I think I have social anxiety

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi, this has been bothering me a lot lately because I thought that by living away from home, I would become more confident and this issue would go away. But I feel like it hasn't really gone away. :(

The issue is that I often feel anxious when I talk to people (even those that I know well), I don't know what exactly the reason is, perhaps I am worried that the conversation will trail off? I also have this nervous laugh which really annoys me but again I can't shake off during conversations. I am worried that it puts people off wanting to talk to me. I have been told before that I am a quiet person and this makes me even more self- conscious, worrying that people may not be interested to chat with me because they think I am too quiet.

Is there anyone that is having or had these experiences? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Comments

  • BubblesGoesBooBubblesGoesBoo Sunny ScotlandPosts: 2,161 Mega Poster
    Hey :)
    first of all, well done for talking to us about it, do you feel okay talking to a friend about it? I've been through the same but my friend helped me build up my confidence a bit :) I also know all about the nervous laugh lol, it's something I can't get rid off, but instead of looking at it as a negative I've learned to look at it as a part of me, one of my quirks. Try to think of some topics you could talk about if it does trail off, ones that work for me is I ask about their work or relationship :) :heart:
    ' So I put a bullet where I shouda put a helmet, and I crash my car cause I wanna get carried away, that's why I'm standing on the overpass screaming at myself 'hey, I wanna get better''  
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey :)
    Thanks for your advice! Yeah I could talk to a close friend about it as well. It just frustrates me so much especially when it happens with people that I already know well.

    Thank you again! :heart:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Shruti

    Anxiety that arises from social phobia can be treated, because the more you are able face your fear and talk about it to family and friends, the less power it will have over your life. Ask your doctor if they know of a local social group that can be useful in educating you and your family about your disorder, so your family can be supportive to you during the times you are at home.

    When sometimes in this situation I force myself to relax. To bring my anxiety down, I breathe in slowly and deeply using some mental exercises to help me refocus my fears. Often I do this before a concert when nerves come flooding in. Once onstage, I feel much different, but it's taken time to achieve that. Giving yourself time and I am sure you will find deep breathing exercises beneficial as there are deep breathing techniques online if you go looking.

    Remember that a little social nervousness is completly natural, but crippling anxiety isn't. Before my band's concert, I repeat over and over to myself, "I have nothing to fear, but fear itself." Constantly mentally reminding myself of that has helped reduce my anxiety and take away some of the crippling power fear that social phobia once had a strong hold over me. That said, when out busking in our local tourist resort, my playing to a street crowd greatly helped my self-confidence.

    If there are no local support groups in your area, consider joining an online support group for social phobia or social anxiety sufferers. Sharing your experiences and learning useful coping strategies from others in similar situations can be very therapeutic. Or ask your doctor to refer you to a CBT therapist for a few sessions. Knowing our NHS services are already stretched enough as they are, you may have to wait about 4 months for this, but it's well worth the wait. :)

    Julie
  • independent_independent_ Boards Baby ScotlandPosts: 1,184 Fanatical Poster
    Hey there,

    First off welcome to the boards. It's great to have you here and great that you felt able to open up on here. I tell you what it's a huge step (particularly for someone with social anxiety) so huge well done to you.

    I can relate with some of what you are saying, so I understand exactly what you mean.

    I would definitely agree with the others on this thread - talking about it (easier said than done I know) is very beneficial. Is there anyone who you don't feel anxious around who you trust to talk to about it?

    Take care,

    Eleanor
  • LaineLaine Horse hugger Posts: 1,227 Fanatical Poster
    Hiya Shruti, first off welcome to the boards :)

    Sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment, you are certainly not alone in this as many people have struggled themselves.
    Well done on you for seeking support as that's the first step :yes:
    often times we notice what others do not. often when we think we are annoying people we are not, and also. when we think we're coming across as "odd" we aren't because people are paying that much attention.

    I defo think talking to a close friend or someone you trust is a good step. if you feel it is affecting you then you could go see your GP as they may be able to refer you for some CBT which proves very effective for social anxiety/phobias, or even one to one support.
    try taking baby steps, go to a café with someone, maybe the cinema, and maybe you can work your way up to a social group of some sort?

    we're all here for you to support you and listen, never feel like anything is too small :)


    Happy galloping :rainbow2:

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 

    "I will make you believe you are lovely!" ~ TOP

    "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning friend" ~ TOP

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you Julie, Eleanor and Laine, all for your advice and support. :) :) :) I like the idea of the deep breathing techniques as well. I am also due to go for CBT in the new year as well, which I am nervous about but also looking forward to as it is that extra step forward.

    I try and go out to socialise as much as possible but despite that, the anxiety just doesn't go away, sometimes I feel confident but most of the time the anxiety is there under the surface. I will take on board all the advice that you have all given though! :)

    Take care,

    Shruti
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi @Shruti :)

    The deep breathing technique I've mastered comes in very handy before I go onstage to do a concert, for stage fright would get the better of me, so I've adopted this easy technique though there are pros and cons.

    The deep breathing technique:

    You can either do this standing up or lying down, but you must have a straight back.

    Firstly, breath in through your nose slowly, filling up your body from the bottom of your stomach upwards. Before letting the air out, hold it for a second or two, then slowly if you can, exhale. Repeating this method was a big success for me, because it helped me cope with pre-concert nerves, whereas my sisters use this deep breathing technique to help them before commencing exams. This same deep breathing technique can help school and college students with their pile of coursework. Personally, this technique has allowed me more space to think, like when after a concert I go to rest and relax.

    Pros: This method can be done anywhere, whether it be before an exam, during work, before an interview for a job - any stressful moment you can think of. After doing this a few times you will become accustomed to this deep breathing technique, so becoming less stressed and begin to find it easier to deal with stressful situations as they arise.

    Not only does it cope with stress, it can also help calm down from panic attacks, anxiety, depression, anger. This will most likely be the same for all relaxation methods.

    Cons: Overdoing this method could lead to dizzyness. If you experience this, take the breathing exercise more slowly because perhaps you were going too fast. If you're still feeling dizzy after taking it as slow as you can, then I would advise not carrying on with this method.


    The second is takes advantage of your imagination. If you have the time, you can imagine yourself in your favourite, most relaxing place you can think of. This could be anywhere - as long as it is relaxing.

    I like to imagine I'm sitting on the beach watching the sea's dead flat calm. The water is silvery and sparkles when the suns shines on it. A shoal of mackerel disturbs the calm sea, sending ever-widening ripples out til they become part of the dead flat calm of my silvery, sparkly sea. I breathe in the sea air and love the salty smell; and slowly breathe out. In the distance out on the horizon, I see a ship and it, too, takes on this silvery colour and all feels good when I hear the seagulls overhead.

    You can come up with your own one, ie. like if you find snow relaxing, then use snow as your main theme.

    Another technique is stroking a pet, be it a cat or a dog. Cats give out comforting purrs. Dogs loll back so we can stroke their chests and tummies, or taking the dog for a walk and see it enjoying itself.

    Pros: Pets, for the most part, are extremely loyal and will never leave you, never saying anything to put you down or anger you. Granted, it may pee on the carpet when a puppy or a kitten, but that is all part of raising an animal.

    Cons: As mentioned in the pros, it will take a long time to train your pet if you buy it young and untrained. So, this method could make your life even more stressful if it's a kitten tearing up the back of your sofa. XD

    The other method is listening to music, be it Baroque or classical piano, or a more modern genre of music providing it's not too bangy.


    Obviously, if we begin thinking negatively and are quite pessimistic, we may be more prone to stress. There again, optimistic people who look on the bright side of everything and only look forward are far less prone from stress, and out of this mindset usually comes something really good. So, if possible, try to become more positive in your thinking, as I have done and feel so much better.

    All the best,
    Julie
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey @Princesa :)

    Sorry for the late reply! Thank you so much for all the tips, really appreciate it. :heart::heart: Definitely going to make a habit of this as I just seem to stress all the time about everything! I've done yoga in the past as well which involves deep breathing techniques so this will hopefully be something I can pick up quickly.

    I was going through a phase where I was just having so many negative thoughts, but I've started to train myself to have a more optimistic view, and its slowly becoming a more natural way of thinking now.

    Thank you again :):rainbow2:

    Shruti

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi @Shruti

    I'm so pleased you are going to try this breathing technique because it will be beneficial to you. I continue using it when anxiety arisis out of nowhere over some silly little issue, and then the breathing technique mists my worry into nothing.

    You can also sit doing this technique, but you must still have a straight back to allow for air to get into your lungs more easily.

    Training ourselves to do something beneficial regularly is a discipline, I feel. But once we get into the habit, then even the little things we tend to get stressy about will melt away like sun on ice. Be careful not to overthink.... As dusk brings the sun to set and deepen the colour of the evening sky, I tended to start fretting. These dark evenings bring down anxiety to many, but I've been conjuring up the optimistic thought that after the Winter Solstice on 21 December, our evenings slowly start getting lighter. And that brings us hope that spring isn't that far away after all.

    What has radically helped me deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is buying an inexpensive light box. It's been medically proven that using light boxes of 10,000 lux for 15 minutes every day will combat our winter blues and see 'em off forever. We shopped around online and found a bargain.

    While I think about it, have you someone you feel comfortable around? Someone you can sit with in comfortable silence? It's lovely when we can do this, no need for words. Just one-another's company is sufficient.

    Mum has benefitted in having this light box. It's rechargeable so gets passed between my sisters and I. After DST went off and the nights began drawing in earlier and earlier, using our light box banished the winter blues or SAD - forever. It was a very positive step into self help.

    I hope you will begin to feel better soon. I really believe you can do it, Shruti. :thumb:

    Have a sweet weekend. :)

    Julie
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