Tag: mental health

Managing Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Managing Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be writing about managing negative thoughts. When you’re having negative thoughts, you know that getting your mind off of it is easier said than done. In fact, research shows that when people are instructed not to think about a specific topic, it makes…

Natural Ways to Reduce Morning Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Natural Ways to Reduce Morning Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be discussing natural ways to reduce morning anxiety and what measures I have put in place in the past to help with it. Do you struggle with morning anxiety? Are the first thoughts that enter your mind so negative and so dreadful…

Meditation Benefits for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Meditation Benefits for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be discussing meditation benefits for mental health.

Most people are aware of the need to do physical exercises to stay healthy and fit, but many fitness freaks are not too clued up when it comes to exercising their mind.

Like any muscle in the body, the more you train your mind, the stronger it becomes.

You cannot touch or see mental health, but you can certainly feel it – it’s silent killer, and is massively on the rise due to the global pandemic.

Meditation is an age-old practice of controlling your mind and thoughts. When practiced regular, it does wonders for mental health.

It is a method of gaining insight into one’s own mind and inner self. When practiced regular it will quiet your mind, expand your awareness and open doors of improvement beyond your imagination.

Meditation has tremendous mental health benefits that manifest themselves in higher efficiency, happiness, and wellbeing.

 

 

What is meditation?

So, let’s start with the basics and explore what meditation actually is and what it involves.

Meditation is a practice in which a person aims to focus their attention and slow down or stop racing thoughts to achieve emotional calmness and mental clarity.

It is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine and can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind (Mayo Clinic, 2020).

Many people think it’s about completely clearing the mind of all thought but it’s more about bringing non-judgmental awareness to one’s present state.

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and has its roots in various religious traditions.

Meditation-Benefits-for-Mental-Health

While meditation is still firmly connected to spirituality, many people now practice it independently of any religious beliefs.

There are many different types of meditation including mantra meditation, guided imagery meditation, Transcendental Meditation, and mindfulness which is probably the most widely recognised.

Meditation practices generally involve deep breathing, focused attention, noticing sensations in the body, and sitting or lying in a comfortable position.

There is often a set amount of time for the practice and it is usually done in a quiet space, though not always.

Top tip:

The below are excellent books on meditation that I couldn’t recommend enough:

 

 

 

 

Different types of meditation

Understand the types of meditation and build your practice around forms of meditation that appeal to you.

Common elements of meditation include: relaxed breathing, a comfortable sitting position, a quiet location, and focused attention – all the forms below can be guided or unguided.

Guided meditation involves following a verbal prompt that guides you through various actions throughout your meditation, whereas unguided meditation consists of sitting or lying in silence and utilising the components of meditation to meditate on your own.

I recommend starting with guided meditation to familiarise yourself with the practice.

There are plenty of great guided meditations on YouTube and Spotify. Or try an app, like HeadsSpace or Calm.

There are many ways to meditate, here’s an overview of a few popular ones:

 

Mindfulness meditation

Has existed for thousands of years and has its roots in Hindu and Buddhist teachings. The main objective of mindfulness is to relax and calm your mind by focusing on the present moment. To do a basic mindfulness meditation:

    • 1. Find a quiet and comfortable spot to sit down, and then close your eyes.
    • 2. Focus on your breathing, slowly inhaling and exhaling all the way.
    • 3. If your mind begins to wander, notice this without judgement, and simply refocus your attention on your breathing.
    • 4. Repeat this process for the allotted time (eg. five minutes). As you improve in your practice, you will sharpen your ability to quiet your mind and take control of your thoughts when they wander off.

Mantra Meditation

    • In this form of meditation, people choose a word or phrase to focus on and repeat as they meditate. It is a good option for people who struggle with silence or focusing solely on their breath. The classic mantra used in Mantra meditation is “Om,” which is a sacred spiritual symbol in Indian religions, and “at peace” or “calm” are popular choices in English. However, you can choose any sound, word, or phrase you connect with to be your mantra.

Metta meditation

    • Metta meditation is a traditional Buddhist practice that aims to promote kindness and compassion for all living beings. A meta-analysis concluded that it can enhance positive emotions in daily life, and may even be able to reduce the perception of physical pain. To practice Metta meditation, pick a phrase that promotes kindness such as “May I be happy and healthy,” and repeat it to yourself as you meditate. Continue repeating this phrase as you think of other people in your life who you would like to send this message to.

Visualisation

    • To incorporate visualisation into your practice, focus on a scene that brings you peace, such as a sandy beach or your childhood home. Visualise it in as much detail as possible, utilising all your senses, as you meditate. You may also visualize yourself reaching specific goals, which can improve your sense of motivation.

Progressive muscle relaxation

    • Progressive muscle relaxation focuses your attention on your body and areas of tension in order to slowly relax each muscle. To practice, focus on different areas of your body, and pay attention to how they feel. Work your way up from your toes to your head, tensing and relaxing them one muscle group or body part at a time.

Movement meditation

    • Movement meditation is great for people who have difficulty sitting still but who want to have a regular meditation practice. It exists in many established forms, including Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong, but can also be as simple as a mindful nature walk. Even something like picking up a basketball and repeatedly practicing your shot can be a mediation if you get lost in the focus of it and stop thinking about anything else.

 

Meditation Benefits for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Below is some of the benefits of meditation I discovered when researching, but keep in mind meditation is not the only solution for these health conditions or issues outlined.

Make sure to work with your doctor or healthcare professional to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan of need be.

 

Decreases anxiety and depression

Meditation has powerful anti-anxiety benefits. One of the main reasons people meditate is to help quiet a loud, overactive mind.

Meditation allows us a break from racing thoughts that anxiety often brings. A 2013 study suggests that meditation can reduce anxiety by almost 40%.

mediation

According to the NCCIH, there is evidence that meditation can improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

By practicing mindfulness meditation regularly, you might be better equipped at regulating your emotions and managing the worries or thoughts that contribute to depression or anxiety.

Additionally, Harvard Health Publishing states meditation has been found to change brain regions that are linked to depression.

 

Reduces stress

You might already know that meditation can help reduce stress, but we couldn’t cover this topic without stating it. The practice can leave you feeling calmer and more relaxed.

The Mayo Clinic says that by meditating, you “may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.” And because we know that a build-up of stress can lead to burnout, combating stress with meditation might help set you up for a healthier life.

 

Boosts immunity

Regular meditation has been shown to help boost your immune system. Researchers found that meditation increases electrical activity in the left side of the brain – which is responsible for your immune system.

It was also found that those who meditate have higher counts of antibodies in their blood, which helps fight illness.

 

Boosts mood

2019 study found that brief and daily meditation decreased mood disturbance.

Additionally, the study found that short daily meditation practices can have similar behavioural effects as long and intense meditation sessions, which is good news if you’re just starting out with your practice or can only meditate for a couple of moments a day.

 

Helps with sleep

The act of meditation can help you get to sleep faster, according to a 2015 study. Researchers found that participants who practiced mindfulness meditation had less insomnia and fatigue.

mediation

According to Harvard Health Publishing, mindfulness meditation “involves focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future. It helps you break the train of your everyday thoughts to evoke the relaxation response, using whatever technique feels right to you.”

 

Decreases pain

If you suffer from chronic aches, pains, and headaches, meditation could help! Scientists have found a link between mindfulness meditation and pain relief.

While the exact reason behind this still remains somewhat unclear, many health experts recommend regular meditation in addition to medical treatments for chronic pain.

 

Boosts creativity

Want to feel more creative at work? Start meditating! Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation can encourage creative thinking and problem-solving.

Meditation also helps us separate our emotions from our work, which helps us think more clearly and develop new ideas. 

 

Lowers blood pressure

While this one is up for a bit of debate, most experts agree that meditation can be a good way to help lower blood pressure in addition to medical treatment, a healthy diet, and exercise.

While meditation might not directly cause your blood pressure to lower, the practice helps fight stress and anxiety – which can both be culprits of high blood pressure. 

 

Boosts productivity

Daily meditation can help you perform better at work! Research found that meditation helps increase your focus and attention and improves your ability to multitask.

Meditation helps clear our minds and focus on the present moment  – which gives you a huge productivity boost.

 

Improves social wellbeing

Meditation has been shown to help individuals build better relationships. Meditation teaches us how to be more present in the moment, which is extremely helpful for relationships.

One study also found that regular meditation was linked to more laughter, empathy, and socialness.

 

Boosts emotional intelligence

Many of us have troubles understanding our emotions. Mindfulness meditation helps teach us how to be aware of our feelings and emotions and how to process them better.

Practicing meditation changes how you think and helps you learn to understand your emotions without having to act upon them.

 

Meditation Benefits for Mental Health – Final thoughts

While meditation isn’t a magic solution for all health issues – when practiced regular, it can definitely help you feel healthier, happier and improve your mental health

If you’ve never meditated before, start slow and ease yourself into the practice.

Give yourself some love and relaxation, and try meditating today.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MEDITATION BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

Meditation-Benefits-for-Mental-Health

40 JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH – ULTIMATE GUIDE!

40 JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH – ULTIMATE GUIDE!

Today I will be sharing with you journal prompts for mental health. Have you been feeling stressed and overwhelmed lately? When was the last time you did a mental health check-in? Mental illness is a silent killer. Depression, anxiety, OCD, panic attacks, eating disorders and…

Making Peace with Past Mistakes – Forgive Yourself!

Making Peace with Past Mistakes – Forgive Yourself!

Today we will be talking through making peace with past mistakes. I’ve made many mistakes and endless bad choices in my life. The guilt I carried for a long time was unbearable. We often hold on to the past despite the pain it might bear…

Ways to Stop Overthinking – Ultimate Guide!

Ways to Stop Overthinking – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will be talking through ways to stop overthinking.

Everyone overthinks sometimes. It becomes problematic when someone finds it difficult to stop having the same thoughts. From there, it gets easy to slip into a circular pattern of thinking and move on to severe stress and anxiety.

Overthinking is something we all do at one time or another. Still, many people find that constant overthinking plagues their lives.

Overthinking has been linked to mental issues such as depression and anxiety. It can cause a decline in mental health, and when that happens, you’re even more likely to overthink. It’s a vicious cycle.

When you overthink, you can find yourself having trouble in your work life, social life, and other aspects of life. Your work and relationships may suffer, and you may also experience a range of unpleasant physical symptoms.

Relaxing may seem impossible at first, but learning how to stop overthinking and begin relaxing will have a significant impact on your happiness and health.

Overthinking can be debilitating to those who can’t seem to get out of their own heads. If this resonates with you, here is a simple guide with 14 tips to help you relax.

 

 

What is overthinking?

Overthinking is simply what it sounds like – thinking too much. But how much is too much? The answer is when it causes noticeable discomfort and anxiety.

When we care about something, we can develop unhealthy levels of worry about it. Overthinking tends to be associated with ruminating on things that have already happened, whereas anxiety is the fear of what may happen.

Nervousness can sometimes help us to pay more attention and do our best, but overthinking can become an unhealthy condition quickly.

Some personality types are more prone to overthinking than others. Those who already have conditions like depression and anxiety may be more susceptible to overthink outcomes in situations.

 

Why is overthinking so harmful?

Some people are only occasionally plagued with overthinking, but for others it can be a daily debilitating burden.

Overthinking is toxic to our mental and physical health.

First it affects our emotional health. Studies have found that people who tend to overthink regularly are more likely to get depressed than those who do not, and women are even more prone to overthinking than men.

It creates stress and anxiety, which then impacts our physical health which can cause a lowered immune system, stomach issues, headaches, and chronic pain.

Overthinking can keep us from making important decisions or even simple ones.

ways-to-stop-overthinking

We struggle so much with which is the right decision that sometimes we end up not taking any action at all and staying in limbo.

We doubt ourselves and assume the worst will happen, so we give up and don’t try anything.

When we assume we can’t, it’s guaranteed we won’t.” – Don’t Overthink It

We stay up late into the night worrying about what to do, or going over the past questioning decisions we made, replaying scenes in our minds wishing we’d done things differently.

In the past, I’ve personally laid awake all night many times struggling with toxic thoughts, until I learned how to stop the cycle of overthinking at night.

I learned that you can either be in the river with your thoughts, or you can swim to the shore. Getting out of the river doesn’t automatically stop the flow of your thoughts, but when you step outside of them, they don’t create as much of an emotional reaction and you can gain some control.

 

What are the symptoms of overthinking?

Some signs and symptoms that you may be overthinking include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Over-analysis
  • Hard time letting things go
  • Perfectionism
  • Racing thoughts
  • Self-criticism
  • Catastrophizing
  • Procrastination
  • Feeling like your brain is stuck ‘on’
  • Anxiety
  • Physical tension

If you are experiencing any, or all, of these, don’t worry, I have some powerful ideas for you to try in order to stop overthinking and relax.

The first thing I will say is that none of these are quick fixes, they all take practice.  They are all useful things to have.

If one thing doesn’t work, you may well find that something else does.  It might not be immediate, these tips become more powerful with practice.

 

Ways to Stop Overthinking – Ultimate Guide!

Here are 14 tips to get you out of the habit of overthinking:

 

Become aware of the spiral

The first step to overcome overthinking is to become aware of it on a conscious level.

Stepping out of the flow of toxic overthinking allows you the opportunity to change the direction of your thoughts. You can pull a mental lever and redirect the river of your thoughts to a calmer path.

To do this start to take note of how you’re feeling throughout the day. When you notice yourself feeling down or stressed tune into your inner dialog. What thoughts are you thinking?

Are you ruminating on the past or worrying about the future? Are you talking down about yourself? Are you obsessing over what someone else did?

Identify the source of your wayward thoughts and then use one or more of the following strategies to help you stop overthinking everything.

 

Create a trigger for positive thoughts

Once you become aware of the overthinking spiral, create a trigger that prompts you to redirect your thoughts (pulling the lever).

Telling yourself to stop thinking about something doesn’t always work, sometimes it causes you to think about that thing even more.

However, if you redirect your thoughts, you’re less likely to circle back to the thing you were stressing about

When I notice I’m in a negative thought spiral I think the word ‘spiral’ and that triggers me to think about something harmless.

This especially helps me to stop overthinking at night when my brain doesn’t have anything else to do but replay events from the past that were upsetting or embarrassing, or worry about the future.

Sometimes my brain goes back to the unwanted train of thought, but I just pull the lever again (thinking the word spiral) and redirect as many times as needed.

 

Listen to your intuition, not your fear

Overthinking is part of the fear response from your Ego. The ego likes to be safe and it loves your comfort zone and routines.

If you threaten what your ego perceives to be safety of your comfort zone, it will go a little crazy. It’ll trigger your fear response to keep you from ‘danger.

Your ego will chime in with a chaotic bombardment of second guessing, what if-ing, and doomsday projections. It’ll be completely irrational, but because you’re so used to trusting that voice it’ll take you along for the ride.

You can stop overthinking by learning to recognise your intuition so that you have certainty that you’re on the right path. When you do this, you can calm your ego’s fear response.

 

Don’t focus on what can go wrong 

A lot of overthinking stems from fear. Instead of focusing on what can go wrong, try to think about what can go right instead.

Mental clarity takes mindfulness to achieve, so mastering this first step of focus is crucial. When you find yourself asking, ‘What if this goes wrong?‘ Stop immediately, and ask, ‘What if this goes right?

Your brain will automatically attempt to answer the question you have asked – whether that question is positive or negative.

So, catch yourself before your thoughts begin to negatively spiral.

 

Learn how to meditate

Meditation tools, when taught the right way, can be powerful ways to bring you into the present moment.

Here in the west, we are so conditioned into spending so many hours of our day doing, thinking and analysing.

That most people really struggle to stop, struggle to relax especially relax properly. Now meditation helps because it encourages more space, more freedom between our thoughts.

Meditation helps us connect with our own inner peace, our own inner calm, and our own inner guidance.

It helps us reconnect with the self and less distracted by thoughts that are not facts. It also helps us not be pulled in by the external distortion and manipulation of the world and media around us.

 

 

Practice Mindfulness

Regular practice of Mindfulness helps to control overthinking. Mindfulness does not attempt to suppress or cut down the disturbing thoughts. Instead, it trains the mind to accept the thoughts that arise without judging them or holding on to them and letting them go.

The overthinker in a mindful state no more tries to control, change, or reduce the thoughts. It is this letting go of the meddlesome thoughts that paradoxically reduce their frequency in the long run.

Overthinking

In a meta-study of 11 studies, Clinical psychologist Lilisbeth Perestelo-Perez, Ph.D., M.Psych, and others found Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can reduce overthinking significantly.

The mindfulness methods were equally effective in controlling rumination as medication and CBT.

They also found the positive effects of mindfulness were present even a month after the end of MCBT.

 

 

Create rituals and routines

Creating rituals or routines can take away some of the stress of making daily decisions. Humans get decision fatigue.

As the day goes on it gets harder to make rational, clear-headed decisions. This can lead to your mind making things more complicated than they should be.

A routine is a series of linked behaviours. With enough repetition your routine becomes a habit and you don’t have to think about it, you just do it.

If you overthink whether or not to workout every day, make it part of your routine by linking it to another habit.

Eventually it’s just something you do, not something you have to think about.

 

 

Realise that most people aren’t paying much attention

We tend to assume that everyone around us notices the things we say and do. This is called the Spotlight Effect. It’s an illusion because most people are much more interested in themselves than anyone else. People will forget your embarrassing moments quickly.

Think back to the last time a friend of yours slipped up in a social situation. Unless it was very recently or had dramatic consequences, you probably can’t remember it.

Remembering this can help you feel less anxious about making mistakes.

 

Watch our energy flow

“Overthinking is often a product of underdoing.”
~ Yehuda Berg

Just as everyone has 24 hours a day, we only have so much energy each day. When we focus on one thing, something got to give.

So, I got conscious of what other important things I might neglect while my energy is being spent on overthinking.

I keep reminding myself I can control where I place my awareness at any moment. We have the luxury of choosing what to focus on.

No one is pointing a gun at you and me to overthink while neglecting some other important aspects of our life.

Overthinking and worrying are all our own doing, therefore, we can undo them.

It may seem hard at first.

Start by observing where you’re letting your energy flow. Keep moving it back to the correct paths each time it goes off track.

You’ll soon learn to stop overthinking and relax.

 

Let it out

When a situation or circumstance upsets us, it’s hard not to rerun it over and over in our heads. You might need to just release it all somehow.

One way you can do that is by talking to somehow. Let them know what you’ve been feeling about whatever recently happened to you.

Tell them the things that you’ve been unable to just stop wondering about. Talking everything out can help reduce how much you dwell on an event.

Overthinking

You could also write your musings out as well. I’ve utilized journaling in the past to get stuff that’s been stuck in my head out.

Whichever outlet you choose, taking time to release those words circling around inside will help ease your emotions.

Pondering something too much doesn’t have to be a problem you live with. When you take a few steps to comfort yourself, you’ll find that you won’t dwell so much on negative emotions.

 

 

Develop self-compassion

We can all be too hard, demanding and uncompassionate towards ourselves. Especially about decisions, we have made in the past or even in our present situation.

Because we are so over-identified with who we think we are or are supposed to be. This leaves us emptier and more confused, and more likely to fall into jobs and roles that do not fill our souls.

Self-compassion can teach us how to giving ourselves the same compassion and understanding we give to those around us.

 

Stop waiting for perfection 

Perfection is not as important as progress. News flash: perfection doesn’t exist!

Many overthinkers are perfectionists, and they will avoid making decisions or taking action because they are afraid of getting it wrong.

Letting go of the idea of perfection is one of the essential steps to allow your mind to rest.

Imperfections are perfectly normal, and many people aim for ‘good’ or ‘good enough.’ The actual doing and learning are more important than getting it ‘perfectly’ right.

 

Exercise

Overthinking can lead to anxiety and puts us in a ‘fight or flight’ mode.

This fight or flight reaction leaves us with pent-up energy which has to go somewhere. If we don’t do something to release this it will stay in the body and mind as tension.

A gentle walk outside for half an hour is enough to help release pent-up energy.

Ideally, if you can, then do something a bit more energetic that raises your heart rate a little.  I guarantee you will feel better.

 

Books can put new ideas in your mind

Books are refreshers. They are atom bomb-level ideas packed into an area that fits in your palms.

Books can divert your thoughts. They teleport you into a parallel universe – in your imagination, of course.

As you read, your mind comes out of the painful memories and flourishes again with good thoughts.

 

Ways to stop overthinking – final thoughts

If you don’t get on top of your overthinking, you may begin to lose control.

Acknowledging that you have a problem, and taking steps to overcome it will help you feel better.

It’s time you were the boss of your own life once more!

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MENTAL HEALTH BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

Overthinking

 

Tips on Anger Management – Ultimate Guide!

Tips on Anger Management – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will be talking though tips on anger management. Anger is a very powerful emotion and while releasing anger can be good for our health, it can also become a burden. Anger makes us react irrationally and aggressively and can cause us mental health problems including…

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety – Ultimate Guide! 

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety – Ultimate Guide! 

Today we will be talking you through tips for managing stress and anxiety. It is normal to feel stressed or anxious amidst a global pandemic where everything seems tragic, drastic, and messy on our lovely blue planet. The rising spread of COVID-19 and the fear it has…

Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will be talking you through tips for overcoming social anxiety.

All of us have spent a big chunk of the last 18 months locked away inside, not seeing anybody outside of our household.

Even with the lockdowns now eased in July 2021, groups of people were still having to shield or isolate.

Although cases are on the rise again, restrictions have been eased and life has returned to some resemblance of normal (for now).

Are you even a little worried about how to cope with summer socialising now that we’re being offered a glimpse of freedom?

After a year of staying in, watching a lot more TV than usual, having the same conversations with the same people, do you feel the need to brush up on your conversation skills before meeting friends and family in person?

The glimpse of freedom brings with it excitement, it also brings with it anxiety, stress and worry.

We have compiled some tips to help us all deal with the social anxiety as lockdown eases and how to ease ourselves back into normal life.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified councillor/therapist, therefore all advice given is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder, sometimes referred to as social phobia, is a type of anxiety disorder that causes extreme fear in social settings.

People with this disorder have trouble talking to people, meeting new people, and attending social gatherings.

Tips-for-Overcoming-Social-Anxiety

They fear being judged or scrutinized by others. They may understand that their fears are irrational or unreasonable, but feel powerless to overcome them.

Social anxiety is different from shyness. Shyness is usually short-term and doesn’t disrupt one’s life. Social anxiety is persistent and debilitating. It can affect one’s ability to:

  • work
  • attend school
  • develop close relationships with people outside of their family

 

Symptoms of social anxiety

Individuals with social anxiety can experience both physical and mental symptoms.

Mental symptoms

  • Worrying about an upcoming social situation for weeks in advance.
  • Distress or panic when faced with lots of people.
  • Inability to think straight.
  • A feeling of the mind going blank.
  • Worrying about accidentally offending people.
  • Overly criticising yourself after a conversation.

Physical symptoms

  • blushing
  • sweating
  • heart palpitations
  • trembling
  • nausea
  • stuttering

These physical symptoms heighten a person’s fear of judgement causing them further mental distress and thus are more likely to develop the physical symptoms. The combination can cause the individual to become stuck in a cycle of worry.

 

Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

 

Think about your boundaries

During the pandemic, a lot of people found themselves using language they weren’t used to saying, such as “no” or “I’m not doing this during the pandemic,” and that’s great. Practicing boundaries is essential for your well-being.

Knowing your limits is needed in order to keep you safe and protected. So just because the world around us is starting the process of transitioning back to certain pre-pandemic ways of being, doesn’t mean you have to go back to your old habits.

You still get to decide what you want to expose yourself to and what you don’t.

I suggest you think about what boundaries you want to implement within these three dimensions: time, physical, and emotional. Then start sharing them with your co-workers, friends, and families.

 

Learn how to say ‘no

If you find it difficult to say ‘no’, learn how – now. Being able to say ‘no’ will be your saviour, especially if you have decided you’re going to continue with a quieter life.

Try this proven method. Ask yourself, if I say ‘yes’ to this meeting or event, what am I saying ‘no’ to.

For example, if you say ‘yes’ to two get-togethers in one day are you saying ‘no’ to your mindful walk or your precious reading time?

Which option nourishes you and your wellbeing? That’s the option you choose to say ‘yes’ to.

 

Self-regulate through self-soothing

If you’re someone who has been working remotely during the pandemic, it’s possible that you may find yourself in a position where you are being called back into the office, even if you’re not ready to go there.

There may not be a way to get out of that reality, but there are ways you can work through your difficult emotions around this by practicing self-soothing techniques to regulate your feelings.

Social-Anxiety

When we are emotionally dysregulated, our executive functioning skills are compromised, which can lead to poor choices and an inability to effectively problem-solve.

To help combat this, when you feel emotionally overwhelmed and anxious, try to engage in practices that bring you back to your centre, such as the grounding techniques, meditation, mindfulness, and engaging with sensory items like a stress ball.

 

 

Avoid relying on drugs/alcohol to cope

There’s nothing wrong with having a drink or two if it helps you relax and feel more comfortable talking to people.

In fact, the confidence boost gained from alcohol is commonly called ‘Dutch courage’.

But relying on alcohol and drugs to get through social interactions can become problematic if it’s done irresponsibly or develops into an unhealthy dependence or addiction.

The misuse of substances can be damaging for you and the people around you.

Becoming intoxicated at a party or social event can also cause what’s called ‘hangxiety’.

Ever woken up after a night of drinking and feel anxious and panicked about what you might have said and done?

That’s hangxiety – and it can make your social anxiety worse. So always drink responsibly.

 

Pace yourself

Accept how you feel. It’s normal to feel a level of social anxiety after a year of being apart from others – go easy on yourself.

Start slowly. Be honest with family and friends, let them know what’s going on for you. Meet a close friend or family member first.

Close connections are beneficial for mental health, so if you can’t cope with too many get-togethers right now, going at a pace you can handle is crucial for your wellbeing.

 

Focus on what others are saying

During conversation those who struggle with social anxiety can be distracted by their negative thoughts or fears about what the other person is thinking about them.

Instead, truly listen to what is being said and do your best to remain authentic, engaged and attentive.

Focusing on what others contribute to the conversation will also help you stay in the moment, instead of worrying about what you’re going to say next or giving yourself a difficult time for an awkward moment that has already passed.

 

Try journaling

Journaling, writing down your worries and how you feel about them brings you clarity on why exactly you’re feeling anxious.

Use your notebook or journal to write – just begin to write about what exactly you’re worried about.

Why are you concerned? Is it because you have no stories to tell? Is it because you have come to enjoy the habit of solitude and you’re unsure how to ‘be’ with people you haven’t seen for so long?

Social-Anxiety

Write about how these thoughts make you feel. Dig deep and write about what it is exactly bothers you about socialising again.

What’s the worst that can happen? How likely is it that the worst will happen? Even if it does happen, how bad will this really be? What are your options to cope?

Gratitude journaling takes your mind off what’s bothering you, brings you to a more positive place where you feel less anxious about many aspects of life.

When your mind is more positive, use this as a springboard for taking action.

 

 

Prepare (a little)

Some people find it helpful to prepare in advance because it decreases their anxiety somewhat.

Questions are good – when you ask questions, others will be delighted to open-up to you – always a great recipe for successful socialising.

Don’t go over the top with planning however, as you may end up stressing yourself even more. Go with the flow as much as you can.

 

Find a different perspective

Worried about meeting someone with whom you don’t have a great relationship, either alone or in a group?

Give some thought to how you’ll be; what you’ll say – and what you won’t say or do. Take into account that the other person may be feeling tense about the situation too.

This will give you a different perspective. Have an exit plan – and be prepared to action your exit plan if, and when you need to.

 

People rarely judge others for being nervous in social situations

Depending on the severity of your anxiety, shaky hands or a tremble in one’s voice might cause your social anxiety to feel additionally obvious to those around you.

Although these too often go unnoticed, it can be useful in these situations to remember that the majority of people have experienced anxiety at a point in their lives, and it’s unlikely that they will form a negative impression of you for it.

 

Remind yourself of positive social interactions

Remember all those times you caught up with friends, presented in front of a group, or made an important phone call and everything went just fine?

We tend to focus on the negatives and forget all the successful social interactions we’ve had over the years.

If you’re nervous or anxious before a social event, try to think of a few recent cases where you had a positive experience.

 

Choose activities you enjoy

If you’re worried about socialising indoors, organise to meet people outside for walks, swims, picnics. Write a list of things you like to do, then take steps to include others in your activities.

 

Consider others

Consider how others are feeling. Think about how you can help others to feel at ease when you meet. Reassuring others will automatically take you out of your own head and calm your thoughts.

 

Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety – Final thought

A journal can be your therapist and your friend. Reading various articles can give you ideas on how to cope.

If your anxiety becomes overwhelming however, and you need further professional help, now is a great time to reach out coaches, counsellors and therapists are trained, ready and willing to help.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST ANXIETY BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

Social-Anxiety

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