Tips on How to Be Calm Despite Social Anxiety
Are you wondering how to be calm? Some people are calm by nature while others are high-strung. Calmness can also refer to how much anxiety you hold in your body.
A calm person tends not to fall into anxiety when faced with triggering situations. If you can manage your reactions to stressful situations, your ability to stay calm will improve.
Anxiety Makes You Anxious
There is a vicious circle that anyone who lives with anxiety has most likely experienced. You enter a situation that causes you anxiety, and your anxiety soars. But, instead of using coping strategies to calm yourself down, your anxiety starts to spiral.
At this point, your anxiety about how you feel is causing more anxiety! It’s this cycle of panic that is within your control. Learn how to react to those first anxiety symptoms and you will have mastered the art of staying calm.
Take Back Control
While anxiety may always be a part of your life, you can take back some control. When you think of how much of your life is wasted feeling tense and anxious, you will realize that spending 15 minutes each day working on staying calm isn’t that much of a commitment. Make a plan to work on this at a certain time each day. If you set small goals like this, it will be easier to follow through when you just don’t feel like it.
Enact a Relaxation Routine
A simple relaxation routine that you implement at a regular time each day will get you started at inducing calm. Choose a time of day that you will practice relaxing. Plan your relaxation routine, such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or any combination. Do what feels right to you for about 15 minutes.
Make it a Habit
The hard part is making it a consistent habit. Practice it at the same time each day for a month. Eventually, you should start to do it automatically without thinking. First thing in the morning when you wake up or last thing at night before you fall asleep are good times. This will help to put some peace back into your day, even if you are still dealing with social and performance anxiety.
Just Give it a Try
If your thoughts are, “But I CAN’T relax!” turn that into “I will just give it a try.” If the method you chose isn’t working, try something different. I find sometimes it helps me to visualize the pleasant scene first, then start the deep breaths, and finally focus on relaxing each part of my body. Even if you only do 5 minutes each day, that’s better than not doing it at all.
Stop Using it as a Crutch
Let’s get one thing straight—anxiety is not doing you any favors. If you have any misconceptions that you will always be severely anxious and that’s just how it has to be, that’s just plain wrong. If you can devote some time in your day to learning to relax, it will become easier to relax when you find yourself in those stress-inducing situations. Just like anything else in life, practice makes perfect.
Practice Art Therapy
Coloring mandalas or other patterns during stress-inducing situations can be one way to stay calm. Art therapy is something that you can engage in on your own at home! Simply engaging in art in a mindful, focused, and aware state of mind is a form of meditation in itself. Before you know it, your ability to stay calm will greatly expand and you’ll look forward to the chance to test your stress-busting skills in even the worst of scenarios.
Acknowledge a Deeper Problem
At the same time, some people do live with diagnosable anxiety disorders. If you find that you can’t stay calm in social and performance situations, it may be worth a visit to your doctor or a mental health professional for assessment and to discuss treatment options. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a treatable condition that you don’t have to live with.
What sort of strategies have you used to stay calm in your daily life? Feel free to share your best tricks to stay calm in the comments so that others can benefit from your experiences.