5 Top Tips to Beat Social Anxiety this Christmas
With Christmas just around the corner, lots of people are looking forward to joining family, friends and colleagues to celebrate in restaurants, pubs, clubs and homes, throughout the country. But, if you are one of the thousands of people who suffer with social anxiety, this time of year is not one of good cheer but full of dread and fear.
If you’ve been invited to a Christmas celebration and have already started to think about everything that could go wrong, going over things in your mind so that you are thinking of ways to avoid going, try these top tips and join in the fun instead of planning your excuses:
1. 📝 Write a list
Grab a pen and paper and write down all the things you are worried about. Include everything from finding the right outfit to eating in front of people, from speaking to strangers to getting home. Next, write down how you will deal with each thing and, once you’ve finished, place your list in a drawer or pocket with easy access. Whenever you find yourself feeling anxious, read through your list to remind yourself that you have already thought about these things and decided what to do. There’s no point going over it again!
2. ⏰ Take time out
It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re flooded with anxiety. If you start to feel overwhelmed, the first thing to do is take time out to physically calm down. Even just making a cup of tea or going for a short walk can help. As soon as you feel anxiety and panic building, you can slow it down by taking a few minutes to practice Heart Breathing:
❤️ Find somewhere to sit comfortably where you won’t be disturbed
❤️ Close your eyes and place your hands on your stomach
❤️ Breathe in and out but concentrate only on the out-breath
❤️ Feel your abdomen expand as you breath out
❤️ After a few moments, place one hand over your heart area
❤️ Think about someone or something that fills you with joy and love
❤️ Continue to concentrate on your out-breath
❤️ As you think about someone or something which fills you with love and joy
Doing this for several minutes will help all your body systems to relax and slow down
3. ☀️ Be mindful
Being present in the moment will stop your imagination from racing ahead and overloading. Use a breathing exercise like the one above if you feel stressed or anxious, and try to get out in nature every day. Whatever you’re doing, stop and actively notice everything about it. Employ each of your senses to become fully aware of everything you can in that exact moment, from the taste in your mouth to the colours in front of you, the smell that you catch and the sounds which surround you. You might even be aware of the feel of something beneath your feet or fingertips. Make a mental note of every one of your senses, from around and within you.
4. 📈 Talk to your GP
If you find that avoidance of social situations has become a regular pattern, or maybe anxiety has become so overwhelming that you have stopped going out altogether, talk to your doctor so that they can rule out any physical cause. Certain medical conditions can cause anxiety and it’s important to get the proper treatment. Some people find that a short course of medication can help to reduce their anxiety so that they can concentrate on creating a better future – such as improving their relationships at home, finding a new job or embarking on a healthy eating plan and exercise programme.
5. ☎️ Contact a therapist
Instead of allowing your mind to think of all the things that might go wrong in a social situation, harness the power of your vivid imagination so that it works for you, not against you. Hypnotherapy will help you to visualise and manifest exactly how you do want things to work out, how you do want to feel, bringing your conscious and subconscious mind together to change the negative inner thoughts. A hypnotherapist will also teach you how to practice self-hypnosis at home so that you can take control and head out to each and every social situation with enthusiasm, full of confidence and feeling wonderful.
If the idea of hypnosis does not appeal to you, BrainWorking Recursive Therapy (BWRT®) is an immensely powerful psychotherapy which helps to change unwanted emotional responses, based on the latest developments in neuroscience. Unlike some other forms of cognitive therapy, BWRT works with the non-conscious mind to get to the root of the problem so that, often, one session is all you will need.
To find out how hypnotherapy and BWRT can help your social anxiety get in touch, today.