AHH! SOCIAL SITUATIONS GIVE ME ANXIETY, WHAT DO I DO??
STOP AND BREATHE, NOW TRY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TOOLS
When we experience social anxiety, or anxiety in any situation, we tend to feel overwhelmed causing our fight or flight reactions to kick in rather than having a mindful response. A mindful response is one we take time to think about. It's okay if you're struggling with this, you're not alone.
Take a second to stop and breathe, think about every movement before you make them, move slower, and remember you can do this - it takes practice but you will get there.
It's so easy to get caught up in our feelings and emotions causing us to react rather than respond. Take a step back and allow yourself to be here in the present moment. Give this technique a go, it's something that works for me.
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
When we consider the bigger picture our body is much like a machine. Imagine a machine you work with; what maintenance does it require to run effectively? How does a lack of maintenance affect how it operates?
Now relate that back to the human body - we also require maintenance. Refueling is not so much about the specific things we do but more so about how it makes us feel afterward.
When we are faced with something unavoidable it helps to first evaluate what we can do to reduce our stress levels; we often know what will cause us anxiety before it happens. One way of doing this is to enter a similar but low-risk situation to show ourselves we can do it and it's not as bad as we believed. If it helps reduce stress, take a trusted person along. Make sure to refuel afterward.
The above writing piece is featured in Issue 1 of the EQM Magazine in the Tools + Techniques section. This is available to read through our website at www.evolvepeertrust.com/eqm-magazine.