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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 August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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