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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Melancholia. Offline
Devil Dez

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I hate how this is affecting me. - October 18th 2014, 02:50 AM

I don't really know what I'm asking here. But I guess my anxious feelings are starting to affect me again. I gained confidence for a while in certain situations and now it's hitting me again.

I went to the annual Connecticut Public Health Association conference today. It was good, I had a good time, but I couldn't bring myself to ask questions or talk to people, which means I missed out on a good networking opportunity there. But I don't mind that as much because I'm not looking for a job this year and can talk to advisors in my school about the path I want to follow so I know where to go from here. I did manage to talk to one of the professors actually and she told me a bit on how to double major, so it's a start.

But there was a social for just those in my school afterwards. Students (both undergrad and grad), alumni, professors. I couldn't bring myself to talk to anyone... I was the only freshman there so everyone else had their own friends and more experience and more people to talk to and things to talk about. And I basically convinced myself that they wouldn't want me butting in, that they wouldn't want me talking to them or associating with them. The social was supposed to be from 4-6 PM but I called my dad and left at 4:30. I sat there awkwardly texting because I was too nervous to approach people. Towards the end, some of the grad students invited me to talk to them which was good, but I still felt awkward because they already knew each other and were able to gossip about professors and their classes and talk about life in general and I just felt like I was intruding on them and was nervous they were just trying to be nice.

Idk. I feel as if these nervous, anxious feelings are starting to get the best of me in social situations again.


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Re: I hate how this is affecting me. - October 18th 2014, 11:48 AM

Hey Dez.

I'm not sure how much help I can be here, but I was faced with a similar situation this year and I, somehow, managed it. So in June I went to a Friday-Sunday conference of something like 400 people who study with the same university as me in England. There were people from all over the UK and Europe there. I've never been that far south before, let alone that area, and I was totally alone.
The mindset I put myself in as I was going there was "Who cares if I make a fool of myself? None of these people will ever see me again."
So the first night there were organised meetings for the different regions. I went to the Scottish one and smiled and laughed but didn't say much. The next morning I saw one of the girls who was at the same meeting sitting on her own at breakfast so I took a breath, smiled, and went over to say hi and sat down. That was it.
It was SO difficult but once I did it, other people she'd met the night before came and sat with us and were happy to include me. They'd only just met so it wasn't like there were long term friendships there I was intruding on.

They say you just need 30 seconds of insane courage to change your life, and that's completely true. If you tell yourself that you just need to do this ONE thing, that'll only take a few seconds, you can change everything.
I know that the conference is over now, but keep it in mind for future. A lot of people there won't know each other either, and it's SO scary, I know. But just smiling at someone can be enough to start a conversation. Even if you think ahead and pick something interesting to wear. A shirt that has something you like on it, or an interesting necklace, it provides a topic of conversation and it's a great ice breaker for people to approach you.

Bad timing for my mum to say we're going out now, but I hope what I did manage to say helps a little. Text or PM me if you need to do something like this again and get worried 'kay? I understand how scary it is and I'm happy to listen.


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Celyn Offline
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Re: I hate how this is affecting me. - October 18th 2014, 04:47 PM

Hi Dez,

My confidence fluctuates and I guess overcoming anxiety is like ‘two steps forward and one step back’.

I remember when I first started university 3 years ago and we had a fresher’s fair, basically getting to know everyone. I sat there really awkwardly and only talked when someone approached me. Even then, like you said, they were with their friends and I was on my own, so even though I managed to talk to others, it was still a bit awkward. Today, I went to an open day for my teacher training course that I want to get on, and again, same thing.

That said, whereas I spent half of last year, going backwards and being afraid to catch the bus, today I was fine. One thing I have noticed though, is how OFTEN we do these things can affect our anxiety levels. If I do something regularly, and then stop for a while, I will be anxious getting back into the routine of doing things, even though I have done it in the past. Does that make sense?

I totally agree with Louise’s mind-set of ‘They aren’t going to see me again, or remember me, so who cares?’ as that has helped me in the past too! Thinking about it, I also believe in the 30 seconds to change your life.

Take care


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