4 Simple Things You Can Do to Eliminate the Anxiety in Your Life
Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment and inferiority. Everyone has feelings of anxiety, nervousness and stress in their lives from time to time. Almost everyone has felt anxious in social situations at one time or another. Many people get nervous on occasion, like when having to speak in front of a group or when interviewing for a new job, while others are anxious and nervous in almost all social situations.
But social anxiety is more than just being shy or having occasional nervousness. It involves intense fear of social situations. It’s more common among introverts and because each person has a unique chemical make-up, the intensity and frequency of the symptoms vary greatly from person to person. In the United States, studies have recently pegged social anxiety disorder as the third largest psychological disorder in the country, after depression and alcoholism. At the present time, it is estimated that 7-8% of the population suffers from some form of social anxiety. Many learn to cope and overcome social anxiety through self-help methods or seek counseling. However, those who are severely impaired due to high levels of anxiety should seek professional help.
Here are four strategies that you can start today to begin feeling calm and more positive:
1. Kill The ANTs
Social anxiety sufferers have negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their anxiety. Challenging your negative thoughts is one effective way of reducing the symptom. Dr. Amen has created a powerful and effective exercise, called Kill the ANTs, that takes no more than a few minutes to complete and will help reverse your negative thought process. “ANTs” are Automatic Negative Thoughts that come into your mind automatically but are not true. Left unchecked, these ANTs can infest your mind and ruin your mood, relationships and life. Dr. Amen says, “You do not have to believe every stupid thought that goes through your head.” Whenever you feel sad, mad, nervous, or out of control, write down the thoughts that are bothering you, reveal the facts about the situation and talk back to them.
2. Be Grateful
Another way to boost your mood and reduce anxiety is to write down five things you are grateful for every day. Research suggests that focusing on gratitude helps to calm the deep limbic or emotional areas of the brain and enhances the judgment centers. When you focus on what you love, your brain works better and you’ll feel better. You will notice a significant positive difference in your level of happiness in a short period of time!
3. Take Supplements
Taking supplements like fish oil will increase levels of omega-3 fatty acids that have been associated with anxiety and depression. GABA has shown to promote relaxation by increasing calming, focused brain waves, while also reducing other brain waves associated with worry. Magnesium is also a helpful, natural supplement that can ease the social anxiety.
Exercise will not only make you feel better about yourself, but will flood your body with feel-good endorphins. Research shows that increasing your body heat, a natural result of exercise, may alter neural circuits controlling cognitive function and mood, including those that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin. Researchers believe this response can boost your mood, increase relaxation, and alleviate anxiety.
Untreated anxiety can rob you of a great quality of life. At Amen Clinics, we take a multi-modal approach to treating anxiety disorders that includes brain SPECT imaging to identify which areas of your brain are working well and which areas are not functioning at optimal levels. We add detailed clinical assessments, cognitive testing, and labs if applicable to ensure we are capturing a 365-degree view of your overall condition. From the results, we construct a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to you and your individual needs.
To get your anxiety under control, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.