Social anxiety is a problem that can be controlled, managed and even completely overcome with proper techniques.
Here’s how to relieve your social anxiety symptoms using simple techniques you can use next time you are in a social setting.
Incorrect breathing technique
Currently your automatic breathing technique when anxious will be “very short breaths”. You’ll be breathing too fast without even knowing it.
Short breaths cause your blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to fluctuate, which creates symptoms like dizziness, muscle pain and shaking.
The correct breathing technique!
Your breaths OUT should always be LONGER than your breaths in.
That’s the golden rule for dealing with social anxiety on a physical level. 2 to 3 seconds IN, followed by 4 to 5 seconds OUT is ideal. Consciously tell yourself to breath slowly, and for longer out than in.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to take deep breaths! That would give you more oxygen than you need, which would stimulate you, possibly into a panic.
It’s easy to forget about this when you’re feeling anxious, so engrain it into your mind as the most important tip you can get from this site: if in doubt, consciously change your breathing to a slower pace…2 or 3 seconds in and 4 or 5 seconds out. It is THAT important.
Poor blood circulation
If anxiety makes you feel weak, or gives
you tingling sensations,
you’ve probably got poor blood circulation. This is completely
harmless, and there are 1 or 2 things you can do about it…
Take light exercise
Swimming, cycling and walking are all very good for dealing with social phobia’s physical symptoms because they get blood to circulate better.
Seeing as you’re probably not going to get your bike out, or take a dip in the pool in the middle of a conversation, it’s best to take a walk around.
For example, if you’re in a bar and you get these sensations, take a walk to the toilet. Once you’re there, go into a cubicle and shake your arms and legs a little. This should help to circulate the blood, and the symptoms should seem better than they were.
Exercise also helps to counter excess adrenaline in the blood. Adrenaline promotes anxiety, and so anything you can do to reduce it is helpful.
Achy muscles, or headaches
Muscle pain, particularly in the neck, head and shoulders, is common in anxiety sufferers. This pain happens because as your body prepares to run or fight (the fight or flight response), it tenses up.
This can be particularly distressing if you
leave it untreated, so
it’s best that you get help with it. The solution, actually, is a
That’s right, a good old fashioned rub on those aching muscles should be enough to make them feel much better.
You can do this by yourself for your neck and head. Unless you’re some sort of acrobat, you might have to let someone else massage your back.
Having said that, if you can get someone else to massage your back, it’s better to get them to do your neck and head also. You can totally relax if someone else does it. If you do it yourself, you’ll be unable to relax enough to make it too much better.
|Often, anxious people’s headaches are caused by muscle tension.|
Bad body posture
Bad posture can cause restricted breathing, poor blood circulation and digestive problems.
When you’re coping with social anxiety and/or panics, your breathing and circulation are 2 things that will determine how severe the anxiety becomes.
Many people with anxiety adopt a bad posture, especially when sitting.
Because they feel somewhat threatened, they sit very ‘tucked in’. Typically this includes folded arms, tucked in legs, and a forward lean of the upper body.
Doing this compresses the heart and lungs, thus restricting blood circulation and even causing muscle pain.
The better your posture is, the more healthily you can breath, and the more freely your blood can flow.
So what should your posture be like?
Awesome body posture!
- Most importantly, sit upright and squarely. Your spine should be straight.
- Get yourself comfy. If your chair isn’t so comfortable, find another one.
- Take regular breaks from sitting. Every 30 – 60 minutes, go for a walk around. Sometimes simple stuff like this is all it takes for relieving social anxiety’s physical symptoms.
Any chest pain you encounter alongside your social anxiety is almost certainly due to muscle tension.
It can feel as if you’re having
a heart attack, but the likelihood of that is very slim. Also, heart
problems usually start off with pains in other parts of the body.
Breathing exercises & massage
Having a massage on your upper back, shoulders and chest will help to relieve any achy muscles you might have. The breathing exercises should also help to relax your muscles so that they stop causing the chest pain.
Constipation or Diarrhoea
Your muscles need more oxygen than usual to perform when you are full on anxious feelings around people. To get more oxygen to your muscles, more blood needs to be pumped to them.
A lot of the blood needed by your muscles will come from your digestive tract. This means less blood will be left to run your digestive system. Having less blood slows it down.
At this point the muscles surrounding
the digestive tract can become knotted. Such muscular issues are the
causes of the 4 problems in no.6.
Milk, exercise and relaxation!
Cold milk is a natural antacid, which means it will help sooth your stomach.
This also means that ice cream and yoghurt are helpful. Bananas, strangely enough, work as a natural antacid too. Eat (or drink) any of those things to help your stomach.
Light exercise and relaxation are effective here because they both help to reduce anxiety levels. If you’re less anxious, the blood will return to the digestive system, which will undo the causes of those 4 problems.
Sore eyes, dry mouth & lips
When hit with social anxiety panic attack, water turns inwards to help the more important parts of the body function effectively.
This explains any lack of moisture you’ve noticed, including in your eyes and mouth.
Eye drops, water and lip balm
Your eyes may feel quite sore. If they really hurt, the best idea is to get some lubricating eye drops from your local pharmacy.
The solutions for mouth dryness are just as simple – drink water regularly, and if your lips are dry apply some lip balm.