Anyone and everyone who has something to say about social anxiety, already talks about the breathing exercises, muscle relaxations, meditation, mindfulness, exposure therapy etc. and you’ve probably heard the same advice churned out over and over and I get it, it all works, it’s all great but it can be a bit samey after a while can’t it?
I know that I advocate exposure therapy like mad on this blog and it’s by far my favourite method of beating social anxiety but there are few other different approaches that worked for me too. See, you don’t have to do just one thing to beat social anxiety, it’s not a diet, you can come at it from all different angles, try lots of different methods at once. It’s good to stick to something for a long period to see results but you can try other things at the same time for sure, you can even try making the things you’re already trying a bit more fun.
Here’s just a few things that worked for me…
1 – Treat it like a game
As much as I loved doing exposure therapy because of the end result, it could be really fucking boring, not to mention mentally draining and if I ever have to see another dull, clinical, black and white worksheet with a shit font, then I think I’ll scream… hence why I created the much more attractive ones in my book. Trying to beat social anxiety doesn’t have to be all work and no play however, you can make it something to enjoy.
How about assigning points to certain social situations, as well as levels? Keep a scoreboard and get yourself some “rewards”. If you don’t manage to complete the level, you can try again to redeem the reward, just like you can in any game.
2 – Poke fun at it
There have been several turning points in my life that ultimately helped me to beat social anxiety and one of those turning points, was making a joke of it. I’m not talking about trivialising the condition, or pretending it’s not the shittest thing ever but making fun of MYSELF. As soon as I started laughing at myself and joking about the daft things that social anxiety makes me do, it started to make the anxiety feel less heavy to deal with. It’s cliché as fuck, but laughter really is the best medicine.
I’m often posting funny things on my instagram about social anxiety because that’s how I’ve learnt how to manage it.
3 – Get your vitamin/iron levels checked
Seriously, low iron and vitamin levels, even magnesium, can have a massive impact on your anxiety and even though taking some supplements won’t make you a conversational wizard and it won’t help you overcome your social anxiety completely, it will still make a solid difference to your wellbeing and state of mind.
I started to notice that I was far more anxious around people when I was tired but no amount of sleep would fix it. My levels were all over the place. I started taking Life Extension Vitamin D3 supplements and immediately noticed a change, my energy was up straight away and my anxiety was already slightly better.
What unusual things have helped your social anxiety so far?