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

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angel5087 Offline
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Name: Angel
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Social Anxiety - November 9th 2014, 07:38 PM

I have many different types of anxiety, but this form has been bothering me most recently. I have always been a little shy and awkward since I was little, more so than the average person. But I never thought much about it. Then, I went into homeschooling. I didn't really have any contact with anyone except the people I lived with for about 3 years afterward. In the past few months, I have started going to church in a attempt to make friends. After a long time, I finally made friends. It is fun going to see my friends and it is fun going to church, but I never can enjoy it cause there's just this horrible anxiety going on in my head. It even causes physical symptoms, my friends have pointed out that I'm shaking and my face is constantly red. If there any way to ease this anxiety?
   
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Re: Social Anxiety - November 10th 2014, 03:49 PM

Hi Angel!

Are you getting any help for your anxiety? Like counselling or therapy? They can offer great ways of managing all different types of anxieties. Is there a way that you could tell a trusted adult to help you get counselling? If you were in school, I would suggest seeing your guidance counsellor about how you feel.

Anxiety typically affects you in three ways: thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. When you are anxious, do you notice yourself thinking things like ‘people are staring at me’ ‘people think I’m weird’ etc? Tackling the thoughts is a good way of reducing anxiety. Instead of focusing on what other people might think of us, it’s good to rationalise these thoughts. For example, we don’t know what other people are thinking so it is useless worrying about it. Anxiety can also affect us physically. We may feel like we have ‘butterflies’ in our stomach, we may breathe faster and shallower, our heart rate may increase, and we may feel sweaty and shaky among other feelings. This is because anxiety is a response to situations that we may feel scared of, and so these reactions prepare us to ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. However, sometimes we may be sensitive and we may feel anxious even when there is no real danger e.g. in social situations. The best way to manage the physical symptoms is to try to calm down. Doing regular deep breathing exercises, daily and when we are entering in a situation that we feel anxious about, will slow our heart rate and breathing rate down and will relax our muscles so we aren’t tense (so you won’t be shaking). Other things like meditation and yoga can also help. Even though the thoughts and feelings can feel daunting, it’s good to remember that it is only the anxiety making you feel this way- you aren’t in danger, and the feelings will pass. Lastly, anxiety can affect our behaviours. As you have found out, when you were home-schooled, since you didn’t have a big chance of meeting others, you are now finding it hard dealing with social situations. As hard as it may be, try not to avoid social situations as it may make your anxiety worse in the long run. In other words, well done for going to Church and making friends and keep at it!

You can also check out our articles and resources for more information on dealing with anxiety.

Take care


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