One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I have horrible social anxiety. And not just the “I feel like being antisocial today,” but rather the “I might actually pass out if I am in public much longer” kind of anxiety.
I can’t really pinpoint the moment I realized that it wasn’t just me being nervous about people, but rather actual anxiety. I experienced my worst anxiety attack the other day and it made me realize how serious I should be taking this. So many people brush off anxiety as being a dramatized version of nerves. And after going through what I went through, I don’t want anyone else to underestimate what is going on with them.
Note: This is a sensitive topic for a lot of people, so please take this seriously.
Anxiety comes in many shapes and sizes, and you may not know that you are having an anxiety attack until it’s too late. Being aware of what is going on with your body at all times is important, which is why I have made the following lists of how to realize if you have anxiety, and ways to tackle it.
Note: I am not a doctor, so if you do have anxiety, please see your physician. The advice I give on this blog is what works for me, and you are your own individual. Please don’t do exactly what I say, but what is best for you.
Do You Have Anxiety? Let’s Find Out.
- Do you often freak out in situations?
If you have social anxiety like I do, the idea of being around people can completely freak you out. Shortness or breath, inability to focus on anything other than what I’m worrying about, and shakes and shivers, those are all common ways of freaking out with anxiety. It might seem ridiculous as to why it is happening (it is only a birthday party, nothing harmful) but you can’t control the feeling of doom consuming you.
- Can you not calm down when something makes you nervous?
If you’re an anxiety attack, it can be very difficult to calm down. Everything is coming at one time and calming down is not an option. You want to, but you physically can’t. Some variable needs to change before you can even consider relaxing. If this happens to you when you’re uncomfortable or nervous or anxious, chances are you have anxiety.
- Do you worry about things that others would consider trivial?
People who do not have anxiety do not understand that we can’t control what sets us off. It’s not a pick and choose situation. You can get one from too many people coming in the room (that happened to me and it was terrifying.) Anxiety can come from anything, and if you have the symptoms from what I’ve already described from something that seems trivial or ridiculous, anxiety is probably what is causing it.
Tips and Tricks for Dealing With Anxiety
- Phone a friend
When you are at your lowest, about to break down and cry because the anxiety is crippling you, you need a buddy. Someone to talk you off the cliff, to encourage you, to tell you that what you’re feeling will pass, to remind you to breathe deeply. Find someone who you can call or text when you feel your anxiety coming. Talking to someone who can calm you down is very helpful and sometimes just knowing that someone is there for you can help with your anxiety a lot.
- Have a coping mechanism When you are in the middle of an attack, there is no up and down, left right, anything. It’s everything you fear and worry crushing down at an alarming rate towards you. Having something stored in the back of your mind that you can use to try to calm yourself down. For me, I know rubbing my left shoulder helps me. So if you ever see me rubbing my left shoulder like a maniac, it probably means I’m on the verge of an anxiety attack and I’m very uncomfortable, but I’m working on it. Rubbing my shoulder keeps me on Earth and going forward. Find your own version of rubbing your shoulder and it can be a way to cope.
- Try a ritual to fend off anxiety If you know there’s a chance you’ll have bad anxiety when you go do something, having a sort of ritual to calm yourself down is soooooo helpful. I curl my hair almost everyday, and it’s not just because I like the way it looks. It relaxes me and gives me time to prepare myself for being in public. It’s 20 minutes of my day where I can take a step back, analyze the situation, reassure myself that not everyone will be judging me, and when I go out, my anxiety is a lot less pressing than usual. Without this ritual, I can’t imagine some of the attacks I would have had last year starting uni.
- Watch videos to educate yourself
If you aren’t already and you have anxiety, start watching Zoe Sugg’s anxiety videos. I benefit from them so much because it makes you realize that you aren’t alone. Tons of people battle anxiety every day and sometimes just knowing that there’s someone on the Internet freely speaking about it can be a lot of help. Zoe mostly talks about panic attacks, which are different than anxiety attacks (the difference), but I still find what she has to say really interesting and helpful. Here’s a blog post she wrote about her experience. I’ve found Zoe to be a big help, so I hope you do too.
If you have anxiety, or are even thinking you might, I would recommend seeing a doctor. If you aren’t comfortable seeing a doctor (as I am) reading books and articles about what to do to combat it is a good place to start to know what is going on with you. To be educated is the best way to battle this.
I hope this article has helped and educated in some form. The readers of this blog are so important to me and I know that some of you have things going on that you’re struggling to come to terms with. I wish I could help on every issue, but this is the only one that I know well enough to elaborate on. I hope it’s helped someone.
Thank you for reading. It means so much to me, I can’t even express it. Here’s to the best readers on the planet!
Stay classy, Internet,
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