Share Whats Going On With Someone You Trust
If youre experiencing social anxiety, designate a wing person with whom you share your struggles before attending an event. This person should be someone you feel safe with, who understands that you might be feeling socially anxious. By not having to explain your social anxiety in the moment, it will likely decrease in their presence.
Options For Anxiety Treatment
Talk Therapy Get help from a licensed therapist. Betterhelp offers online therapy starting at $60 per week. Get matched With A Therapist
Medication Find out if anxiety medication is a good fit for you. Brightside offers a free assessment. Treatments start at $95 per month. Free Assessment
Meditation & Mindfulness Developing mindfulness and practice can lower anxiety. Get started with Free Trial of Headspace
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Boundary Anxiety And Fear Is Real
7. Take a breath. The physical symptoms of anxiety include increased heart rate, pounding chest, dizziness, and muscle tension. Learning to take a minute and slow down your breath can help you take back control of your body.
Simply take a seat, get comfortable, and take the biggest breath youve taken all day and hold it in for four seconds. Then exhale slowly, pushing out as much air as possible. Take another deep breath filling the stomach with air and continue until you feel your breath slowing down to its normal rate.
8. Act confidently. There are a large number of adults suffering from social phobia and crippling shyness. You can learn to be confident in the same way you learned to ride a bike. Act more confidently, and people will react positively.
9. Find social situations and engage. Make a conscious effort to be more social. Actively look for supportive social environments that can help you overcome your fears. Perhaps start with a social skills training class. Here you can properly practice your social interactions before heading out into the real world. This will give you some tips on what to say and do when you find yourself in a social situation youre unfamiliar with or anxious about.
Sigh To Help Yourself Be Fully Present In The Moment
During the MBSR class, we would take a few mindful sighs between transitioning from one person speaking to another. You breathe in to a count of five through your mouth, and then you let out a very loud sigh, the sound you hear your teenager make. I was always amazed at how powerful those small sighs were to adjust my energy level and focus.
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How To Overcome Social Anxiety Fast
Are you wondering how to calm social anxiety in the moment? Nothing is worse than getting into a social or performance situation and feeling as though you cant control your anxiety.
Whether that means a racing heart, shortness of breath, or sweating, the physical signs of social anxiety can actually be a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you have more anxiety, you show more symptoms, which makes you even more socially anxious.
The best way to calm social anxiety in the moment is to slow the fight or flight reaction through relaxation and mindfulness techniques. This includes doing a body scan and relaxing tense muscles, breathing deeply from your abdomen, and being an observer of your thoughts without reacting to them.
If youve ever had that sinking feeling in a social or performance situation, know that you are not alone! Ive been there and know what it feels like for your anxiety reaction to feel like a runaway train. I promise if you take the time to actually put some of these strategies into practice, eventually youll be in a better position to get those feelings under control.
Talk To Someone Friendly
Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Don’t be shy about your anxiety – tell them you feel anxious and explain what you’re feeling.
Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If you’re suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, you’d have someone that can watch over you.
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How To Calm Anxiety: Stop Fooling Yourself
At times, pretending to be fine is healthy behavior. An emotional breakdown in front of your children isnt a healthy way to express your fears. But when youre with your spouse, partner, or friends, its appropriate to share your frightening thoughts.
Growing up with ADHD, many of us developed coping mechanisms that worked for years but dont do any good now. Namely, we often pretend were fine when were not. Everyone needs a trustworthy, supportive person to whom they can unload their darkest fears.
How To Calm Your Anxiety Naturally
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder : Symptoms include exaggerated and persistent worry and tension, even when there is nothing to provoke it.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder : Symptoms include recurrent and unwanted thoughts , which are accompanied by repetitive actions to temporarily rid the obsessions.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : Occurs after one experiences a terrifying event that results in grave physical or mental harm, such as abuse, violence, traumatic accidents or military combat.
- Social Phobias: Symptoms include excessive anxiety occurring in normal social situations. These phobias can be limited to only one fear or a generalized fear anytime one is around others. Specific social phobias include fear of crowds, fear of public speaking and fear of public restrooms.
Here are 8 ways to calm your anxiety naturally.
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Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety doesnt come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, its often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.
For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:
A Question Checklist
When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more youll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:
- Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Is there a chance Im blowing this out of proportion?
Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:
- Im okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
- I have a great life and Im looking forward to tomorrow.
- My anxiety wont control me.
Getting Used to Physical Symptoms
The latter is known as exposure therapy and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.
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How To Calm Social Anxiety In The Moment
There is a vicious circle that anyone who lives with social anxiety has most likely experienced. You enter a situation that causes you anxiety, and your anxiety soars. But, instead of using coping strategies to calm yourself down, your anxiety starts to spiral.
At this point, your anxiety about how you feel is causing more anxiety! Its this cycle of panic that is within your control. Learn how to react to those first anxiety symptoms and you will have mastered the art of staying calm.
While social anxiety may always be a part of your life, you can get to the point where it is manageable. Being able to calm social anxiety in the moment will also depend a lot on the habits that you build the other 24 hours of the day.
When you think of how much of your life is wasted feeling tense and anxious, you will realize that spending 15 minutes each day working on staying calm isnt that much of a commitment.
Make a plan to work on this at a certain time each day. If you set small goals like this, it will be easier to follow through when you just dont feel like it.
A simple relaxation routine that you implement at a regular time each day will get you started at inducing calm.
Choose a time of day that you will practice relaxing. Plan a relaxation routine, such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or any combination. Do what feels right to you for about 15 minutes.
If your thoughts are, But I CANT relax! turn that into I will just give it a try.
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Causes Of Anxiety Fear And Panic
There are many different causes of anxiety, fear or panic and it’s different for everyone.
When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
This can be helpful in some situations, but it might also cause physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating. In some people, it might cause a panic attack.
Regular anxiety, fear or panic can also be the main symptom of several health conditions. Do not self-diagnose speak to a GP if you’re worried about how you’re feeling.
Most Importantly Stay In The Moment
Learning to manage anxiety takes time. Its important not to get ahead of yourself. That means being patient with your progress. Typically, it takes a holistic combination of approaches that is unique to you. So, dont live too far in the future or in the past. Do your best to stay in the moment and remember that feelings are only temporary.
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How To Calm Anxiety: Stay In The Present
My ADHD imagination quickly jumps to the future, imagining the worst possible outcomes. The only way I can remain calm is to snap myself out of thinking about the future and return to the present moment. Mindfulness activities help. I stay grounded by taking a walk, sitting in nature looking at the trees, smelling a pleasant fragrance, or repeating a mantra like Im fine. I have everything I need. I am strong enough to handle this.
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Accept What Is And Respond Accordingly
There are many situations in life you have no control over. Dont dwell on what you cant change.
Radically accept that maybe what you are worried about cannot be changed, but you can decide how you respond to it, says Kushnir. For example, Oh no, its raining, we were supposed to have the party outside! can become, Its raining. Okay, lets figure out a plan.
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How To Calm Down: 18 Ways To Reduce Anxiety And Stress
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We are in the midst of a global anxiety crisisone that didnt disappear once we hit 2021so naturally, were all wondering how to calm down. You cant keep a fight-or-flight response up for a year, says Miranda Beltzer, a Ph.D. candidate researching emotion regulation and anxiety disorders. Its a perfect storm of things that can make people emotionally disregulated.
According to the Household Pulse survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Census Bureau, well over 50% of adults in their 20s and 30s exhibited symptoms of anxiety- or depression-related disorders in November. The stats have been high since the weekly survey began in April 2020. As anxiety rises, so does our need for self-care.
Of course, were all feeling down, but that doesnt mean we get to skip taking care of ourselves, says , DSW, LCSW, a therapist and adjunct lecturer at Columbia University. Its important to honor any and all emotions, and continue to seek out support as you may have before the pandemic.
We asked experts in anxiety and emotion regulation for their favorite stress reduction strategies so you can figure out how to calm down.
When To Get Help For Social Anxiety
Its a good idea to see a GP if you think you have social anxiety, especially if its having a big impact on your life.
Its a common problem and there are treatments that can help.
Asking for help can be difficult, but a GP will be aware that many people struggle with social anxiety and will try to put you at ease.
Theyll ask you about your feelings, behaviours and symptoms to find out about your anxiety in social situations.
If they think you could have social anxiety, youll be referred to a mental health specialist to have a full assessment and talk about treatments.
You can also refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service without a referral from a GP.
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Ask Your Support System For A Helping Hand
It can be embarrassing or humbling to admit to people in your life that youre anxious in social situations and might need help. However, letting a friend or loved one know you might need some extra support can be a major boost. Many times, people are going to feel more comfortable if theyre in a social situation with somebody that theyre close to, Dr. Potter says. Especially if somebody has been fairly isolated in recent times, it can be helpful at first to have a buddy when you go back into a social situation.
The key to this support is helping an anxious person become more independent over time. Eventually, people with more generalized social anxiety will find it uncomfortable to go shopping or order food by themselves, Dr. Potter explains. You want to balance supporting a person and encouraging them to do it themselves.
If youre a friend or family member of somebody anxious in social situations, one way to offer support is to bring them into the conversation. You might be like, Oh, I think Sara has something she would probably like to say on that subject. Shes really interested in that, Dr. Potter says. You can support them by bringing them out of their shells. Before doing that, however, be sure to ask the person if thats OK. If youre a person with social anxiety, you may not like being put on the spot to say something. Talk to that person in advance about how they want to handle certain things.
Stop Complaining And Blaming
Perhaps you were dealt a bad hand in life. Maybe you had a controlling mother or a father who put you down. Although these life experiences may have contributed to your social anxiety, you dont need to let them continue to influence the course of your life. Start taking responsibility for your actions and behavior.
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Social Anxiety Disorder In Children
Theres nothing abnormal about a child being shy, but children with social anxiety disorder experience extreme distress over everyday situations such as playing with other kids, reading in class, speaking to adults, or taking tests. Often, children with social phobia dont even want to go to school.
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Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy Manage Anxiety Andstress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
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Time Block Worry Time
If you accept that going through anxious feelings is part of your process before something like a work presentation or starting a new job, set an internal boundary. For example, instead of giving in to anxiety for the entire week prior to the presentation, tell yourself that youll allow space and time for worry the day before . This careful compartmentalization can set limits to how much time anxiety takes away from you.
Controlling Anxiety Takes Time
Theres no quick fix for anxiety, and it may often feel like an uphill struggle. But by gaining awareness of what causes your symptoms, and getting help from your doctor, you can manage your symptoms.
You may find some of these hacks work for you straight away and others may have no effect at all, but the important thing is to keep trying.
Giving in to feelings of anxiety by retreating from the world only served to make my life more difficult in the long run. Continuing to search for solutions that work for me has been key to my recovery. Practice makes perfect, so dont stop trying to find ways that work for you.
Fiona Thomas is a lifestyle and mental health writer who lives with depression and anxiety. Visit her website or connect with her on .
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