My heart beats and my voice shakes. What can I do?
You’re not alone, says our elder, and offers a few tips on how to fight back the fear.
Recently my social anxiety has gotten so much worse. No one knows I have it except me. My parents don’t believe in it and think religion can cure anything. My sister also has anxiety but not social anxiety. I get so overwhelmed now with every little thing.
Since I haven’t gone out since March due to COVID, I haven’t had many interactions and now I’m so scared to go outside, like to the gym, shopping, visit family, go out with friends. Since online school started, it has been difficult since whenever I’m called on to introduce myself or answer a question, my heart beats so fast and my voice shakes. I can’t breath and feel sweaty and usually after it passes I feel so embarrassed about it and it haunts me for the rest of the day. All of this is happening with my camera being off since I’m scared to show myself.
I have done more research on it and I have all the symptoms but for treatments, it says to see a doctor. What should I do because I can’t tell my parents I want to see a doctor due to social anxiety? They’ll say it’s because of insecurity, since I have gained a lot of weight when the anxiety started. Is it due to losing confidence? Do you think it’ll go away if I worked on my physical health like my parents say?
Your problem is very common, so don’t think you’re alone with this. For whatever reasons, some of us have systems that overreact to circumstances, so we get into a tenser mode, even when there really is no reason for it. Maybe it’s overactive glands, or something in our minds, or whatever; who knows? Just don’t think you’re by yourself in going through this.
Social anxiety is a pain, but it’s not the end of the world. Lots of people have it, have gotten over it, and they move on without too much trouble. Just don’t let it take too much of a hold on how you view yourself and your life. It’s something you have, and you have to work a bit to get through it. There are a few mental elements that can help your overall approach in addition to any other actions.
Just stare down the feelings and choose NOT to be afraid; this means not worrying about how others view you. In other words you fight against the person anxiety is making you be, and stay determined to be the person you really are. Develop a view of your life that isn’t so wrapped up internally, where you actually live in the moments, and not just live inside your head all the time. Understand that these tense feelings are there, but know that you can work your way out of them after a while or they will go away once you’re more at ease in the situation.
Learn to enjoy the moment. We get all hyped up over certain things, but what if you just let your fears go and really dive into the events? This begins by smiling, welcoming the exposure, and just letting you be you. Sure some fear may still be there, but once you decide to just have a little fun, no matter what, your approach is a lot different.
As for your question about physical exercise or prayer, all I can say is that I’m all for anything that works. Physical exercise always helps relieve stress, so you can’t go wrong there. Also, I do think that there are personal mental gains in feeling fit. As for prayer, whether they’re answered directly, or whether it’s just the idea of having a broader, metaphysical presence that helps provide perspective for our individual lives, issues and troubles, it sure can’t hurt. Just keep in mind that some problems are mental, some are physical, and some are both. The ultimate solution may require a number of different answers.