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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.

4. Exercise

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.

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COMMENTS

  1. Silvia gomez says:

    I have been having anxiety and negative thinking worries for a month now..

    • sharon says:

      Silvia, I recently went thru the same situation, and I found that if I think positive thoughts , and say to your self that this too will pass, and try exercising, and being around positive people every day helps. You may also want to try to read Joyce Meyers books A New Day A New You and Dr Amen’s book on How to feel better fast and Make It Last is very helpful. I also attended a seminar on how to overcome negative thinking.
      I found that within 2 weeks, my life has changed so much better. Also be sure to say out loud every day 5 things that you are grateful for instead of negative thoughts, it may help. Good Luck and I hope that this may help you like it did me.

    • Barbara Miller says:

      What is the source of negative thoughts and anxiety? Dale Carnegie says a problem well written is half solved. I suggest taking the time to get a pen and write it clearly. 2nd he says, what is the cause of the problem? Then 3rd what are all possible solutions to the problem? Pick one and don’t look back, take action on what you choose. Problems are like math- There is a solution to them if we can just sit long enough to think and write all down. Then take massive action to get the results of the solution. As we know, knowledge is not power, unless applied. Good luck and many blessing to you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  2. Sharon says:

    I have anxiety and depression. My husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He’s been told he needs to quit driving. I’ve had about 50 surgeries. I mostly stay in my house under a humidifier. I haven’t drove for about 8 years and I’m going to have to drive again. It terrifies me to think I have to drive again. I’ve got all your books but I’m not good at reading them and the other good book I have. I have OCD on collecting books. When I try to read my head hurts. One professional said I need to get a therapist. My husband has been handling our finances and their in a total mess. As soon as I can convince him that I need to handle the finances I will take them over. Right now we are trying to work things out with a Freedom Debt Relief. I should say I am because his memory is going. I see changes everyday. Besides having financial trouble we’re seniors on a limited income. I hope you can help me. Thanks, Sharon Chism

    • KAD says:

      Sharon,
      Not an expert, but have traveled this road with my grandmother and my father. Not sure where you are but many places have organizations, or resources to help people in your situation. Some can help with transportation and daily needs like getting groceries. There are also support groups. These can really help, both for finding out about resources and giving you people to talk to (it is hard and stressful to be a caretaker). God bless you and your husband. If your doctor doesn’t have suggestions, try church or local social services.

      • Kat says:

        Try contacting the Alzheimer’s Association. They assigned a caseworker to a family member of mine and were a great help. Often, depending on where you live, the county has social workers who can help too. There is also a organization called Foundation Aiding The Elderly (FATE) that is a wonderful organization. They have a website. They offer advice about elder care and might be able to steer you in the right direction to get some help. I would also recommend you get a copy of “The 36-Hour Day” by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins. In my opinion, it is the best on the market for information about how to deal with Alzheimer’s and what to expect. Based on my experience with my family, I would also recommend that you take a proactive approach right up front and get some help asap. Keep asking and keep bugging people until you get the help you need. Don’t wait until you are so overwhelmed you can’t think straight. That happened to a family member of mine.

  3. Maureen says:

    I have health anxiety. Quite a bit of my waking hours are spent worrying about my health. Really take away from the quality of life.

  4. Liz says:

    I have anxiety issues. I am so fearful of being abandon that it is crippling. My parents died the same year about 6 mos apart. My dog died, my daughter had scoliosis surgery and then my husband of 20yrs left on our anniversary. I have 2 daughters. 1 will leave soon for the coast guard. She wants to go but stays for concern about me. The other is 16 and is a teenager wanting her own life. I was forced to get a job that I don’t like.
    I drive all day seeing patients that are miles apart. Then I continue working when I get home. I feel that I can never do anything right at this job. It is constantly full of new rules. I am running my car into the ground. Mostly, I am alone all day. I am 9-5 but my supervisor is so controlling, I don’t normally get home until 8pm.
    I cannot believe my husband left me. He was always so devoted. I have been abandoned and betrayed.
    Now I feel I have no one. I am desperate. Even tho I used to be such a strong person who felt I needed no one.
    I am lost and alone inside, so much so that it physically hurts.

    • BY says:

      Liz, it really sounds like you are truly struggling right now. Please seek some support in your area. There are agencies that can help. Physical pain from anxiety and grief is very real. But in time, it will slowly subside. It is true that working these days can be pretty tough. No matter where I have worked, the regulations have been overwhelming and ever-changing. Very few people seem to feel appreciated at their jobs. Please keep your work-related receipts, mileage logs and a list of your work hours. Your employer should be reimbursing you for those! Please know that you are not alone! There are so many women in similar situations. You WILL survive this, and you will once again feel stronger and more empowered. God bless you.

    • Tara says:

      I know exactly how your feel! I’m so alone also, husband left for younger woman and my kids are almost grown and wanting to go to college. My husband was too. I tell myself that I just finished 15 years of Wilderness University and I’ve graduated with knowing I need to be to mental health together.
      God has plans for us all! Sometimes it’s hard to believe but I can’t imagine pulling through this unless I believe it!

    • Marcia says:

      Liz, I’m so sorry for all the hurtful things you are experiencing. Years ago I went through some hurtful things like yours, including my husband leaving me. It took some work on my part but stopping and changing my negative thoughts and looking for even the smallest things to be grateful for helped. I went back to church and met new friends, enrolled in their DivorceCare program and after some time and healing, was even leading the class and helping others. All of those things helped me immensely. I’m going to help you hope that some of them will help you too. God bless you, Liz. You are too precious to give in to despair!

  5. Christine Preston says:

    I have anxiety issues because I had brain haemoragh. After which has left me with seizures. And have left by job because of this illness. Also some words and memories are ruined.

  6. Jane Wilcox says:

    Do you mean to say that omega-3 fatty acids increase anxiety and depression? The article is misleading ……

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