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.
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.
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.