- Mental Health»
- Anxiety Disorders
How to Cure Social Anxiety Completely
If you are reading this you may be suffering from social anxiety, and are looking for a cure. First of all, I want you to take a look at this test which can indicate if you have social anxiety (of course, it is not as accurate as a doctor’s diagnosis).
I have experienced social anxiety and all the turmoil it brings, and I can tell you that this horrible “disorder” can be cured, no matter what people may otherwise tell you. In this hub, I am going to list all of the resources which have helped me, and tips which will improve your situation.
Don’t take online accounts to heart
One of my biggest mistakes during my social anxiety was reading online accounts of people who had social anxiety. Most of them were pessimistic posts about how their life would never be good again, and how social anxiety was incurable.
This is obviously the disorder speaking – the person is so fed up with SAD that they can’t see a way out and present their opinion as fact. They can’t find the right cure. Also, most people who have successfully gotten rid of their social anxiety do not post on the internet about it, but let it stay in the past.
Reading such things can make you feel hopeless and like there is no way out of this, when in fact there is. You should not be making yourself lose more and more hope at this point.
Don’t avoid situations that make you anxious
A huge mistake would be to avoid situations that make you anxious. Avoiding things is counterproductive, and just makes you more fearful of the next similar situation. You should try all you can to put yourself in that situation and do your best. When you see that you can do what you thought you couldn’t, your belief in the anxious thoughts is lessened, and you can approach a similar situation with less anxiety.
This is what they teach you in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), a treatment which has been shown to be extremely beneficial in social anxiety sufferers. I went through CBT for a year and I can say that it has taught me techniques which are invaluable. It helped me see the errors in my thought process and how anxiety develops.
I highly recommend for you to ask for this treatment. Where I live, it is free, but in certain countries it may not be. There are free CBT courses and taster sessions popping up everywhere though, so be on the look and research. You can also buy books on CBT, which outline the main steps.
An online resource is MoodGYM, where you learn cognitive behavior therapy skills for preventing and coping with anxiety and depression.
Accept your fear
You may be thinking, “This is stupid! How can I accept something so horrible?” but believe me, you should. Why do nervous and anxious people never get rid of their fears? Because they spend all their life trying to push them away, to deny they're there. Once you accept it and let it wash over you, you'll realise there's nothing that bad about it. After all, your body is normal. It is reacting normally to the stressful situation you have created.
Sometimes you may have setbacks in your recovery. You might think, “Oh no! This means my anxiety is back!” and start panicking and trying to push it away, leading to more anxiety and for your anxiety to actually come back.
Diet and exercise
What are you eating? If you’re like the majority of people, then not very nutritious things. Your body is a complex, organic machine. You have to feed it the right fuel for it to work and keep things running smoothly. Preservatives and bad food will send your system into panic.
I suggest cutting out all junk food. Implement fruit & vegetables, lean meat, nuts & seeds, fish and eggs. I personally do not eat grains as they cause blood sugar to spike and make me feel weak, dizzy and hungry. I feel much better without grains, and my emotions are more stable. Please get the thought that fat is bad for you out of your head. It is not.
One of the most important things is to DRINK WATER. We are made of water! Water is the most pure thing in the world! Yet people down coke and juice and completely ignore natural water. Soda is absolutely vile to your body. If you want to be healthy, please, please drink water.
Another thing is exercise. Exercising releases endorphins, the body’s natural happy chemical! I guarantee that if you go out and exercise in your most anxious, depressed period, you will come back feeling better.
I lift weights at the gym, do martial arts and yoga, swim, and run. These have not only drastically improved my anxiety, but sculpted my body, which will no doubt make you feel more confident. Getting to each of my classes has also helped me face tough social situations.
A good diet and exercise routine will rid you of skin and health problems, and make you look and feel amazing. Do not skip this step.
Meditation is not just some tinfoil hat, speculation garble that only monks do. Meditation is a state of deep peace. Deep peace definitely sounds like a good contrast to bad anxiety. There are different types of meditation, mindfulness being amongst the most popular. Giving the briefest explanation possible – focus on one thing and relax (e.g, sounds, tastes, pressure).
There are many tools for meditation online, and also some good apps.
People are happier in general when exposed to sunlight. It brightens their day, literally. I find that in my case, cloudy weather and rain makes me horrendously depressed. When the sun shows up, I’m the happiest person around! My anxiety is lessened tremendously. This also has to do with vitamin D production.
Unfortunately, many people don’t live in hot places, or places where the sun comes out often. The best you can do if you're one of those people is bask in the sun when it does show up (with no sunscreen) for at least a recommended 15 minutes. Take vitamin D supplements and go out more often.
My hub The Sun is Not Unhealthy lists why you should spend more time in the Sun and why sunscreen isn't particularly good for you.
Diet & Fitness
If you seriously want to change your lifestyle for the better, these resources will be invaluable.
★ = very thorough/recommended
Pick one of these, or all of them.
Counting calories is something that's essential if you want to make progress and know where your body is heading.
myfitnesspal.com ★(this is as useful as water to me)
iifym.com/iifym-calculator ★(calculates your TDEE, whether or not you're doing the IIFYM diet)
freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm# (another great TDEE calculator)
1percentedge.com/ifcalc (figure out your macros!)
Also, I recommend Fitocracy as a workout tracker. You can use the notes tool on your phone, but Fitocracy is much more organized and has a great community too! (app / website)
There are so so many diets out there. Here's extensive information on some of them.
A Guide to Ketosis ★
IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)
Massive guides on fitness...everything covered.
Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide
YouTube can provide some sweet information, and some pretty good comedy.
StrengthCamp / Elliot Hulse
HodgeTwins / TwinMuscleWorkout
I have written a separate hub on yoga, which can be found here, but for your sake I will list all the resources here! Please navigate to the yoga hub to learn about the benefits of yoga.
Yogis Anonymous. Online yoga classes.
YogaGlo. Over 2,000 yoga videos. Offers a free 15 day trial.Yoga Journal. You see this website get tossed around and mentioned a lot, don't you? It's earned its place. Articles, videos and many many other things on yoga. Their yoga sequence builder is here.
Yoga Download. This link goes to the section for free classes.
DoYogaWithMe. 100% free yoga videos.
YOME. Another 100% free yoga resource.
A comprehensive review on yoga apps.
Yoga Today (beautiful locations!)
Steve Ross's Inhale videos