Social Anxiety and Social Distancing
Public speaking or walking into a roomful of strangers isn’t exactly delighting for everybody, but most people can get through it. You may be suffering from social anxiety. Social anxiety is like you are building an Igloo house for yourself. Those people living in social anxiety are like they have made their own Eskimo houses where they can find the warmth and comfort of their own company and their loved ones, but once they step out of their own home, the temperature of anxiety freezes them.
Let me ask you a few questions regarding this. Have you ever felt sweating, dry mouth, tense muscles when surrounded by several persons? No, I am not talking about the suffocating condition due to summer or any medical emergency. These symptoms can be felt anywhere, even inside a comfortable environment also. And if you’re answer is, “Yes,” then it might be the case of social anxiety.
My Experience on Anxiety
Sometimes when a group of people surrounded us, and you become the center of attraction on a stage, and suddenly your heart starts fluttering at a faster pace, just like a hummingbird flaps its wings. Things will not only stop there. It will be followed by intense sweating also. Many people go through this.
Let me tell you one incident that had happened to me when I was in the fourth standard. We were doing the role-play exercises. A student would be randomly selected to come to the front and show off their English conversation skills on any given topic. I would hold my breath and physically brace myself as the teacher scanned the room. Thoughts like ‘I will get a heart attack and probably I will die if she chooses me’ keep on wandering on the loop in my head. The one time that I was chosen, I could be barely able to introduce myself. I was freaking out so badly, aware that the entire class was starring at me.
Now the question is, Why couldn’t I get on with it like my other friends?
A similar incident happened when I was in my tenth standard. I was well prepared for a debate competition; I have been practicing on the topic the whole night. Next day when I went to the stage and faced the mike. I realized the room’s silence was deafening and heart-piercing as I stumbled over the words as fast as I can. It was nagging, and I was convinced that everyone was laughing at me.
But the good news is that these things never hold me back from making new friends or getting a job.
At a very early age, I understood what was happening to me; I accepted that I have a problem and act accordingly.
Here I am writing a few things that helped me to overcome this problem.
Things That Helped Me to Overcome Social Anxiety
- Accept that you have a problem: This is the first thing your mind should do before taking any steps. Accept that you are suffering from a situation and discuss it with your parents or friends to help you. Remember, you are not alone.
- Read confidence-boosting books: These books always help. They inject lots of knowledge inside you. And helps in confidence-building. They become your guide and if you follow them.
- Face your fear: As someone has elaborated it very well, FEAR, false evidence appearing real. Face your fear with all your courage, and it will disappear.
- Get out of your comfort zone: Comfort zone prevents you from improving; it stops you from achieving all the things you are capable of achieving, making you miserable. So, decide today to change something in your life that you are unhappy with and start experiencing positive changes.
- Make new friends: Making new friends help in reducing stress, build confidence.
- Nurture positive thoughts: Positive thoughts give us the strength to fight against odds.
- Ignore haters: Haters will say whatever they feel like saying, be it good or bad. They will find bad in everything. So better ignore them.
Social anxiety can kill your willpower slowly if not traceable at the right time, just like a slow poison. Do not worry if you are going through this because you’re not the only one suffering, and the good news is it’s curable.