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Our Mental Health Blogs

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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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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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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Extroverts Can Experience Social Anxiety, Too

Extroverts Can Experience Social Anxiety, Too

While social anxiety is often thought to be something for the introverted among us—after all, they tend to be quiet and reserved—extroverts can experience social anxiety, too. In fact, introversion and extroversion are aspects of personality have no bearing on social anxiety. Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder, a mental health challenge that can be faced by anyone regardless of personality type. Therefore, extroverts can, indeed, experience social anxiety, too.

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Anxiety and Racing Thoughts Slowed with This Meditation

Anxiety and Racing Thoughts Slowed with This Meditation

Anxiety brings with it a seemingly endless list of struggles and frustrations. A very common frustration, and one that for me is incredibly bothersome, is anxiety’s loud, unrelenting hyperactivity. The feeling of hyperactivity is sometimes related to anxiety’s racing thoughts.

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Separation Anxiety: It’s Not Just for Kids

Separation Anxiety: It’s Not Just for Kids

Separation anxiety – the term often conjures an image of a young child in distress, loudly crying and fiercely clinging to a parent. While that’s not inaccurate, it is incomplete. Separation anxiety disorder affects not just children, but adults; in fact, it actually affects more adults than kids (7% vs. 4%). And while adults typically don’t cling to a loved one, loudly wailing, people experiencing adult separation anxiety disorder (ASAD) do feel a very similar degree of distress at the thought of separation from a loved one.

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The Link Between Perfectionism and Anxiety

The Link Between Perfectionism and Anxiety

Perfectionism. It’s a common term in our society. We accuse people of (or, depending on one’s opinion of perfectionism, applaud people for) being perfectionists. What does the term even mean? A desire to succeed and excel in one’s field? I’d call that ambition, but not necessarily perfectionism. Perfectionism includes this desire for success, yes, but it goes beyond a desire to succeed. Perfectionism is not just a desire to do well; it’s a need to be the best. And it’s something that contributes greatly to anxiety.

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