Like almost everything in life, anxiety comes in all types of shapes and sizes. Today we’ll be mainly focusing on two common forms. Social anxiety and Generalized anxiety. According to WebMD, Generalized anxiety disorders mean that ‘you feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason’, while Social anxiety disorders often mean that ‘you obsessively worry about others judging you or being embarrassed or ridiculed’.
Anxiety is oftentimes a normal bodily function that sends your brain alerts whenever you sense the presence of danger or stress. However, anxiety DISORDERS are more severe, and happen more frequently.
Let’s start by discussing Generalized Anxiety Disorders and ways to cope.
As mentioned above, generalized anxiety disorders means that you’re constantly worried or insecure about yourself for no apparent reason. If you aren’t sure if you suffer from this type of disorder or not, some signs may include chewing your nails, pulling your hair, fiddling with your fingers, tapping your toes, or cracking your knuckles. If you have any of these symptoms, you might want to consult with a doctor for an official diagnosis. Otherwise, DO NOT SELF-DIAGNOSE!
Now, here are a few tips that I find very useful for coping with general anxiety.
Firstly, it’s important to remind yourself of your worth. This can be a simple action like looking in a mirror and smiling, or even just hugging yourself in the mornings! Doing this reinforces your brain’s knowledge that ‘you love yourself’ and that ‘you’re worth it’. Admittedly, even such a simple gesture can seem like a burden, so next I’m going to address two more tips that can be more helpful.
Secondly, I recommend you to take a time-out. Normally, in daycare or elementary school, the term ‘time-out’ is often used to indicate a direct result of something negative. However, in today’s case, ‘time-out’ is used synonymously to ‘break’ or ‘rest’. By saying ‘take a time-out’, I really mean something along the lines of, distance yourself from whatever is causing your stress/anxiety if you feel overwhelmed by it.
Lastly, science has shown that limiting your alcohol and caffeine consumption can actually lower rates of anxiety. Having too much of these over-stimulating drinks aggravates your body and thus can spark panic attacks.
The second topic today is based on Social Anxiety Disorders.
Like generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders are also mainly made up of worry. But unlike generalised anxiety, social anxiety can lead to things like avoiding crowds, social gatherings, or in more severe cases, disrupting your life!
The first tip here is, um…to put it frankly, may leave you calling a therapist afterwards. So read on if you think you can handle it. Here goes: try to conquer your fears. I’m such a hypocrite for saying this, but it’s true. Personally, I have mild social anxiety, but I am learning to cope with it day by day. Facing your fears of social anxiety doesn’t even need to be something extreme, like visiting a casino at 3pm when business is booming. Instead, try to ease your way up. For example, you may choose to attend a birthday party or a wedding first.
Next, one of my favorite things to do (not just for anxiety) is to keep a journal. I always like ranting in my journal after a bad day at school. It’s kind of therapeutic, always having something or someone to talk to nearby. In my journal, I bought one that included a daily mood checkup table, which I found remarkably helpful. Another great feature some journals have is a lock and key set, so your nosy siblings won’t think to snoop around in there. I strongly suggest logging your daily feelings and emotions, since it’s a great way to let loose and release all of that stress buildup from the day.
Similarly to generalized anxiety disorders, substance usage impacts not only your physical and emotional performance, but also creates a spike in your social anxiety. While in the high of the substance's effect, you may feel confident and bold, but once this effect wears off, it will leave you feeling lonely, isolated, and anxious all over again.
My final tip, and possibly the most effective tip, is to attend Cluborate’s Winter Club Fair, happening on Sunday, December 19th at 2:00pm (PST). Sign up through this link. Don’t miss this chance to meet so many new people, get to know more clubs, AND conquer your social anxiety in the process! What’s not to love? Be sure to join today!
Go easy on yourself, whatever you do today, let it be enough. :)