There are times when I avoid social functions...new situations, new people...conversations about what I do for a living...I can justify it every time. And then it happens...the cycle of anxiety.
It's true...it's a cycle...and it's one we can get stuck in sometimes. Have you ever got stuck? If so, what did you do for you to help you through it? or did you?
So...if you live with anxiety too and you're avoiding social situations...what can you do about it? What coping skills can you use to help you? What words can you say to yourself to support yourself instead of giving in to the feelings of fear? And it is the fear talking...you know that right? Sometimes...one anxious moment can lead us to generalize our anxiety to every situation we may find ourselves in. Sometimes... we can make ourselves anxious with just our thoughts alone. Has that ever happened to you?
If you're avoiding social situations because of your anxiety or you're bad at socializing and it gives you more anxiety...what can you do for you? here are just a few things to think about....
- talk to yourself with calm, encouraging and supporting words...YOU CAN DO THIS!
- face your fears...the more we avoid the situation...the more uncomfortable it will be for us. Instead of avoiding...support yourself!
- bring along your coping skills...the portable things you have that help you calm, relax, and ground yourself through your feelings...you CAN support yourself! yes you can!
- bring along a friend you feel comfortable with...someone who understands your anxiety...someone you trust and can turn to to help bring you back...share your feelings with your friend/support person so they can help you
- have a plan for how you will manage your feelings as you feel them...the more we can prepare for our feelings the more we can manage them
- start small okay? big parties or gatherings are probably not the place to practice your skills...small gatherings with close and trusted family and friends is a good way to start. As you get more comfortable with supporting and managing your feelings...go bigger! and keep challenging yourself!
- reward your efforts instead of beating yourself up for your feelings! berating yourself for feeling anxious does not help! tell yourself instead...you got out of the house! you tried! I'm proud of you! (yes even hearing "I'm proud of you" from ourselves is supportive and it's loving too! and you need this from you)
There are things you can do...things to help you through...will you find them instead of letting the anxiety rule? It's your choice...but I hope you choose you!
picture found online