Social Anxiety.

Today is going to be a little bit more of a serious post. I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a little while now but wasn’t really sure how to explain it. See, I have had social anxiety for a very long time now. So if I’m put in new situations, or I have to meet new people, or if I’m in a large crowds it makes me very nervous and can lead to panic attacks. I know when it started, but as I’ve mentioned before I don’t want to talk about that part of my past. Basically when I was younger I was put in dangerous and upsetting situations and unfortunately this has affected many aspects of my life. Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to meet his best friend. I’d been putting off meeting her for a year and a half, but yesterday he “persuaded” me to go. This involved going to her house and meeting her, her mum, boyfriend, and sister. For me this is such a stressful situation. What if they hate me? What if I embarrass myself? What if I have a panic attack and they think I’m a freak? But I went, and I was terrified, but my boyfriend held my hand the whole time and helped calm me down and I’m glad I went because they’re all lovely. Everyone who has anxiety will have a slightly different experience. For me, I tend to overthink things. I’ll have bad thoughts about the situation and I’ll think of all the awful things that could happen. I won’t look new people in the eye, I’ll turn my head away, and won’t talk. And if I do talk it’s usually about someone else to try and divert the attention away from me. I’ll play with my hair and clothes and pull my sleeves over my hands. I’ll tap my feet and dig my nails into my hands. My breathing will get faster and shallower and that’s when I panic. I’ll start to cry and struggle to breathe and then I’ll try to keep it in so I don’t look like a freak, which ends up making it worse. I’m not an expert, and I’m definitely not qualified to give advice but I’m going to try it anyway. So here’s Amy’s Top Tips for Dealing with Anxiety:

  1. Panic Attacks. I know it feels like you’re going to die, and because of that it can be difficult to think logically. But what I do is try to remove myself from the stressful situation/person if possible. Lay your hands flat on a flat surface and push down. Put your head against a flat surface if you can, and close your eyes. Count your breaths, up until the count of ten then start counting them again, then repeat this until your breathing is better.
  2. Bad thoughts. People with anxiety tend to exaggerate the situation, and I do this a lot! So what I do is write down all the bad things that could possibly happen. (And I love making lists so this is great πŸ˜› ) Then go through the list as if you were another person. How likely is it that these bad things will happen? And what could you do if this problem actually occurs? For me, feeling prepared helps a lot.
  3. Stressful situations. A lot of everyday situations can become really stressful, and there have been a lot of times where I don’t want to do anything and I can’t even get out of bed. But it’s a viscous cycle, the more you avoid triggering situations, the more anxious of those situations you become. So do try and do things that make you anxious, and I know that’s so difficult but you can put things in place to help reduce anxiety. Try meditating before, or listening to music, go out with people you trust, go out to familiar places etc.

Clearly I’m not a doctor, so if your anxiety is seriously effecting your life you need to speak to family or friends or teachers, or go see your doctor. Please don’t suffer in silence, and if anyone reading this wants to get in touch or if anyone’s having a bad day they can always talk to me Β πŸ™‚

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39 thoughts on “Social Anxiety.

  1. I love this πŸ™‚ I have social anxiety and hate any social situations at the best of times. I’m glad to hear you have ways of dealing with it. These tips seem really helpful, definitely going to try them out. Lovely post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, that made me smile πŸ™‚ I love knowing that there’s even a teeny chance I can make someone’s life a little better, so all the best and I understand how hard anxiety is so I know how awesome and strong you must be for dealing with it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad the visit went well in the end, you must feel a lot better now that you’ve done it and every time it gets a little easier. I like all your tips and I’m sure they’ll be of use, especially the list one! I love making lists and I’m always worrying about possible things that can go wrong. I think all of my organisational skills come from this worry actually. And I hope that if I ever have another panic attack I’m a little more prepared at handling it. I had my first about six months ago and now when I start feeling too anxious I end up worrying about having another panic attack. Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, I was quite proud of myself πŸ˜› Thank you so much for reading, and I really hope this helps! I completely understand, it’s awful wondering when you’re next going to have a panic attack, but like you said, hopefully you’ll be ready for it and will know how to deal with it πŸ™‚ All the best!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on The Secret Handbook 4 Teens and commented:
    Some thoughtful thoughts about social anxiety and some tips to help you cope. I especially love #3 about putting yourself into situations that might make you anxious. The more you face your fears the more you start to realize that there usually is nothing to be afraid of and that it’s our minds that create the scary situations. Kudos to you everywordyousay for facing your fears and helping others!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for your openness here. I have grappled with this since childhood and you just described my feelings to a T. One of the best things I ever did for myself, oddly enough, was to take drama class in school. Something about getting up on a stage and adopting another persona gave me unexpected confidence that I could then carry into interactions with others. Not faking with them exactly-just adopting a poise I didn’t feel on the inside. And I learned to look people in the nose or mouth so it looks like I am making eye contact. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, this is really great! I’m an outgoing person and don’t have social anxiety, but I get panicky in large cities, tall buildings, or on planes. This can make travelling especially difficult, but I really like that idea of the list! Thank you and good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for this, IΒ΄m always interested in other peoples experiences and coping-strategies of social anxiety. IΒ΄m an extremely shy person whoΒ΄s had to deal with that for a long time and I have chosen faking it as my number one weapon, a lot of people would never guess that I have these problems. I have found that it is exhausting to fake though, and realised that It is important to work with the problem to not let it take over your life, I believe that, but I have also learned to take the shyness in consideration and listen to it, since it is a big part of who I am. And thank you for liking my blog post “beaten up or beaten down” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I can’t say I suffer from social anxiety because I’m pretty outgoing but I understand how difficult it must be for you.. πŸ™‚
    Great job in going to his friends house. You did so well πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve never had a panic attack, but I had a childhood friend who did, so I know what you’re talking about. I’m glad that your visit there turned to be good (btw, your boyfriend is too sweet, and I think I’ll never get tired of mentioning it to you πŸ˜› ) because that must’ve given you a confidence boost, didn’t it? πŸ™‚ Also, those were some pretty good tips, I think, and I hope people who are on the same boat as you come across them and get some help! πŸ™‚
    Hugs to make your day better! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have an awful dislike of social situations, and I frequently list the worst scenarios in order to talk myself down. I may or may not have an entire notebook. πŸ™‚ I love seeing that I’m definitely not alone in this πŸ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh boy do I know how you feel! Social anxiety like you’ve explained – and like I struggle with as well – can be such a difficult thing to explain to people because it seems so (and I know this is the wrong word) silly. I mean who could possibly be frightened of going in to the post office and asking to buy a stamp, right? But I have been.
    I’m lucky in that I don’t have panic attacks, but your second and third tips are fantastic. I’m certainly going to try the list making you’ve mentioned in number 2. Thanks for writing this. Mat

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment πŸ™‚ I understand what you’re saying, it is difficult to explain to people why “little” things like meeting new people is absolutely terrifying. I’m so glad this post has helped, and I wish you all the best πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Anxiety: just because it doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean it’s not real. | Stuff, Things and Opinions

  12. I honestly thought I was the only one who always thought of a worse case scenario whenever I do anything. It’s a really bad habit for me, but it just happens. It causes so much stress just thinking about it. Thank you for sharing. It makes me feel that I’m not alone. It helps so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you for sharing your story! As someone with OCD (the actual disorder, not the quirk) I feel like I can definitely relate. It’s all too easy for one thought to get stuck in my mind and escalate into something larger than it actually is. I also make lists when I’m having a particularly obsessive thought that I can’t seem to get rid of – this helps me analyze the thought and see if what I’m afraid of are actually plausible.

    Liked by 1 person

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