I think everyone gets anxiety from time to time. A big issue with anxiety is when it impairs your ability to function, or ability to complete daily tasks. There’s a lot of different types of anxiety. I am also not a doctor or expert in mental health, so this is basically just my take on anxiety from my experience. I wanted to write a short, non-exhaustive list of ways to handle anxiety in the moment in hopes it might be helpful to some. My main focus is social anxiety in this post, but I think some of the advice can be applicable elsewhere.
Take Your Time
Often my anxiety speeds up my thoughts and makes me think I have to make a decision right away. Whether that’s a decision to decide if someone likes me or not, decision to leave where I am, or a decision to act out in hopes someone will realize I am feeling anxious, I need to remind myself that my thoughts are racing because of the anxiety. It’s never that intense of a situation because my anxiety is blowing the entire situation out of proportion. My biggest issue is social anxiety and it creates a wall between me being able to enjoy myself in social situations without crutches and even then, sometimes the crutches don’t do enough.
Do What You Gotta Do
I do not by any means condone avoidant behavior which can often make anxiety disorders much worse, but I do condone taking small steps and taking care of yourself in the process. So what if you have to leave a party early because you got to your height amount of socializing you could handle. Your real friends will understand and not hold it against you. Keep pushing yourself with small steps (hopefully something you’re working on with a therapist, if that’s your thing), and one day you’ll be able to stay at that party and be one of the last one’s there. But right then, in the moment, do what you gotta do to take care of yourself and not push yourself too far. And only you know what that perfect amount is for yourself.
Fuck It Mentality
Who cares if you leave a party early? Who cares if you feel anxious and need to have more time to yourself after socializing? There are people out there that feel the same way and don’t need to be in a massive group of friends to socialize. Extroverted people, in general, actually feel envious sometimes of those that are quieter in groups. They need to be around big groups of people and thrive on the loud, jumping into conversations atmosphere. They actually fear intimate, one on one conversations. Not that everyone who has social anxiety is introverted, but those who are both introverted and have social anxiety, this may help frame that fuck it mentality that gives you freedom to be yourself without hesitation. Hopefully this gives you peace of mind in the fact that everyone has something they get insecure about – nobody is perfect at everything social, no matter how it may appear.