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My So-Called Life With Social Anxiety Disorder

My So-Called Life With Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety affects me every day, whether I'm grocery shopping or socializing. Here are a few steps I've found helpful in coping with daily social anxiety.My life with social anxiety disorder (SAD) isn’t much of a life. When faced with strangers, I avoid physical proximity, eye contact, and small talk. Though normally well-spoken, the attention of others causes me to stumble over my words. Thoughts of job interviews or parties send me into a panic. I am often frightened when faced with a crowd. Daily life with SAD is unnerving and often unpleasant.

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Recognize OCD Rituals to Find Self-Understanding and Relief

Recognize OCD Rituals to Find Self-Understanding and Relief

Once I recognized my OCD rituals, I was able to find some relief from OCD. Identifying OCD rituals is a journey of self-discovery that leads to greater peace.

Recognizing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) rituals can be an important journey of self-discovery. Obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferers often have mental rituals that help lessen their worries and unwanted thoughts. When a sufferer performs an OCD ritual, it can temporarily help relieve anxiety. The rituals may seem illogical to those who don’t have the disorder. But to those who suffer from this often-devastating condition, recognizing OCD rituals and their triggers can sometimes lead to greater self-understanding and relief.

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When Performance Anxiety Steals the Show

When Performance Anxiety Steals the Show

Performance anxiety is stealing my dream of being a professional singer. I studied singing in college, but performance anxiety wreaked havoc on any performance.

Performance anxiety may prevent me from living my dream of singing professionally. Since junior high school, choir teachers and audience members commented on my anxious stage presence. I loved to sing with other people in unison or harmony, but when it came to solos, I was a nervous wreck. I was the recipient of the “Every Which Way but Loose” award in high school choir because onstage, I simply couldn’t relax and enjoy performing. Performance anxiety was front and center at every concert, and it often stole my spotlight.

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Social Anxiety and Performance Anxiety Aren’t Your Directors

Social Anxiety and Performance Anxiety Aren’t Your Directors

Social anxiety and performance anxiety share a theme. Knowing the similarity can help you conquer social and performance anxiety. Try this anxiety-reducing tip.

Social anxiety and performance anxiety both involve a great deal of fear, worry, and dread. When it comes to anxiety in general, that’s not unique. All types of anxiety disorders involve some type of fear, a whole lot of worry, and an overarching sense of dread. It’s the nature of the anxious thoughts and emotions that define a particular type of anxiety. With social anxiety disorder, the apprehensions largely involve fear of being judged or embarrassed in social situations. In this, social anxiety is a close cousin of another type of anxiety: performance anxiety. Understanding their relationship will help you reduce both social anxiety and performance anxiety.

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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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