“The disease of missed opportunity”Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)
I once heard ‘social anxiety’ referred to as “the disease of missed opportunity” and that’s exactly how it feels to me.
There have been so many times where I should have “made a move,” talked to a girl that I thought was cute, done something new and fun, said “yes” instead of just staying home.
Having social anxiety can be one of the loneliest conditions.
The technical terms don’t really matter for this article as I will simply be explaining some of the things that have made my anxiety worse, friends anxiety worse, and also things that have made it better
Have there ever been times in your life where you wished you had done something social but you felt anxiety about doing it?
This could be; talking to a girl that you like, trying a new sport, joining a new club, or doing something new that interests you?
All of these things require you to interact with people that you’ve never met before. Therefore they may make you nervous to the point where you just don’t do anything at all – then you kick yourself for the rest of the week because you wish that you had done something. You wished that you could be more social.
Believe me, I have had horrible anxiety in almost every social setting imaginable.
I have kicked myself many times for not talking to a girl that I wanted too, or not putting myself out there in social settings the way that I wished that I could.
Though, over the years I have found things that make social anxiety worse and some things that make it better.
I’m going to share with you 10 ways to beat social anxiety and 3 ways to make it worse
Ready? Let’s get into it.
First, Let’s talk about what social anxiety means.
I’m not going to get into any medical or technical terms I’m simply going to describe my feelings about it, what I have dealt with basically my entire life, and what I have seen others deal with.
For me, social anxiety is a feeling of being uncomfortable in certain social settings to the point where it is negatively affecting your life.
If you’re someone who gets nervous public speaking, well this can be relatively normal and it would not really have a negative impact on your life. On the other hand if you’re nervous leaving the house to go to the mall – then this could have a very negative affect on your life.
Someone with social anxiety might have a harder time making friends and a harder time getting dates – even though these are two things that they really want.
Let’s talk about things that make social anxiety worse.
Not taking action right away
The more that you think about things in your head the more likely you will talk yourself out of doing it. Instead, you need to decide that you’re going to do something and go do it.
Eating bad food
This was one of my greatest discoveries a couple years ago. Your anxiety will get better or worse depending on what you eat. If you’re eating fast food, fried food, and other flow quality foods like caffeine and alcohol – then you will have more anxiety.
Never getting out of your comfort zone
In order to lessen your social anxiety, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone (more on this later)
If you let social anxiety win you may find yourself in a relationship because you are just “settling.” You may think that it is too hard to meet someone else so you just settle in what could be an unhealthy relationship.
Or you may settle for a job because afraid to put yourself out there to start a business or find a job that you’re really passionate about. You also may settle with friendships that are unhealthy or toxic. There can be many many consequences that stem from social anxiety.
There also can be many other factors that contribute to having social anxiety such as low self-esteem. It is complex – but if you at least start with these few things that I’m going to list then you will at least be heading in the right direction.
How to make social anxiety better.
Eat healthy foods
This seems so simple but believe me – it can be very challenging. But the rewards to eating healthy are so great that you must make an effort to start today. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and natural foods will really make a difference.
Pay attention to your gut health
Again this goes along with eating healthy. The term “leaky gut” has been really popular the last few years and I can tell you from experience that once I started eating foods that were more healthy for my stomach – my anxiety decreased almost by half. It really is amazing how much better you feel just by improving your gut health. A good resource to learn more about this is at draxe.com
Exercise as much as possible
Keeping your body active and in shape will definitely help with your overall self-esteem and anxiety. I recommend joining a martial arts class, a cross-fit gym, or something that involves talking to other people. Lifting weights is great too but you won’t have much contact with other people the way that you will exercising in a more social environment.
Go to “warm” environments
Cold environments are places like bars, clubs, and grocery stores. People are not expecting to talk to random people. Places like meet-up events and dance classes are “warm” environments because it is expected that everyone is there to meet other people or at least be open to it.
It is a lot easier to talk to people and meet people at a cross-fit class than at the grocery store. So if you do have anxiety around people then it will be much better to start with a warm environment than doing a “cold-approach.”
I’ll admit that meditating can be quite difficult at first. It’s hard to get your mind to slow down for even two minutes but it will be worth it. Set a stop wacth for five minutes and do your best to think about breathing in through the nose and out of the mouth.
Have 3 stories
Whenever you’re meeting someone for the first time there is a good chance that eventually they will ask you so, “what do you do?” It is good to know ahead of time how you’re going to answer these common questions.
Be prepared to answer the, “what do you do?” question and the “where are you from?” question. Have a story ready that is more interesting than just saying, “I’m an accountant.” Come up with an interesting story about why you do what you do.
Also, be prepared with a couple other stories about things that you have done. Maybe you went on a trip somewhere or did something interesting – think about what it is and remember your three stories that you can bust out at any time like a comedian with a good joke.
Be comfortable with transitions
Awkward silences can come up from time to time during conversation. For people with social anxiety their mind might start racing and making the anxiety worse or the awkward silence more awkward.
You can say something like, “so, have I told you about…” then go into one of your stories. Or you can simply acknowledge that there is an awkward silence by saying something like, “I love awkward silences” then smile a little as if your being playful or joking.
If you simply acknowledge that it is happening it will make it less awkward. Which brings me to number eight…
Don’t hide from flaws
Similarly to awkward silences – it is always better to accept the situation for what it is. If there ia an awkward silence just accept it and be OK with it. If you are shy or have social anxiety just be OK with it and accept it. If someone says you seem shy, you can just say “you’re right I am shy sometimes.” When you hide from it that’s when it can get worse. Just accept who you are and love the “flaws.”
Cut out negative people
Don’t allow negative people into your life. You need people that are going to support and encourage you. The last thing that you need is negative people that are going to shame you and lower your self-esteem.
And finally number 10…
I know this was number one also but I really want to stress to you the benefits of eating well. Doing this one thing alone has had the most impact on my social anxiety. If you have an unhealthy gut, or leaky gut then you need to fix that. Once you do, you’re anxiety will be much, much better.
Cut out gluten, caffeine, fried food, fast food, processed foods. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and foods that are in their natural form – not processed.
If you just follow this last step, I know you’re social anxiety will improve.
You deserve to have a life filled with friends, dates, and fun times. You don’t deserve to be stuck in a job that you hate or a relationship that you hate or to be at home bored, scared to go out to meet new people.
Let’s follow some of the tips listed above and break free from social anxiety and start living the lives that we were meant to live.