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Feel Anxious in Social Situations? Try These Methods

Feel Anxious in Social Situations? Try These Methods

I entered the restaurant and immediately felt as if everyone is staring at me, judging me and do not approve of my appearance. I sat at the table, which I reserved earlier, thinking I might feel safer, but my paranoia did not stop. My every movement felt awkward. I was praying for my friends to get to the place faster and “protect” me.

These kind of feelings are frequent visitors in my head every time I go to the mall/restaurant/any place full of people. I start thinking that I’m wearing wrong clothes, walk in a funny way, and behave hideously. Next emotions are sadness, depression and a strong desire to get under the blanket and cry my eyes out.

Scientists Define Two Types of Social Anxiety

Scientists say that there are two types of social anxieties:

  • people who fear most social situations (like in my own example above), or
  • people who fear situations where they have to perform (for example job interviews, public speaking etc.).

Both situations may feel like you are having a panic attack: “racing” heart, feeling weak and dizzy, breathing difficulties, feeling sweaty or having chills.

Social Anxiety Hinders Your Life

Social anxiety is underestimated very frequently. However, it can damage a person’s private, work and family life significantly, and should be taken seriously.

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For people who suffer from social anxiety, it is hard to communicate with colleagues, present your work, attend parties and work-related events, and socialize with other parents during school activities.

The list can go on. Hence, the damage can spread around as well.

It should be clear now: this kind of issue should not be ignored and avoided.

How to Get over Social Anxiety

The good news is that we live in a very progressive time, and people with social anxieties can get different kind of help when they just don’t know how to get over social anxiety.

It is important to understand this issue even for those, who does not experience it, because one day they might be faced with a situation where their knowledge might be useful.

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There was a situation not so long ago when I’ve had one of the worst social anxieties in my life, supported by one of the worst panic attacks as well. A friend of mine, who had to deal with this situation, had no idea that this happens to me from time-to-time.

You will be surprised when I say that I felt bad for him more than I did for myself. He had to figure out what to do right there on the spot. Him and I were saved only becasue unconciously he made a few good decisions, and we were able to avoid the more dramatic ending.

There are many well-known ways on how to deal with this kind of issues, and people must be encouraged to try different ways, and practice whichever is more suitable for them.

Yoga

This may sound like a cliché, but yoga helps. Especially the breathing exercises, which is an absolute must when you are doing yoga, have a good long-term impact.

Even if you do not have time to attend yoga classes, there are other convenient alternatives. There are plenty of awesome videos online and you can pick the one with the right duration and right pace.

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Be realistic

Accept the fact that this kind of issue exists in your life.

Many people prefer to suffer and be in denial, making an issue worse day by day.

Do not be afraid of whatever may come next, after your acceptance. No matter what, after you make peace with it, it will only start getting better afterwards. You will be faced with understanding from yourself and from others too.

Practice

Practice facing your fear. Afraid of public speaking? Try it in front of the mirror, and be judgements like to yourself, challenge yourself.

Afraid of interviews? Ask a friend to challenge you with difficult and tricky questions.

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Practice whatever you fear.

Predict

Try to predict your reaction in different situations and how could you handle them right there on the spot.

Keep in mind what kind of thoughts make you calmer. Keep in storage a few happy stories, which happened to you, and which make you smile.

Practice and practice predictions of your emotions.

Therapy

For some people this is a very scary word. Some might think that they are putting in doubt their sanity and reputation. However, we are living in the 21st century and thankfully we come across some very open-minded people.

Nowadays going to therapy is just like going for a walk in the park: relaxing activity, which will give some clarity in your head.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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