Tips to Overcome Social Anxiety
At Hapsy, discussing mental health is not only welcome, it’s encouraged, it’s necessary, it’s vital. Moms, dads, caregivers, college students, young adults, and children all need mental health support and a community of individuals who not only understand and accept them, but are willing to sit through the hard moments without judgment. We aim to do that by talking about the tough topics and shunning any associated stigmas or stereotypes. This month, we’re shining a light on social anxiety. It’s a disorder that anyone can suffer from and be impacted by, especially considering the isolation the pandemic caused and the ever-growing fear of gun violence in public places. It doesn’t make you or anyone else a “broken person” to have social anxiety or feel extreme fear when leaving the house. Let’s talk about the signs and symptoms of social anxiety, tips to overcome it, and answer a burning question: does CBD help with social anxiety?
What is social anxiety disorder?
Social anxiety disorder (SAD), commonly called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder that causes extreme fear and discomfort in social settings. People who suffer from social anxiety have trouble in the moments leading up to (this can be months, weeks, days, hours) in-person gatherings or events. It causes fear while talking to or meeting new people, attending social gatherings small or large, and causes paranoia and fear of being judged or scrutinized by others. Whether you have social anxiety, all of these feelings are normal feelings one might experience in their lifetime. Between societal pressures, the desire to be accepted, and other life circumstances, people have every right to feel anxious in social settings. The question remains — is it possible to overcome social anxiety or social anxiety disorder, and does CBD help with social anxiety? With these tips for overcoming social anxiety, you may find great results.
Tips for overcoming social anxiety
Seek the opinion of a professional
The most important thing you can do if you feel you are suffering from a mental health or social anxiety disorder is to seek the opinion(s) of medical or mental health professionals*. There’s absolutely no shame in seeking advice, enlisting the help of a professional, or taking a prescribed medication that could improve your health and wellness. If you don’t know where to start and you are insured, start by speaking to your general practitioner or asking your insurance provider for a recommendation in your network. Not insured? There are many online platforms that can help you. Try the LGBTQ+ online therapy platform Pride Counseling, Cerebral, or Better Help.
Use medication if your doctor prescribes it
Some people thrive with the help of medication prescribed by a doctor. If you are someone who fears prescription medicine, you’re not alone, and you certainly shouldn’t feel forced to take medicine you don’t want. On the flip side, choosing to utilize medication shouldn’t carry shame or guilt. If it’s what your body needs, feel empowered to take that step. Bodily autonomy is one of your most important rights. Seek the opinions of several doctors and make an informed decision for yourself.
Try CBD for social anxiety
Many people are looking for alternatives for prescribed medication, and thankfully, the topic of CBD for social anxiety has gained popularity in the last decade, causing a lively discussion in the scientific community. CBD interacts with your CB1 and serotonin receptors and has shown great results in reducing symptoms of SAD in clinical and epidemiological studies. If you’ve ever asked “does CBD help with social anxiety,” the scientific community would say, yes. Taking CBD for social anxiety is a safe and effective option to reduce the symptoms of SAD. The Hapsy Daily Drop in Pure Plant and Hint of Mint flavors can be a useful tool in your wellness journey. We suggest using the 1 ounce and half ounce options for home and on-the-go.
Participate in therapy
Therapy has the potential to transform and reduce the symptoms of SAD. Cognitive behavioral therapy, Psychotherapy AKA talk therapy and Exposure therapy can all play a vital role in overcoming social anxiety and should be considered highly effective options in your search for help. Speak to a mental health professional about these therapy types to support your mental wellness.
Ask a loved one for help
We are not meant to carry our burdens alone, especially when it comes to our mental and physical health. Sometimes social anxiety is caused by feeling alone and fearful of approaching others. In this instance, ask a friend, loved one, or family member to be your safe person to accompany you to the social gathering. Depending on your personal needs, you can come up with a combination of game plans, a safe word, a gesture, or an exit plan for when you’re feeling ready for a break or departure. When you come prepared with a plan, it can feel like less of a burden to attend.
Limit the ingestion of anxiety-inducing substances
Just the other day, our founder Andrea shared a moment she experienced on Instagram that she says spiked her anxiety. Immediately snapping into freeze and then flight mode, she felt compelled to calm her nerves with a margarita (or two). But the next day she paid the price by feeling off. The temporary relief didn’t take away the overall anxiety and caused more discomfort in the long run.
Substances like caffeine, alcohol, soda, energy drinks, or other energy-increasing substances can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and induce panic attacks. If you love your coffees or teas, try going with caffeine-free options, decaf coffees, or herbal teas. And if you are lacking energy, our next tip is for you.
Get quality sleep
Sleep is vital to our health and wellness. During our sleeping hours, our brain and body go to work healing tissue, ridding itself of toxins, and fighting off free-radicals. Without proper sleep, our bodies aren’t able to function at optimal capacity. Make it a goal to get quality rest to give your body the best chance at fighting social anxiety disorder and any other detractors to your overall health.
You’re not alone
If you or a loved one are struggling with your mental health, addiction, or suicidal ideation, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support services and treatment facilities in your area.
Do you have tips for overcoming social anxiety? We would love to hear them and share with other readers. Please share your experiences by commenting below.