How to Reduce Your Own Anxious Feelings

Anxious feelings…

We all have them but for those who experience an overwhelming feeling of being anxious or anxiousness around crowds, the feeling can be crippling. Wracked with self-doubt and gripped with the overwhelming fear of being viewed in a negative light, many who are more introverted and nervous around groups end up staying aloof from friends and missing out on vital life experiences. In the extreme cases, even missing school or work to avoid the discomfort.

But struggling with being anxious and anxiousness doesn’t have to be devastating to your life. Here are a few tips that will help you get back on your feet faster.

5 Ways To Reduce Your Own Anxious Feelings

 

 

1: Separate Thoughts from Reality

  • Though everyone has an inner dialogue of some kind, the type experienced by people who avoid social situations is particularly negative. Statements like “This presentation will be awful”, or “Everyone can see right through me” permeate the mind and create self-defeating thoughts that intimidate the victim before the conversation even begins.
  • To fight these thoughts, try to separate the reality from your inner voice. Most likely, there is no evidence or proof to back up these thoughts, so the feelings that you have to the contrary are baseless, and should be treated that way. Whenever you have a negative thought about a social situation, stop and think through it. Is there any way reality is backing that thought up? Make note of how often then thoughts crop up, and try to think through each one rationally.

2: Own Your Positivity

  • Though everyone has an inner dialogue of some kind, the type experienced by people who avoid social situations is particularly negative. Statements like “This presentation will be awful”, or “Everyone can see right through me” permeate the mind and create self-defeating thoughts that intimidate the victim before the conversation even begins.
  • To fight these thoughts, try to separate the reality from your inner voice. Most likely, there is no evidence or proof to back up these thoughts, so the feelings that you have to the contrary are baseless, and should be treated that way. Whenever you have a negative thought about a social situation, stop and think through it. Is there any way reality is backing that thought up? Make note of how often then thoughts crop up, and try to think through each one rationally.

3: Own Your Positivity

  • One of the best ways to reorient your mind to the task at hand is by relabeling the self-defeating thoughts into something more positive. Instead of saying, “I’m so nervous right now,” own the positivity by saying things like “I can’t wait to get started!” By taking ownership of your thoughts, you can change the narrative in your head. Turn your feelings of dread into excitement.

4: Try Breathing Exercises

  • In some cases, a simple breathing exercise may be the trigger you need to calm the body and mind. Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of four, then breathe out just as slow. This can help slow breathing and heart rates and will help to remind you to stay calm. If possible, use some doTERRA oil to help you relax. Put just a drop or two on your shirt sleeve or back of the hands to help ground you before any social experience.

5: Embrace Vulnerability

  • Experiencing anxious feelings around groups of people should not be crippling, and the more you allow yourself to be held back by it, the worse it will become. Allow yourself to be open, even if it’s just with a personal mentor who can help guide you through past situations, and embrace the discomfort that you feel when you put yourself out there. Keep it in moderation, but there’s nothing wrong with being you. Little by little, you’ll be able to feel more in control, even when you feel emotionally out of control.

Remember

Anxious feelings around lots of people are an uncertain and stressful experience, but fortunately, it gets easier the more time and practice you put into it. Implement these tips with a hint of courage, and you should feel yourself getting more and more comfortable in the outside world. As I have mentioned in the past – do not be afraid to ask for help! find support in many ways is a key part of moving through this process. For some ideas of where you can find more support, check out the Engage blog post How to overcome your fears after an accident or significant emotional moment“. Which also lists some resources.

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