6 Things You Might Not Know Are Anxiety
We all have an idea of what anxiety looks like. But realistically, signs of anxiety differ from person to person, and symptoms can manifest differently for everyone.
If the thought of going to a party, meeting new people, or even looking people in the eye is nerve-wracking to you, you may identify with the symptoms of social anxiety.
Social anxiety is the fear of being judged, accidentally offending someone, saying something stupid, or potentially humiliating yourself in front of people. It can be a tricky thing to navigate, especially when you don’t even know that you might be experiencing it. So how can you tell?
Listed below are 6 signs of social anxiety
If you resonate with any of the following, check out the tips afterward.
You consider yourself to be a perfectionist.
Fear of judgment.
You feel physically sick in social situations
You like to plan.
1. You consider yourself to be perfectionist.
Perfectionism is a form of overthinking. You might worry that the things you produce won’t be good enough, or you’re anxious about meeting other people’s expectations. Feelings of shame, inferiority, and constant self-criticism are all part of that perfectionism package.
2. Fear of judgment.
You might feel that if you’re not perfect, people will notice and judge you. You’re afraid to be seen as “bad” or flawed, so you hold back your genuine opinion about things. So, as a result, you avoid certain situations or taking risks because you don’t want to make a mistake.
3. You feel physically sick in social situations.
What goes on in our minds can directly affect the way we physically feel. Dizziness, chills, raised heartbeat, stomach or chest pain, shallow breathing, headaches, or constant muscle tension are all signs of anxiety.
4. You like to plan.
Surprises and spontaneity probably aren’t well-received. You may avoid social situations that make you the center of attention or have a “go-to” response to deflect the conversation if the topic turns to you.
When we’re in fight-or-flight mode, it’s hard to control our temper or typically respond to stressful situations. It’s common for people with anxiety to get upset over things and feel more impatient and easily annoyed by others, causing you to lash out or find that you have overreacted to a situation that usually wouldn’t bother you.
6. Constantly self-critical.
You judge yourself negatively. You may experience excessive fear of being judged, criticized, or closely watched. With that said, you’re more likely to try to avoid people within your work or social environments. Social anxiety contributes to low self-confidence and low self-esteem, which are typically reinforced by constant self-criticism.
A few ways you can overcome social anxiety:
Give yourself permission to leave situations and take a breather.
You don’t have to be a smoker to leave the room for a couple of minutes and come back when you feel ready.
Keep your focus on others.
Social anxiety tends to get you caught up in your discomfort. Instead, shift your focus towards the people around you. Ask them questions, focus on what the other person is saying, and make them feel like they’re the most important person in the world. Remember, people love talking about themselves. So the more you get involved in their lives, the less attention will be placed on you.
Set small goals for yourself.
If you want to feel more confident in social situations, challenge yourself to say hello to your neighbor next time you’re both outside or compliment a stranger at the grocery store. The more you avoid these types of situations, you teach yourself that these triggers aren’t manageable. Remember, you don’t need to tackle everything at once. This sort of approach is also known as exposure therapy-where you take tiny steps to face your biggest fears and phobias.
Write down your thoughts.
Keep a journal or use a scrap piece of paper to jot your thoughts down. Chances are, you’ll view them differently once you see them outside of your mind. Writing them down also helps track your improvements and recognize when you’re falling back into old negative thinking patterns.
Practice diaphragmatic breathing.
When anxiety arises, we’re more likely to take shallow breaths from the body’s upper part, like our chest and shoulders. Breathing in this way only confirms to our body that, yes, we’re stressed. To activate the body’s relaxation response, you need to breathe from your abdomen (also known as belly breaths). Pay attention to your belly rising and falling as you breathe, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
Remember to recognize even the smallest of steps!
You’ll feel proud that you challenged yourself one step at a time. All improvements are worth acknowledging. Build on those small steps, and you’ll conquer your anxiety in no time.
If you struggle with anxious, self-critical, racing thoughts and consider yourself an overthinker then don’t worry..I’ve got you…Check out The Overthinking Toolkit.
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