As I’ve mentioned countless times in the past, I have social anxiety. I even get anxious going out with close friends, which obviously takes a toll. I’m not quite sure where my anxiety stems from. I’m just terrified of social interaction. Sometimes I can’t respond to comments because my anxiety level is just too high. I’ll have to wait about a day or two to even look at the messages that I get.
I just wanted to talk about this because I had a German oral exam earlier today, and I was absolutely terrified. I almost didn’t go! And that was worth half my final exam. Don’t worry; I went. I took a deep breath and just… did it.
I know I’m not the only one who deals with constant anxiety and so I thought I would offer some tips on how I handle it on a daily basis.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath. This one helps me right in the moment, for instance when I am about to get out of the car to see my friends. Breath slowly. Breathing quickly will just make you more anxious.
- Prepare yourself. I like to make sure that I’m ready for possible situations that might occur. If I’m going to be spending time with my friends, I ask them who exactly is going. It’s just a lot easier for me to know what I’m getting myself into.
- Don’t overthink. Anxiety is the immediate result of overthinking situations. One question leads to another and suddenly I’m having a panic attack. Clear your mind and stop thinking about what could happen. Realize that maybe you’re being a bit irrational and find a way to distract yourself from your thoughts.
- Realize that a little anxiety is normal. Hey, everyone experiences anxiety, but different levels. Sometimes when I’m anxious I make myself even more anxious by thinking about how no one else is probably experiencing the same anxiety. Does that make sense?
- Forget about what you think others will think about you. One of the main symptoms for social anxiety is the constant feeling of being judged. I know, I’m like that a lot of the time. It’s not easy to get over the fear of being judged by your peers. But think about it, do you judge others because of how they are or what they do?
- It’s a step by step process. Start with something small such as asking a sales associate for help. I don’t know about you but that absolutely terrifies me. Well, it used to. I started with asking for help every once in a while and now I can have a bit of small talk with strangers. Baby steps.
So that’s my small list of advice for now. If you have constant anxiety, how do you deal with it?