Iiris

My Struggle with Social Anxiety

210 posts in this topic

It is New Year and all so I thought that I should start keeping a journal about my social anxiety and the process of overcoming it. This thing I have might also be shyness but in any case it is making my life very challenging. I give an enormous fuck about what people think about me and it's not easy to start this journal because of that, but I am still going to do it because I know it will help me grow. It is just amazing that there is a community like this where I can share my problem. I can openly speak about my anxiety only with a close friend and a psychologist. I contacted my school psychologist a few months ago and I am happy and proud of myself for doing that.

I can handle my anxiety pretty well and I do not let it control my life completely and that is a great thing. Still I feel like I am stuck at life because of this because I don't talk to the people I want to and I don't have the courage to express myself and I just constantly worry about people's opinions. This problem started already when I was maybe nine years old and it hasn't gotten much better. I really want to be my authentic self in every situation and completely free from other people's opinions. It will take lots of time and suffering but someday I will be there. I believe that keeping this journal will make me feel less alone with my social anxiety and give me more courage to do challenging things. It would be great if this journal could also give some value to others. Thank you for reading.

Edited by Iiris

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Posted (edited)

I have the same problem 

Some good books are Feel the fear and do it anyway and leos video on how to deal with strong negative emotions

also a quick hack i found when speaking to other people if you have trouble to come up with something is just to say what ever comes up to your mind that usually works for me

This may also help

https://bulldogmindset.com/self-confidence/ quote from the blog post "If you want to gain confidence, you can gain it by doing whatever you want to gain confidence in, over and over again."

good luck! and happy new year!

Edited by BjarkeT

No more victim mentality. 

Every single problem in my life is my responsibility no matter how hard it is.

“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me” Batman.

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@BjarkeT Thank you so much, I will definitely try out all of those. Good luck to you too, you are amazing!

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@Iiris Thanks! 


No more victim mentality. 

Every single problem in my life is my responsibility no matter how hard it is.

“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me” Batman.

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Some time after making this journal I really regretted making it. I felt like this is completely stupid and that nobody cares. I didn't want to expose myself like this, I just wanted to hide somewhere. Then I remembered that I was making this for myself and not for others. That made me feel better. I always do this kind of shit when I am in an excited mood, and then I regret it :D. But it was definitely a good choice to start this journal.

Yesterday I saw that someone replied on this and I was fucking terrified. It took me like five minutes to be able to read the comment and I slowly exposed the comment word by word with my hand, just to find out that is was a nice and friendy comment. I know, I'm crazy. It is also hard for me to read the text I wrote at the beginning of this journal because I feel like it is somehow stupid. I try to read it over and over again to get used to it and to not be ashamed of it. But seeing these replies definitely made me feel better about this journal (even though my happiness shouldn't be dependent on other people :/ oops). I'm actually pretty excited about this and I'm already imagining all the things that I could share with you here.

 

 

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Start to meditate if that's not already the case.

A lot of it (if not all of it) has to do with identification to thoughts and mind.


If you want the moon, do not hide from the night
If you want a rose, do not run from the thorns
If you want love, do not hide from yourself

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@Shin Meditation definitely is crucial for overcoming this, and I've meditated regularly for about a year now. It hasn't done wonders yet but I feel like it has helped me to not let fear control me so much.

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Posted (edited)

Hi, pretty girl! Reading that made me feel a sense of sadness, but also comfort , as it’s extremly helpful to know that we are not alone in this struggle. I command you for your bravery, as your vulnerability can help others in the same situation as you. 😊💕

I’m also struggling with social anxiety, and I really feel for you and everyone else struggling.  Mine was caused by a combination of being insecure, needing validation and being highly sensitive/strong emotional intuition. 

I’d say that in the last two years I have slowly been able to increase my confidence and become less insecure. Leaving my small town that was limiting me, and embarking on a new journey was definitely the key factor for me. It showed me how much bigger the world is, and that my past doesn’t have to define me. 

I’ve also learned to love and embrace my quirkiness. I’d go as far as to say it’s my favorite part about me. I think many of the things I struggled with was linked to my childhood and being bullied as a kid (both in school by a bunch of meangirls, and at home by my narcissistic father). However, I still have my days as a adult female, and it’s a continuous battle I have to fight.

The one aspect that I found the hardest to overcome, was my sensitivy. And I’ve just recently been able to slowly overcome it (these past two weeks).

I’m a empath. And as a result I’m a highly sensitive person, especially towards other peoples emotional energy. I can absorb and soak everyones emotions, whenever I enter a public place. Even without paying attention to them. In most instances this leads to social anxiety, because most people are in a constant negative state of mind.  It also makes you feel weird and out of place.

Like I can totally be at peace within the comfort of my own home, and once I step outside I absorb everyones stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, etc. It can be overwhelming, and as a result I need to recharge and just avoid human interraction for a while. I’m therefor a natural homebody.

You may be able to relate, as many people who are empaths deal with social anxiety. Many don’t even realize that they are indeed empaths, and this third dimentional matrix can be very overwhelming for us.

What I found to be helpful, was spirtuality! I realized I have a gift to sense peoples emotions, and that I shouldn’t fear it.  I’m learning how to live through my heart, as this is a state of being that is full of abundance and is not limited by fear.

I’m currently learning different ways to : unlock my 4th chakra, how to constantly be intune with my heart, and how to send strong vibrations through my heart. (Our heart sends out the biggest energy frequency out of all our organs, and can send frequency 1000x stronger than that of the brain.  Learning how to activate your heart chakra can really help a emphat fulfill their life mission on earth!)

So now when I enter a public place, I try to actively change the emotion in the room by sending vibrations of love. And it has helped tremendously. Althought emotions are unsteady and fluctuate, I manage to usually be able to cotroll the emotions in the room through my heart. And my vibration can be felt through long distances, as the hearts frequency  can be felt from afar.

I’ve noticed that my well being and happiness is highly linked to others well being and happiness. It’s the gift and the curse of a empath. I’m just now learning how to unlock it’s secret. 🌼

I hope this is any ways helpful, and I wish you all the best in your journey! 

Don’t allow your mind to restrict you and cause you a life of fear. This world is honestly too beautiful for us to be living in a state of limitation, fear and untrust.  Astrology, Spirtuality, and Neuroscience  honestly helped me look at this world in a much clearer sense. To know what your life purpose is (your karmic lesson), can help you let go some of that social anxiety. 

Sending lots of love, and may this 2019 be the year to unlock your true potential! 🌸💕✨

Edited by Smika

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@Smika Thank you, that was really helpful and gave me a lot to think about. I admire you, you have gone through so much and here you are being such a strong and beautiful person. You seem to have a deep understanding of yourself and your social anxiety, which I don't really have. This inspired me to think about the reasons behind my social anxiety and to seek to understand my social anxiety and myself as a whole. I have always thought of this problem too simply and I haven't digged deep enough.

I think I have heard of that empath thing before, but I just haven't taken it seriously. I related to your depiction of yourself being an empath and now I feel like I am one too. Me being an empath may be a huge reason behind my social anxiety and understanding myself as an empath can be a big part of the solution too. I must do some research on this and talk to my psychologist about this.

I have some bad childhood experiences that closed me up. I wasn't bullied like you, they were just little things but I feel like they really affected me, I was very sensitive when I was young. After those experiences I remember feeling very anxious in social situatuons and Iike I wasn't good enough.

I feel very hopeful for the future even though life is quite difficult right now. I am growing and understanding myself better every day and I will get better at dealing with my anxiety as well. Thank you for your kindness and thank you for opening my eyes, I wish you all the best too!

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This journal has really been on the top of my mind. I have been constantly thinking about what to update here and it has started to affect my sleep. I am becoming a little too excited about this. I also check way too often if someone has commented something here, I think I am starting to form some kind of addiction to this. I want attention and the comments make me feel like I am noticed. I decided that now on I only come to this forum max once a day so that this doesn't become a problem. Over time I will probably get used to journaling here and then I won't be thinking about this stuff so much.

Last week I asked my cousin to go our capital city Helsinki with me. We'll be going there tomorrow and then I'll be staying at my cousin's place overnight. She is the same age as me and we have been hanging out together since we were babies. I see her pretty rarely because we live far away from each other. I always feel anxious before meeting her, even though we always have stuff to talk about and I can pretty much be myself around her.

I just feel like this time I won't know what the heck to say to her and I am afraid that I will make everything super awkward. I don't like to admit this but one's status and popularity very much affect how anxious and self-concious I feel with them. My cousin is very social and she seems to be popular among her peers. That makes me feel especially anxious because I feel like I have to somehow impress her bacause of that. I know, fucking stupid. I also don't like the thought of being so far from home for so long with people who I don't feel completely comfortable being with.

Even though I have many worries about this I am quite sure that everything will go alright just like before. My cousin is a very non-judgemental person, which makes is easy to be around her. I'll just relax, be honest and be my weird self. It's okay if I'm shy, I don't have to be ashamed of that. I can tell her that I'm feeling nervous and that will help me to loosen up. We are all just human beings trying to deal with life. On Sunday I'll be telling you how this went. I will probably be regretting some stupid things I did or said, but I believe that this will be a good experience.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, Iiris said:

@Smika Thank you, that was really helpful and gave me a lot to think about. I admire you, you have gone through so much and here you are being such a strong and beautiful person. You seem to have a deep understanding of yourself and your social anxiety, which I don't really have. This inspired me to think about the reasons behind my social anxiety and to seek to understand my social anxiety and myself as a whole. I have always thought of this problem too simply and I haven't digged deep enough.

I think I have heard of that empath thing before, but I just haven't taken it seriously. I related to your depiction of yourself being an empath and now I feel like I am one too. Me being an empath may be a huge reason behind my social anxiety and understanding myself as an empath can be a big part of the solution too. I must do some research on this and talk to my psychologist about this.

I have some bad childhood experiences that closed me up. I wasn't bullied like you, they were just little things but I feel like they really affected me, I was very sensitive when I was young. After those experiences I remember feeling very anxious in social situatuons and Iike I wasn't good enough.

I feel very hopeful for the future even though life is quite difficult right now. I am growing and understanding myself better every day and I will get better at dealing with my anxiety as well. Thank you for your kindness and thank you for opening my eyes, I wish you all the best too!

I’m glad to have contributed to something. You’re strong and beautiful, and I’m hopeful you can overcome your social anxiety one day. It took me a long time to realize what the cause and the root of my anxiety was. It’s not something you can do overnight, unfortunately. And it requires honesty, time and a humble mind.

I definitely would advice looking into being an empath, and if it resonates with you, you can uncover a lot about yourself. ✨

Wishing you the best of luck. Stay strong 🌸💕

Edited by Smika

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Of course it went well. Forgot body awareness, that's okay. Sometimes I made things awkward, but those situations are great opportunities to practice not caring. Sometimes felt like she doesn't even like me, but I probably am overreacting as always. In any case I DON'T CARE (I do but I try not to).

Mindfullness is important. I try to notice every time I am caring too much about people's opinions. Then I can let it go and do the thing that I want to do but afraid of being judged for. Just little things. I once saw someone on this forum telling an example of practicing not caring. He adviced to go on some public place and just start to lay on the floor casually. I always compare that to the things that I am about to do. I'm not really sure why that example got so stuck in my head. It just makes me feel so good and free to imagine myself lying on some public floor laughing like a crazy person. I could be that one day. Goddamn I want to be that.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi love. Super proud of you for posting this. I've been suffering from social anxiety for 13 years now. Everything you wrote I'm like, yup, me.!! I can really relate. As mentioned above, meditation daily and studying buddhism has been a great help for me, make being mindful throughout your day a habit and priority, learn to breath from your diaphragm instead of your lungs... its difficult and im trying to learn this one myself. Also diet. I eat strict keto and it has helped a lot. Taking baby steps was huge for me. When I was younger I didnt have a lot of support in the sense people either didnt believe anything was wrong or just didnt understand it. So be firm in the fact that you are working on it and you will take the baby steps to get where you need to be. I always had people pushing me, into situations that could send me back in my progress. I was suffering and wanted to be better so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, in small baby steps, gained that confidence, made it a norm, and then pushed myself more. Also, get to the route of why you have this, I believe we may all/or most of us are predisposed to certain mental health issues and it is just if and when these are triggered by life events. Unfortunately ours is social anxiety, is there abuse in your past ? Bullying at school?! Whatever it may be, be honest about what has gotten you here, and try to resolve these, you were not born with SA. Also self compassion is probably one of the greatest things you can do. There is a lady named kristen neff?! I believe, she has a website on self compassion with exercises, guided meditation etc. It is somewhat corny, uncomfortable, and feels really weird. I actually despise doing these because it makes me feel so uncomfortable, but it will help you so much, so push through it if it makes you feel weird. I have a friend from school that also suffers from severe SA, and we both pinpoint learning self compassion through kristen neff as the biggest breakthrough in our anxiety (once learned this can easily be practiced through loving kindness meditation on your own). For me the physical symptoms were the worst part and triggered a full on panic attack. As soon as I got even the tiniest bit nervous, my body would start to shake uncontrollably, which would then start a panic attack. I started taking beta blockers (on an as needed basis, not daily, like if there was a social event, interview etc.) This slowed my heart rate down and thus kept the shaking at a controllable level. This helped in pushing me into situations that I wouldn't normally be in, gain that confidence, etc. SA can be weird in the fact that sometimes you can be a mostly confident person but physical symptoms of being nervous is a part of eroding that confidence and taking normal anxiety to an extreme, it can also be the biggest barrier in getting over it, be aware of any physical symptoms and Dont be afraid to take either something like this or an antidepressent to get you to where you need to be. There is a website called social anxiety support, which has a forum, this is where you may find the right drug combination for you. I dont know that you or I will be fully cured but it is definatly manageable, and I do think it is possible. I have had this for 13 years, but where my anxiety is now compared to then is night and day. I live a normal life, with friends and family, a demanding job, university educated, boyfriend and child. Now it mainly only surfaces in really difficult or stressful times in my life or in very stressful awkward social situations, like meeting the boyfriends family and friends, things like that. And again it is still far better than it had been years ago, and something I dread but can handle. My boyfriend (He also has SA)  and I have a joke about "normal peoples anxiety" it's weird now being nervous about something, as everyone gets nervous at times in certain situations, and it's just different, and it's like oh this is what normal people without SA call anxiety. 😂 you can get there !!  I hope this helps and I have every confidence that you are on the right track as being here and putting yourself out there is huge for someone with SA, and putting yourself out there is CRUCIAL for getting through this.  I know all to well how hard it is to put yourself out there. And to push through having social anxiety takes extreme courage. Which makes you an incredibly strong person, you need to know this because having social anxiety makes you feel just the opposite. Good luck and I look forward to reading about your progress !! 

Edited by Faye
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On 1/3/2019 at 6:57 AM, Smika said:

Hi, pretty girl! 

Sometimes I wish I was a pretty girl. -_-

 

I believe and hope you'll get over with your anxiety issues. 

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