Article It doesn’t take willpower alone to combat social anxiety—a healthy lifestyle is also key. 3 2013 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/168_1407554977.jpg Confidence coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
Coach David J. Wingfield

Using a Healthy Lifestyle to Combat Social Anxiety Disorder.

 
TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development social phobia, social anxiety, NLP, diet, holistic living, self-help, self esteem, life coaching, health coaching, wellness coaching

Avoid eating these and go for a run instead!

When it is not managed properly, Social Anxiety Disorder can rapidly take over your life. You should first begin by recognising the signs of encroaching anxiety, such as a reluctance to initiate conversation with strangers, to physical symptoms such as a high heart rate, blushing or rapid speech.

EXERCISE & DIET

There are a number of simple therapeutic exercises that will encourage a growing sense of self-confidence in your dealing with others. However, many people ignore the fact that Social Anxiety Disorder is a recognised mental condition. As such, it is very much affected by the way we live our lives, our habits and the food we eat.

A poor diet, and especially one that has a large proportion of sugar rich food, has been shown to aggravate or induce episodes of social anxiety. Likewise, a lack of exercise slows down the metabolism and reduces the flow of blood to the brain. Lack of proper rest and sleep also makes it more difficult to cope with challenging social situations and can lead to stress and worsening anxiety, even in supposedly healthy people.

To give yourself a proper chance at overcoming social anxiety disorder for good, you should take the long term view of cultivating a healthy diet, regular exercise and plenty of rest.  If your body and mind are properly maintained and rested, it is easier for you to face the world with the confidence and self-assurance you deserve.

STIMULANTS

Many people with Social Anxiety Disorder develop a psychological dependence on social stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine or alcohol. Along with sugary foods, these substances can actually serve to make your anxiety worse in the long term, notwithstanding their other health effects.

While I do not necessarily advocate cutting out these substances altogether, it is worthwhile recognising their potentially deleterious effect on your condition. When going into a situation that you know may provoke anxiety, such as a first date or a work interview, try to avoid these substances beforehand. While you may miss your coffee or cigarette to begin with, very soon you will start to feel the benefits of an increased sense of self-control in stressful situations.

DEEP BREATHING

A highly recommended treatment for social anxiety disorder is the habitual use of deep breathing. Most people spend their lives being unaware of their breathing patterns. People take shallow breaths at regular intervals without using the full potential of their lung space. At times of anxiety, the breath instinctively becomes shallower and more rapid, leading to a reduction in the oxygen available to you. Panic attacks occur when the body’s attempt to speed up your breathing to supply it with oxygen results in hyperventilation.  Slowly breathing into a paper bag is an effective and rapid treatment for panic attacks as it forces the body to slow down your breathing.

You can boost your ability to cope with stressful situations by concentrating on slower, deep breaths using a regular rhythm. This not only increases the blood flow to your brain and allows you increased clarity of thought, but it can also help relax you. Furthermore, deep breathing suppresses fidgeting and other physical symptoms of nervousness, and thus portrays a more self-confident image to people you speak to.   

Photo Credit : Christian Cable

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COMMENTS

  • April 12, 2013

    To be honest a have a mild anxiety disorder. I tend to be awkward in unfamiliar group settings and for the life of me I can't handle public speaking. I thought about therapy but I've very strong support from family and friends so there's no need for that right now. However, I am taking every measure I can to combat my anxiety and one of the many ways to do so is to read up as much as I can about ways to stave it off naturally. Thank you very much for the read- it has been helpful.

  • April 12, 2013

    To be honest a have a mild anxiety disorder. I tend to be awkward in unfamiliar group settings and for the life of me I can't handle public speaking. I thought about therapy but I've very strong support from family and friends so there's no need for that right now. However, I am taking every measure I can to combat my anxiety and one of the many ways to do so is to read up as much as I can about ways to stave it off naturally. Thank you very much for the read- it has been helpful.

  • April 13, 2013

    Hi Rafael! My brother has social anxiety disorder (from what you mentioned I think he has a more severe case than yours). However, exercise has definitely played a role in helping him be less awkward around others. He has taken to the gym and is attending kick boxing classes. You should really give that a go! All the best to you!

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