is maxed out. We are often the life of the party but can also be mind-numbingly introspective, questioning everything.

1.  Our day normally goes something like this: Anxiety: Okay but what if – Me: Homie we went over this a thousand times and we totally resolved it. Anxiety: Yeah but I’ve looked at it from a new angle and there are like 15 more reasons why you should worry about it. Me: ……go on.

2.  We’re kind of a conundrum because we love people and need to be surrounded by people to be happy, but our over-thinking and our apprehension to immediately trust someone is, in fact, what makes us very selective about who we surround ourselves with.

3.  That might mean we’ll have lots of friends or acquaintances but very few close friends who we share our world with. But when we do, they become our entire life.

4.  We still find it easy to talk and connect with people – we can be charming creatures and when we do choose to grace a party with our presence, we are the life of it.

5.  But then we wake up in the morning and of course, we are over-thinking everything – Ahhh what did I say to that one person that rather die than act like an idiot in front of? Did I talk too much? And what did they mean by “I’ll see you soon?” What does “soon” even mean? Like soon soon? Or “soon”?

6.  Although we are very bold and outgoing, sometimes even the smallest things can stress us out and override our nerves. Whether it’s picking up our dry cleaning, finishing a project for work or making a call to our doctor, just the thought of having to deal with it makes our minds race.

7.  Dating is hard, we have to explain that we’re not insecure control freaks, we just think. A lot.

8.  I mean you don’t have to call us back right away when you’re out, but just know that our mind is playing out a bunch of horrible scenarios in which you’ve cheated. Or died. That’s right, if we reach your voicemail, we can’t help but consider that you might not be alive.

9.  Even the smallest gestures make us melt. We tend to be overwhelmed very easily, so anything you do to make our life easier is greatly appreciated. Picking us up for a date, playing with our hair when we’re watching a movie, calling to see how we’re feeling or making us a cup of tea comes with the highest of thanks. We will never take your gestures for granted.

10.  We’re hardest on ourselves, we are always gripped by the feeling that there’s more that we should be, or could be, doing in our life.

11.  We try to trick our brain by doing as many things as we can during the day so we can fall asleep at night – HA HA what were we thinking? This is our brain’s prime time to annoy us; it won’t miss this opportunity.

12.  We ebb and flow between wanting to be surrounded by many people, reveling in the attention we receive, to being very selective and sort of wanting to isolate ourselves to recharge and be left alone with our thoughts. Needless to say, we’re enigmas wrapped in bacon.

6 Things People Need to Stop Getting Wrong About Social Anxiety

For people with social anxiety, it can be frustrating to have to deal with the rest of the world not understanding what they’re going through—and casually misusing the phrase to refer to everyday experiences of discomfort or shyness. Thankfully, YouTube star Jessie Paege shared a spot-on tweet to help clarify what having social anxiety really means.

“Social anxiety is not ‘omggg I love Netflix and I hate everyone,'” Paege wrote earlier this week. “It’s longing to go to social situations that are easy for other people, wanting to use your voice, but feeling stifled, feeling trapped in your thoughts, and so much more.”

In fact, social anxiety (aka social phobia), is an intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. It affects about 15 million American adults, the ADAA says, and is the second most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder, after having a specific phobia.

Paege tells SELF that she decided to write her tweet to try to help educate people, especially those who throw the phrase “social anxiety” around without understanding it.

She grew up with severe social anxiety and went to several special education pre-schools as a result of her condition. “It was incredibly difficult and the topic of social anxiety is still very painful for me,” she says.

Paege says that she hopes her tweet clears up misconceptions about social anxiety disorder. “Mental illness terminology is thrown around too often,” she says. “I also hope this helps people respect those with social anxiety. Whether it’s a teacher that has a student that needs accommodations or a friends that’s bullying, social anxiety is serious and isn’t something people should throw around in an attempt to be ‘relatable’.”

The tweet exploded online, with many people weighing in with their own experiences with social anxiety and how, unfortunately, many people who don’t experience from the condition just don’t get it. Here are just a few things they want everyone else to know about social anxiety:

1. You can’t just turn it off or “get over it.”

Social anxiety is a legitimate mental health condition and medical diagnosis. Telling someone with social anxiety to “get over it” is like telling someone with diabetes that they can just will it away—it’s ridiculous and unhelpful.

2. You constantly obsess over what you could have done or said differently in social interactions.

People with social anxiety are often very self-conscious in front of others, and feel embarrassed and awkward, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says. They’re also very afraid that others will judge them, and may spend weeks worrying about social interactions.

3. It can bring on physical symptoms, too.

Many people with social anxiety can have a rapid heart rate, nausea, sweating, and even full-blown panic attacks when they have to go into a social situation they’re worried about, the ADAA says. People with the disorder often know that their fear is unreasonable, but still feel powerless to do anything about it, the organization says.

4. Public speaking can be terrifying.

Sure, most people aren’t exactly stoked to get up in front of their colleagues and give a presentation, but it can be debilitating for people who struggle with social anxiety disorder. Some social anxiety sufferers don’t have anxiety in social situations but have it only when it comes to performances, like giving a speech, playing a sports game, dancing, or playing a musical instrument on stage, according to the NIMH.

5. Even an activity that seems simple, like making a phone call, can trigger anxiety.

Any kind of social interaction can make someone with social anxiety disorder feel anxious, the NIMH says. That includes everyday things like meeting new people, going on dates, doing job interviews, answering a question in class, talking to a cashier at a store, talking on the phone, or using a public bathroom.

6. But the level of anxiety someone experiences on a given day can vary widely.

As with many health conditions, social anxiety is different for everyone—and one person’s experience with it may change from day to day.

But it is possible to feel better. If you feel like your anxiety is interfering with you ability to live your life—including your social life—that’s a sign that it’s time to check in with a mental health professional.

Treating Depression, Anxiety Saves Everyone Money

Treating mental illness is not only a good medical decision, but it also makes good economic sense.

depression anxiety treatment

Investing more in treatments for anxiety and depression could save countries around the world billions of dollars, according to a new study.

This is not meant to downplay the toll that mental illnesses take on people and their families. However some experts see this approach as a way to spur governments to open their eyes to a long-neglected health issue.

“This is an argument that we’re hoping governments who have limited dollars will actually respond to because mental health services have not been scaled up in most places,” Judith Bass, Ph.D., a global mental health researcher from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who was not affiliated with the new study, told Healthline.

 

Billions in Returns

The new study, published online this month in The Lancet Psychiatry, estimated the cost of treatment for anxiety and depression in 36 countries representing 80 percent of the world’s population.

This Life Coach Has The Best Perspective On Dressing Room Anxiety

Because shopping shouldn’t involve body shaming.
Instagram @plankingforpizza

Jess Pack had a pretty discouraging experience in a dressing room this week. The 26-year-old Florida life coach—who goes by @plankingforpizza on Instagram—wrote in a post that while she was trying on clothes, the “terrible dressing room lighting” made her feel “lumpy and squishier than normal.” Cue what she calls the “itty bitty shitty committee” chiming in—AKA negative body talk. Pack caught herself hating on her body, and knew she had to make it stop. Her solution: Put on an outfit that she knew she could “rock the hell out of” and pose for the camera. She shared the photo on Instagram, along with an uplifting message to all women who’ve ever left a store with low self-esteem.

“I might not be where I want to be, but I refuse to let a bad shopping experience lower my self esteem and worth because I know I’ve worked hard and continually fight every day to be better than those demons,” Pack wrote. “I refuse to let a size or terrible fit of pants make me think I haven’t been trying hard enough or that I’m still where I started. You are so much more than what you look like or what pant size you are.”

Pack paired her inspiring message with the hashtag #cellulitesaturday, joining in on the viral trend of women proudly showing their cellulite on Instagram. She wants women to know any so-called “imperfections,” like cellulite, don’t have power over them.

“Never let something like cellulite or muffin top or a bad shopping experience make you feel less of yourself,” she wrote. “Those things do not define you unless you let them. Be better than those demons.”

Pack’s experience is, unfortunately, relatable for so many women. Commenters have thanked Pack for her inspiring words—”I needed to read this,” wrote one commenter—and others have shared how they squashed negative body talk, too. “Girl, I know exactly how you feel. The dressing room used to be my worst enemy, and I’m proud to say I’m in a good place with myself mentally and physically, even though I’m not quite where I want to be yet!” one inspiring commenter wrote. Over 12,000 people have liked Pack’s post to date.

Hopefully, Pack’s photo can help more and more women leave dressing rooms with their body confidence intact, feeling more beautiful than ever. As Pack perfectly puts it: “You are intelligent and loving and strong and so much more. You’re beautifully YOU.” Life hack: Write this empowering quote on a Post-it and keep it in your wallet for the next time you’re shopping.

Read Jess Pack’s inspiring Instagram post below.

Watch: Ashley Graham Says “Thick Thighs Save Lives”

My Anxiety Plan for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The following strategies are designed for you the parent to use with your child as s/he begins to tackle post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These strategies are best used for children with mild-moderate signs of this type of anxiety. For children with more severe symptoms or who have been diagnosed with PTSD, we recommend treatment with a mental health professional, although M.A.P. strategies can be used at home to support your child’s therapy work.

 

Step 1. Helping your child become an expert on anxiety 

This is a very important first step, as it helps children and teens understand what is happening to them when they experience anxiety. Teaching your child that the worries and physical feelings h/she is experiencing have a name –anxiety- and that millions of other people also have anxiety, can be a great relief. Help your child become an expert on anxiety by providing him or her with facts and important information.

To learn how to explain this to your child, see Anxiety 101: What You and Your Child Need to Know About Anxietyand Talking to Your Child about Anxiety and the ABCs of Anxiety: Understanding How Anxiety Works and Fight-Flight-Freeze.

 

Step 2: Teaching your child or teen about PTSD

  • Reading or explaining some of the information outlined on the PTSD main page can help your child to feel more in control of what is happening. Knowledge is power.
  • Not all children and teens that experience a trauma will develop PTSD. If your child feels supported by the family afterward, he or she is less likely to have PTSD symptoms later on, even after a major trauma. So, as a first step, you can help your child by providing lots of love, understanding and support.
  • As a parent, having your child experience a trauma can also be very difficult for you. For example, you might blame yourself and believe that you did not protect your child enough. Your first instinct might even be to leave your child alone for a bit and give him or her time and space alone to deal with what happened. However, children can misinterpret this to mean that you somehow blame them for what happened. Instead, encourage your child to talk to you about what happened and any feelings h/she might have about the event. This can be an important part of your child’s recovery. For younger children who might have difficulty or be unable to talk about the trauma, encourage them to draw a picture or write story about what happened. Knowing you are there to listen will help them to feel supported even if they are not ready to talk about all the details right away. Hearing you say, “I love you and this was not your fault,” can make all the difference in their recovery.
  • PTSD can include very scary symptoms (such as nightmares, flashbacks or vivid memories of the trauma), so your child may be worried that h/she is going “crazy”. Take the time to explain that all these scary feelings are part of PTSD. Your child also needs to know that h/she is normal and that this happens to other kids and teens that experience trauma. The problem is not that your child is crazy. Rather, your child has anxiety as a result of experiencing the trauma. There are skills that h/she can learn to deal with this anxiety.

 

Step 3: Creating your child’s M.A.P.

The best way to help your child deal with anxiety, fear and related symptoms of PTSD is to give him or her tools that can be used to cope more effectively with his/her experiences. These tools are intended to increase your child’s ability to tolerate anxiety, rather than to eliminate anxiety.  Anxiety exists everywhere, and therefore it is an illusion to believe we can eliminate the source and experience of anxiety. It is far more effective to provide your child with the tools to tolerate and cope, rather than to control and escape.  For PTSD, you might want to use any or all of the following anxiety tools to create your child or teen’s M.A.P. ( My Anxiety Plan). These tools are listed in a recommended order, although proceeding in this order will depend on the needs and interests of your child or teen.

  • Talking to Your Child or Teen about Anxiety
  • When Anxiety Becomes a Problem: What’s Normal and What’s Not
  • Avoidance
  • Naming the Bully
  • Fight-Flight-Freeze
  • Derealization
  • Coping with Back to School Anxiety
  • Coping with Nightmares
  • Returning to Routines and Pleasant Events
  • Learning to Relax: Calm Breathing
  • Learning to Relax: Muscle Relaxation
  • Balanced Thinking
  • Cognitive Coping Cards
  • Exposure Therapy for PTSD
  • Rewarding Bravery
  • Tolerating Uncertainty

 

 

Final point: Although increased knowledge and the many tools available on this website can be very effective in helping you to manage your child’s anxiety, sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes children and teens have very severe anxiety, and despite all your best efforts, your child might still be struggling daily with anxiety symptoms. If this is the case, seek some professional help through a consult with your family doctor, psychiatrist, or a child psychologist/mental health worker.

How to Handle Post-Election Anger, Anxiety

Psychology experts tell Healthline they’ve never seen this level of election-related stress, but they do have some advice on how to cope.

election anger and anxiety

Many people thought the long 2016 presidential campaign would finally be over after Nov. 8.

Technically, the contentious contest did end on that Tuesday evening.

However, for perhaps half the country the anguish and anger over the battle between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton rages on.

Psychology experts interviewed by Healthline say they have never witnessed this amount of election-related stress, both during the campaign and in its aftermath, than they saw in 2016.

“I have never seen this level of anxiety and stress during an election cycle,” said Nancy Molitor, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and behavior sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The emotions run the gamut from frustration to dread to sadness.

However, these experts said all is not lost for those who were upset by President-elect Trump’s victory.

They offered guidance ranging from empathy to action to perspective in an effort to help people quell the emotions that may be doing those who are upset more harm than good.

“It’s healing to forgive. It’s healing to be kind to others,” said Ken Yeager, Ph.D., an associate professor in the psychiatry department at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

 

What people are feeling

Yeager said the first emotion almost all Clinton supporters felt was probably shock.

Since Election Night, those feelings may have morphed into other forms and either intensified or subsided, depending on the person.

Yeager says he has heard people mention fear, anxiety, depression, and anger in the past few days.

Molitor says she has heard from clients who are experiencing a wide range of emotions, including numbness, sadness, nervousness, apprehension, and dread.

It’s like a death. People are going through these stages.
Ellen Ducharme, clinical psychologist

Elaine Ducharme, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice, said Clinton supporters are going through the grieving process of disbelief, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

“It’s like a death,” she said. “People are going through these stages.”

Yeager said it is beneficial that the 2016 election is not being contested like the 2000 presidential contest, a legal battle that dragged on for more than a month after Election Day due to the close contest in Florida.

“It gives us a foundation to begin moving forward,” he said.

However, Molitor points out there are other differences between 2016 and 2000 that make this particular election more difficult for people on the losing side.

One is the level of toxicity of the 18-month campaign. That definitely has a lingering effect.

Another is the fact Clinton won the popular vote but came up short in the Electoral College. Molitor said that can create a lot of “what if” scenarios in people’s minds.

“They can have a need to blame something,” she said.

Another difference is the amount of social media and 24/7 news to which people have access. That can fuel already high emotions and prevent people from moving on.

 

Who is most affected?

Those who were most involved with the Clinton campaign are probably the most likely to be feeling the post-election pain.

However, there are other groups dealing with some emotional trauma.

Ducharme, who has a lot of teenagers as clients, said they have been talking to her about election stress.

She said this is unusual because teens tend to be self-focused and generally don’t talk about things like elections.

One of her teen clients actually told her he was afraid Trump was going to be assassinated.

“A lot of parents weren’t very quiet about their anger,” said Ducharme. “These kids heard some pretty terrible stuff.”

Molitor said she has been counseling a number of millennials. On Election Night, she spoke to one college student for an hour to “talk her down.”

“She was really horrified by the outcome,” Molitor said.

Molitor noted that for many younger millennials the 2016 contest was their first national election. They haven’t personally gone through the political ups and downs before.

“They don’t have the context that some of us do,” she said.

Molitor added she has also noticed election stress on the other end of the age scale.

Older adults in their 70s and 80s have told her they are worried about the direction of the country and are concerned for their children and grandchildren.

One World War II veteran, she said, is “terrified” he will see the rise of fascism in the United States like he witnessed in Europe.

All three psychology experts mentioned people of color as well as the LGBT community, many of whom feel threatened by Trump’s election.

Yeager added he has special concern for sexual assault victims.

He said those women may have strong reactions to the election of Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women. The president-elect has denied all of those allegations.

Molitor said she also has spoken to some sexual abuse victims about the election.

One woman became upset when the 2005 Access Hollywood audiotapecame out with Trump boasting about how he approached and touched women.

Those feelings intensified when the Republican nominee was elected.

“She was beside herself,” said Molitor.

Molitor added that people who are on social media a lot are also potential targets. Their anger gets stoked by visiting sites such as Facebook, then reading and responding to posts.

“They know they shouldn’t be doing it, but they can’t help it,” she said. “They are so worked up that it is difficult for them to detach.”

Ducharme talks about the “righteous hostility” some Trump opponents may feel entitled to display, but she advises against that.

“The reality is it destroys you,” she said.

 

How best to cope

Ironically, the psychology experts said people suffering from post-election stress can look to the politicians themselves for behavior models.

They said the calm, gracious post-election speeches made by Trump, Clinton, and President Obama are a good examples of ways to begin to bridge the divide.

“Those were exactly the right words to say,” commented Yeager.

The experts also advised people to maintain perspective, avoiding fatalistic views about the future of the country.

They noted that the United States government has a complex structure with checks and balances that is slow to institute changes.

“The reality is we’ve had a government that has worked for a couple hundred years,” said Ducharme.

Molitor said the first step for people with heightened emotions is to seek out someone to have a calm conversation with about their feelings, whether it be a professional or a friend.

She said they should keep in mind that initial fear and anger in these situations is normal and they should take things a day at a time.

Focus on what you can control and not on what you can’t control.
Nancy Molitor, Northwestern University

“Any loss goes through stages and phases,” Molitor said.

She advised people not to obsess over things they have no power over.

“Focus on what you can control and not on what you can’t control,” she said.

Yeager adds that if you are angry, it’s because you have chosen to be mad.

“You have control over how you act,” he said.

Another key component to healing is to take some positive action, the experts said.

Work in the upcoming midterm elections in 2018 or in other political arenas.

Or, volunteer in a soup kitchen or at another charity.

Or, decide you are going to alter your behavior so that you are kinder, politer, or more understanding of others.

Take an active role to bolster yourself.
Ken Yeager, The Ohio State University

“Take an active role to bolster yourself,” said Yeager.

Ducharme mentioned a woman who had volunteered extensively for both the Obama and Clinton campaigns.

Ducharme was worried about how she’d react to the 2016 vote, but the woman calmly told her she was going to work on some upcoming local campaigns and visit her grandchildren more often.

“You can take action so you don’t feel like just a victim,” said Ducharme.

The experts also had advice for Trump supporters on how to help bridge the divide.

They said don’t gloat and be sure to have some empathy. Keep in mind, they advised, how you felt eight years ago when a candidate named Barack Hussein Obama first won the presidency.

“Be gracious, use good sportsmanlike behavior,” said Molitor. “This can be a time of healing.”

Use of Anxiety, Depression Medication Twice As High Among Cancer Survivors

Cancer survivors in the United States were taking medications to treat depression and anxiety at almost twice the rate of the general population between 2010 and 2013, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Based on these numbers, Nikki A. Hawkins, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues estimated that as many as 2.5 million cancer survivors were taking medication for anxiety of depression at that time.

“Placed in the context of previous research, which found that 31% of cancer survivors in the United States sought help for psychosocial concerns by discussing them with their medical provider, our estimate of medication use is more modest and could suggest that even more survivors might benefit from pharmacologic treatment than were receiving treatment at the time of this study,” Hawkins and colleagues wrote. “Nevertheless, the observed rate of medication use in cancer survivors likely reflects a combination of factors that could include survivors’ increased likelihood of having a usual source of care (and access to prescription medications) and an elevated number of physical and emotional burdens after cancer, which seem to follow survivors for many years after diagnosis.”

For the study, the researchers used data from the National Health Interview Survey from 2010 to 2013 to identify adults who had completed both the Sample Adult Core Questionnaire and the Adult Functioning and Disability Supplement. They identified 3,184 cancer survivors and 44,997 adults with no history of cancer.

Cancer survivors were significantly more likely to report taking medication for anxiety compared with the general population (16.8% vs 8.6%; P < .001). Rates of medication use for depression were also almost twice as high among cancer survivors (14.1% vs 7.8%; P < .001), and use of medications for both of these conditions was also significantly increased among survivors (11.8% vs 6.1%; P < .001). Overall, almost one in five survivors was taking medication for one or both of these conditions (19.1% vs 10.4%; P < .001).

“Interestingly, medication use did not vary significantly by time since cancer diagnosis, which is consistent with recent research that has shown elevated rates of depression and mental disorders for cancer survivors as much as 10 years after diagnosis,” the researchers wrote.

Survivors taking medication for anxiety were more likely to be women, have public insurance, or have one or more non-cancer chronic conditions. Increased odds of taking medication for depression was seen in women, non-Hispanic whites, widowed/divorced/or separated survivors, those with a usual source of medical care, and those with a higher number of non-cancer chronic health conditions.

“Although our estimates provide benchmarks for the rates of psychotropic medication use in survivors, they can also inform future research seeking to assess the connections among cancer, medication use, and mental health,” the researchers wrote. “Future work could determine whether survivors taking these medications are also receiving other forms of psychosocial treatment and support and whether cancer survivors are monitored adequately or screened over time to assess their changing psychosocial needs.”

15 Normal, Everyday Things That Can Be Major Anxiety Triggers

The struggles may not always be obvious, but they’re real.

One of the reasons mental illness is still commonly misunderstood is because often, it’s invisible: Someone you know may be struggling with anxiety, and you might have no idea. In fact, a friend’s anxiety could be triggered by something the rest of us would consider part of our normal, everyday lives. A recent AskReddit thread asked users what causes their anxiety—here are some of the most eye-opening responses:

1. When someone is looking at you. “Anything once somebody starts staring at me. I hate having to do things with somebody looking at you.”

2. Speaking to others in-person. “Especially if they’re in a group of people I don’t know.”

3. Getting a haircut. One commented described the thoughts she has during a haircut: “I get really nervous and as a result look worried. I don’t choose to look worried, I just do. Then there’s the the dilemma of where to look. Do I stare at my own worried face in the mirror and have some weird half-smile, half-grimace plastered on it? Or look at the floor? Is my head tilted to one side? Should I be talking to the barber/hairdresser?”

4. Doing any task you claim to be really good at in front of someone else. “Or a new task in front of someone who is already really good at it.”

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5. Showing up to work. “The whole morning just leaves me really anxious until I walk in the door to work. As soon as I get there I’m fine.”

6. Being with people after a weekend spent alone. “For some reason it makes me feel like a stranger with my close friends.”

7. Listening to voicemails. “I feel like I’m gonna throw up every time.”

8. Waiting for someone to respond to a message. “No matter how insignificant it is,” added the Reddit user.

9. Putting away change from a cashier. One commented says that he hates having to take change from a chaser because it takes so long to put it back in his wallet. “It feels like everyone in the store stops what they’re doing to stare at me annoyingly until I’ve shoved it in the most convenient pocket or bag.”

10. Being on time. “Every time I have to be somewhere, I make sure I’m [in the neighborhood] 15-20 minutes early, and then just stand around awkwardly. And every time I’m exactly on time, I apologize for being late. I don’t get myself.”

11. Being around new people. “I have no idea who you are,” said one commenter. “What do I say? Is it creepy if I talk to you? Is it creepy if I dont talk to you?” Another user chimed in that it’s even worse when you can’t remember their name after a few minutes.

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12. Group projects at school. If your son or daughter has social anxiety, hearing a teacher announce, “okay class, get into groups of four for your project this semester,” could be majorly stressful. “Everyone I would want to be in a group with always seemed to pair up with other people immediately,” explained one commenter. “That left me getting paired up with the people who no one wanted to be with (which also describes me, I suppose).”

13. Using self-service checkouts. “I exaggerate my movements to make sure security can see that I’m not shoplifting.”

14. Making a left turn at a busy intersection. There’s just always someone behind you impatiently waiting for you to go.

15. Writing emails. “I’ll just sit there for hours revising four sentences.”

How to Deal with Social Anxiety: 5 Powerful Tips!

Do you fear that you will be judged by others in social situations? Do your fears cause you to avoid groups of people or group events because you think you might embarrass yourself? Do these fears sometimes overwhelm you? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have a condition called social anxiety disorder.

At its core, social anxiety (aka: social phobia) is all about a fear of being embarrassed or judged by others in small or large groups. These feelings can seemingly crop up without provocation and can strike at the most inopportune times; such as family events, concerts or even walking on a city street. Other examples include crowded shopping malls, nightclubs and birthday parties.

The good news is that social anxiety is treatable. Common treatment approaches includepsychotherapy,meditation and in some cases, prescription medications. By working closely with your medical doctor and counseling professional, you can move through your fears and move on to a place of greater happiness.

What follows are five tips for coping with social anxiety. Consider employing these are part of a comprehensive approach to anxiety management. Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!

social anxiety 5 tips

1. Know What You are Getting Into

A good rule for going into a social situation is to know what exactly you need to be prepared for at an event. This is not always possible, as gatherings tend to pop up unexpectedly, but you can still look ahead to that big party next month that you are required to attend. Access the situation at hand, find an estimate on the number of guests invited and attending, know the setting, and find ways to prepare for the evening. That way, you are able to go into a social event with previous knowledge of what to expect, giving you at least a little bit of peace on what is about to happen.

2. Step Back from the Situation As Needed

If you find yourself in a situation where it is hard to breathe, give yourself permission to step away for a moment. Do not try to tough it out; this will only make matters worse. A little bit of alone time and some fresh air can do wonders for the brain and for your anxiety disorder. You can avoid being flustered and feeling stressed by simply making time for yourself while at the event.

3. Keep a Journal

Journaling helps with many things, but one of the tremendous attributes of it is being able to ease your social anxiety. When you journal, you are able to write down everything that you feel and anything that concerns you. This can be done on a daily basis, an occasional basis, or even just right before an event to relieve your worries onto a piece of paper. The satisfaction of getting out your feelings helps to take away those thoughts from your mind, thus giving you more peace on the issue and preventing you from over thinking your anxiety.

4. Know Your Limits

Along with stepping back from the situation comes knowing your limits. Part of preparation for an event involves evaluating where your weak points are and working to overcome them. While at an event, be careful of your limits and know when you are overstepping your own boundaries. It is better to step away from the scene for a moment than to continue and walk away from the event disappointed in your actions.

5. Find a Therapist

One of the best ways to deal with social anxiety is to work with a therapist that is trained in helping people with this common anxiety disorder. Research suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective treatment approaches. Therapy can help you learn a variety of concrete approaches used to help reduce the symptoms and in many cases prevent the onset of a panic attack.

Social Anxiety Final Thoughts

The current research suggests that somewhere between 5 – 13% of the population will deal with social anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetime. Studies suggest thatwomen tend to suffer more from social anxiety than men by a number of 3 to 1 however, it is believed that men underreport incidence of anxiety for cultural reasons. Social phobias are usually triggered by certain thoughts and events and can be traced back to adolescence or early adulthood. Social anxiety can also be related to past traumas

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8 Things Only Anxious Extroverts Know to Be True

Sure we love to be around people. We love to laugh, interact, maybe every once in a while be the center of a party. We get off being in the crowd, and love people watching. However, it gets draining and when does we seem a little bit at war with ourselves. We are the ones who love to express ourselves but tend to have anxiety driven by an over flood of thoughts.

We feel it in every crevice of ourselves because although we tend to be super chill, we can never shut off what is happening around us. We are often calm and collected – but unsure of what will come next.

These are some things that happen in the mind of anxious extrovert – because really we aren’t sure what is happening all the time either.

1. We become utterly indecisive… Sure, the party is great until we are no longer sure who we should talk to, or what we should wear. We become concerned with impressions and first encounter meet and greets.

We second guess ourselves, and prepare for the worst case scenarios because we might say something wrong.

2. We wonder often… We are fascinated by people, and that is part of the reason we surround ourselves with them. We wonder how is it possible that all the beautiful specimens out there carry such different insights.

And, at the close of it all we wonder if it is their personality types that drive their passions and frustrations.

3. We overthink… We become unsure of what to say or how to say it. We get our energy from those around us, however there is a part of us that doesn’t want to say anything at all.

And our minds become a chaotic battle ground for hat is the appropriate social norm to express.

4. We make ourselves more anxious… We want to hang out with you. And those plans are something that are on our radar, but the more social plans we get the more anxiety is driven from it.

It increases the closer the date gets to actively acting on those plans. And, then we aren’t even sure if we want to go out anymore.

5. We end up thinking in circles… We second guess ourselves because we aren’t sure we made the right choice. We want to be a social butterfly, but our bodies don’t always work the way we hope they would.

We don’t always function in the way we want to. We think to ourselves why would it be a good idea to do something like that.

6. We have to tell our minds to calm down… And let’s not forget our minds to. We want for a moment for there to be an off switch. We want to control ourselves, but sometimes that control is lost in the over thinking, and the sweating, and heavy breathing.

Because even extroverts have their moments where our bodily actions can be interpreted as we are coming off cold.

7. Our triggers can go off the rail at any moment… Although we want nothing more than to calm ourselves down, certain situations or things send us in a full blow panic. We begin to embody both sides of a spectrum so many people try to define.

And it makes it hard for us to tell others, or explain to them what exactly is going on with us.

8. But, when we calm down, we feel better… When our anxiety isn’t overly affecting us, we feel a sense of peace. It seems to get better, and we are for a moment okay. And for those moments we are genuinely grateful because it feels amazing.

There is no sense of second guessing or being unsure. We simply just thrive.

And for a moment we aren’t just an anxious extrovert.

We are ourselves.

And that is beautiful.