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Our Mental Health Blogs

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Leave Worry at the Door

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Leave Worry at the Door

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) comes with baggage that you can leave at the door. Learn to leave anxiety at your door and better manage your GAD.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a relentless experience of anxiety and worry. Worry and anxiety are part of the human experience; there’s even a type of anxiety known as existential anxiety that we feel simply because we exist. However, the anxiety and worry of GAD go far beyond ordinary anxiety. Regardless of the type of anxiety you experience, even if it’s a diagnosable disorder such as GAD, you can find peace as you learn to leave worry at the door. 

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Social Anxiety, Dread of Meeting New People

Social Anxiety, Dread of Meeting New People

People experiencing social anxiety can feel dread when meeting new people. Learn three tips for lowering social anxiety and dread so you can meet new people.

When it comes to meeting new people, social anxiety instills in its sufferers a sense of dread. Having to meet new people can sound alarms and ignite warning fires in the minds and bodies of those living with social anxiety (Extroverts Can Experience Social Anxiety, Too). In response to the fires, fire walls within the brain pop up, sealing off areas like rational thought and peaceful feelings so that all attention is funneled to the fire. The fire is a signal of danger—of stranger danger—and it makes us dread meeting new people. What we often don’t realize is that we are in charge of the alarm, the fire, even social anxiety itself. You don’t have to forever dread meeting new people. 

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Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks are Real

Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks are Real

Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are real, but many people think they're made up. Learn what anxiety attacks and panic attacks are and why they are real.

People who live with anxiety and panic know that panic and anxiety attacks are real. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that panic attacks and anxiety attacks are legitimate physical and emotional experiences. Recently, I was watching a show in which a character’s doctor informed him that he had had a panic attack. When this character told his sister, she exclaimed in disbelief, “Are those a thing? I thought panic attacks were something made up by celebrities for attention.” To help increase understanding, I offer an explanation for why panic attacks and anxiety attacks are real. 

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Is Social Anxiety Ruining Your Fun?

Is Social Anxiety Ruining Your Fun?

Undoubtedly, social anxiety interferes with life and can ruin your fun (Social Anxiety: A Spectrum from Shy to Avoidant). Living with social anxiety means being on edge, unable to relax or let our guard down. Experiencing social anxiety means living in fear of doing something embarrassing or being judged as incompetent, inadequate, “less than.” Social anxiety creates racing thoughts that are relentlessly self-critical. The anxiety, fear, and sheer exhaustion of all of this can make us shy away from people and social situations. In doing so, is social anxiety ruining your fun?

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Social Anxiety and Jumping to Conclusions

Social Anxiety and Jumping to Conclusions

Living with social anxiety and jumping to conclusions is like perpetually bouncing on a crowded trampoline: We must be watchful so we don’t cause harm to others; we must avoid bumping into, and thus annoying, others; we know if we do it wrong we will surely ruin things for everyone; and we jump, jump to conclusions that we’re being judged negatively. Social anxiety is exhausting (Social Phobia [Social Anxiety Disorder, SAD]). You don’t have to remain stuck on the social anxiety trampoline, jumping to conclusions that you are somehow lesser than others. To stop jumping to conclusions and soothe social anxiety, to find some peace of mind, you must understand some of the effects of social anxiety. 

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How to Spot a Person with Anxiety

How to Spot a Person with Anxiety

The notion that it’s possible to spot a person with anxiety is mortifying to the tens of millions of people living with anxiety disorders. With its physical side effects that can affect every system of the body and its strong emotional symptoms, many people experiencing anxiety have an added worry that their discomfort is evident to the world. Surprisingly, this guide for spotting a person with anxiety just might make anxiety sufferers feel a little bit better. 

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Anxiety and Social Media Addiction

Anxiety and Social Media Addiction

I think that it is all too easy to laugh off anxiety and social media addiction as being part and parcel of an entitled generation who are hooked on the instant gratification of likes and comments (The Science of Social Media Addiction). However, often the overuse or misuse of social media can reflect an ocean of unhappiness below the surface, breaking through in tiny drips. Anxiety and social media addiction are often related.

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Anxiety, Criticism, and Conquering Self-Doubt

Anxiety, Criticism, and Conquering Self-Doubt

The words “anxiety,” “criticism,” and “self-doubt” can be synonyms, closely knit word triplets. Those mere words indicate that anxiety has many effects that tend to make life difficult. One particularly annoying effect of anxiety is sensitivity to criticism. Feeling crushed by criticism is an effect of anxiety, in general, and social anxiety, in particular, where the fear of being judged or of embarrassment can be immense. When anxiety and criticism are overpowering and lead to self-doubt, take heart. There are ways to conquer self-doubt. with with anxiety and criticism 

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Social Anxiety, Shoulding, and a Beginner’s Mind (Shoshin)

Social Anxiety, Shoulding, and a Beginner’s Mind (Shoshin)

A concept known as shoulding contributes greatly to social anxiety, and an entirely different concept called shoshin, or beginner’s mind, contributes to the fading away of social anxiety. Social anxiety involves fear and worry that we’re doing everything wrong; thus, we should be acting, feeling, thinking differently so people don’t judge us negatively. Social anxiety prejudges so much of our lives. Before we even interact with someone, we often assume that we’re inadequate, that we should be better. Practicing a beginner’s mind (shoshin) can help stop the shoulding and reduce social anxiety. 

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Avoidance and Agoraphobia Come from Fear, Not Failure

Avoidance and Agoraphobia Come from Fear, Not Failure

Avoidance and agoraphobia come from fear, and they involve someone removing him/herself from a problematic situation. Neither avoidance nor agoraphobia is a sign of failure or weakness. They’re coping mechanisms. Why do people avoid anxiety-provoking or otherwise uncomfortable situations, and more, why do they develop agoraphobia? Some myths and stereotypes say that people living with agoraphobia are weak or lazy, failures at various things (Fear and Anxiety; The Meaning of Fear). Here’s why that’s wrong. 

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