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Overcoming Social Anxiety

What Is Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety comes from the fear of being judged or evaluated in a bad way by other people.

Someone suffering from it might be mistaken or labeled as shy, aloof or even unfriendly. They want to make friends and be part of a group.

Social Anxiety is a long-term mental health issue that gets better with treatment.

What Are Some Symptoms Of Social Anxiety?

Someone with social anxiety can have different symptoms.

Physical Symptoms
  • Fatigue: Some people are hyperactive or aroused after an anxiety attack. There are some people that feel fatigue or extreme tiredness.
  • Trembling And Sweating: Anxiety, excitement and frailty can cause uncontrollable shaking or trembling and sweating.
  • Upset Stomach: Stress and anxiety can make you sick to your stomach.
  • Trouble Breathing And Dizziness: Anxiety tightens your muscles including the ones that help you breathe. The fear of passing out happens with shortness of breath. Being short of breath causes dizziness and can make you feel lightheaded.
  • Muscle Tension: Muscle tension causes you to feel stiffness or unexplained pain all over your body.
  • Fast Heartbeat: Anxiety causes a high heart rate and heart palpitations.

Emotional And Behavioral Symptoms
  • Fear Of Being Judged And Embarrassing Yourself: Have you ever asked someone an embarrassing question? Then you end up feeling a lot of shame and fear of being judged for asking it? This happens a lot with social anxiety.
  • Hard Time With Relationships: Social anxiety makes relationships harder. 
  • Body Image Issues: Being self-conscious about how you look can trigger social anxiety.
  • Substance Abuse: Substance abuse is more common in people with social anxiety issues.

Mental Symptoms
  • Anxiety And Panic Attacks: Anxiety is the feeling of fear of what’s to come in the future. A panic attack is an episode of intense fear with physical reactions including sweating, trembling and trouble breathing.
  • Depression And Low Self-Esteem: Along with depression social activity leads to low self-esteem.

What Triggers Social Anxiety?

Anxiety triggers vary from person to person. Some people feel anxious due to multiple triggers and there are others that feel anxious for no reason at all.

Stressful Events Include:

Stressful Life Events and Social Situations

A lot of stressful life events can trigger social anxiety including death of a loved one, job loss, divorce, moving, emotional problems, chronic illness or past trauma.

Caffeine And Diet

For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder consuming too much caffeine can trigger symptoms or make them worse.

Eating certain foods like dairy, fried foods, gluten and processed foods feed into social anxiety.

Negative Self-Talk And Suicidal Thoughts

Social anxiety can trigger negative self-talk that may limit you from believing in yourself.

Sometimes social anxiety can co-occur with depression and negative self-talk and cause suicidal thoughts. Please call a professional immediately if you’re having suicidal thoughts.

Lack Of Sleep

There is a connection between anxiety and lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep causes anxiety and anxiety itself can cause sleep problems.

How To Overcome Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety can stay with someone for life.

When you get the right treatment it can help you to manage or even overcome your symptoms.

Ways To Overcome Social Anxiety:

Work With A Therapist

It’s important to work with a therapist. Social anxiety is managed through medication, cognitive therapy and setting objective goals.

Reduce Your Caffeine Intake and Change Your Diet

Reducing the amount of caffeine you consume and changing your diet reduces anxiety symptoms. Your diet should consist of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables.

Exposure Therapy

It’s important to get outside your comfort zone and slowly expose yourself to social situations. These can include crowded places, parties or even traveling to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people.

Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

I mentioned in my post “Turning Anxiety into a Superpower” that reframing is the process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are replaced with positive and empowering ones.

Please Click Below To Learn More About Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower:

Have You Ever Dealt with Social Anxiety?

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Please Click Below To Download A Copy Of “10 Coping Strategies For Bipolar Disorder”:

Sources:

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/social-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353561

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Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower?!

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.

It’s an emotion marked by tension, negative thoughts and many physical symptoms.

Physical Symptoms Include:

  • Fast Heart Rate: Feeling fearful, anxious or stressed your heart rate goes up.
  • Sweating: Feeling anxious causes nervous sweating.
  • Feeling Tired: Having anxiety can be physically and mentally tiring.
  • Restlessness: Being unable to relax is a common anxiety symptom.
  • Shaking: Shaking and trembling can happen when anxiety gets out of hand.
  • Feeling Nervous, Tense or Fearful: These are feelings that happen with impending doom caused by anxiety.

What Is An Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a chronic condition marked by overly excessive worry and tension about future events.

Anxiety Disorders Include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities. The symptoms are similar to panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other types of anxiety.
  • Social Anxiety: A form of anxiety caused irrational fear, embarrassment and self consciousness brought on by social interactions.
  • Phobia: An extreme fear of irrational fear of something.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): A disorder that leads to repetitive compulsive behaviors.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A disorder that causes anxiety and flashbacks triggered by a past traumatic event.

How Anxiety Can Be Your Superpower?

There are many people that live with anxiety disorders that have different brains.

Different Brain

Someone with chronic anxiety has a brain that functions differently than someone who doesn’t have it. They have an overactive amygdala, which is a region of the brain involved with regulating emotions.

An overactive amygdala explains why someone with chronic anxiety over generalizes and overthinks.

Different Perspective

People with chronic anxiety tend to see the world from a different perspective. This is due to overgeneralization, along with having abilities that someone without an anxiety disorder is less likely to have. 

These Abilities Include:

  • Increased Empathy: Anxiety causes you to recognize another person’s emotional state.
  • Creativity: Anxiety disorders can lead to creativity. There are artists, actors and writers who suffer from anxiety issues. The artist Edvard Munch had an anxiety disorder. An anxiety episode drove him to paint “The Scream”.
  • Higher IQ: Many people with anxiety disorders tend to have higher IQ’s. A symptom of anxiety is compulsive thinking and tendencies to compulsively analyze those thoughts.
  • Ability To Read Other People’s Vibes: Someone with an anxiety disorder is able to sense the energetic balance of those around them. Anxiety disorders lead to a preoccupation with negative outcomes. This makes it worse to be around someone who gives off a negative vibe.
  • Easily Pick Up On Lies: Negative self-talk that defines chronic anxiety can enhance your ability to detect dishonesty.
  • Has A Sixth Sense: A sixth sense is a natural ability to keep one step ahead. It allows warning signals to quickly reach the regions of your brain that help you take action.

My Personal Experience With Living With An Anxiety Disorder

All of my life I’ve had ADHD. It’s a disorder that can occur alongside bipolar disorder. 

ADHD symptoms include impulsiveness, trouble with focusing on tasks, being hyperactive and restless and having trouble with regulating emotions.

Over time my symptoms started changing, as young as 11 years old I started having panic attacks.

I also had problems with negative self-talk and overgeneralization.

Overgeneralization refers to viewing a single event as a set rule. I would fail at finishing one task and it led to an endless pattern of defeat in all tasks. It started off as a negative emotion that came with a setback. It convinced me that no one liked me and I couldn’t do anything right. 

My changing symptoms included worsening anxiety that led to a nervous breakdown.

Change In Perception

How I perceived the world and myself was affected by overgeneralization. However, I learned to challenge my thoughts with reframing.

What Is Reframing?

Reframing is a process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are identified and replaced with positive and empowering ones.

Learn how to see anxiety as a picture. When you make a picture either bigger or smaller it can change how you perceive it.

Anxiety is your natural alarm system. Most people see it as an unpleasant emotion, because of uncomfortable bodily sensations, especially if you have an anxiety disorder.

These emotions can be reframed to be seen as having an important purpose.

Anxiety tells us when some kind of danger is near, but it can also tell us that opportunity is near. For example having a sixth sense gives you the power of perception. It’s a natural ability to know about things before other people.

Having a sixth sense can tell you that a setback is around the corner. However it can be reframed to tell you that there’s a silver lining to your setback and that it’s an opportunity to move into something better.

How Do You Handle Your Negative Thoughts?

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If you liked this post please click on the button below and learn some Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception:

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety-symptoms

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/d/d_04/d_04_cr/d_04_cr_peu/d_04_cr_peu.html

https://culturacolectiva.com/technology/anxiety-is-a-superpower

https://www.verywellmind.com/reframing-defined-2610419

https://www.mentalhelp.net/self-esteem/changing-negative-thoughts/

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-purpose-of-anxiety-2797497

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A Simple Solution To The Loneliness Epidemic!?


I’ve Been Hearing a Lot About Loneliness

When I was doing my research for my previous post about holiday related loneliness. I’ve stumbled upon some interesting facts about how the way people interact with each other has changed over the years. 

It was said that 2019 was a record year for people who preferred to find relationships online vs. face-to-face. 

About 40% of couples meet each other online now vs. through family and friends. Most teens prefer to chat online than in person. We no longer have to leave the comforts of home to meet new people.

Is the rise of the internet going hand-in-hand with the rise in the proportion of people who feel lonely?

What is Loneliness? And it’s Consequences?

Loneliness is an emotional state. It’s characterized by symptoms such as anxiety, stress, depression and sleep disturbances. It’s caused a lack of human connection from not having deep and meaningful relationships. 

The terms lonely and alone are used interchangeably, however they don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

There are many single people that live solitary lives, but don’t feel lonely. There are many people in committed relationships that are always around other people that feel lonely. 

Two Types of Loneliness

There Are Two Types Of Loneliness:

  • Acute Loneliness: Occurs when a life change such as a job loss, loss of a relationship/death of a loved one.
  • Chronic Loneliness: Occurs when the uncomfortable emotional state of being lonely goes on for a long time.

Health Effects of Loneliness

We all will experience loneliness at least once in our lives, but has many negative effects on physical and mental health. 

These Include:

  • Stress, Depression and Anxiety: Feeling lonely can lead to an increase of stress and results in depression and anxiety.
  • Lack of Self-Care: The negative effects that loneliness has on your mental health can lead to a lack of motivation to eat right and exercise.
  • Increased Cortisol: Cortisol increases the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increase the substances that repair tissues. However, prolonged stress caused by loneliness can lead to too much cortisol and this can wreak havoc on your body.
  • Lower Immune System: Loneliness can affect your body’s immune system.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: Loneliness can make you more susceptible to high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
  • Obesity: Loneliness along with lack of exercise, overeating and an increase of cortisol leads to obesity.

According to webMD loneliness has the potential to be just as deadly as obesity and smoking.


The Loneliness Epidemic and Its Causes

All of us will experience loneliness sometime or another. We will all end up in situations that can lead to the depletion of our social networks.

Feelings of loneliness are usually temporary. However, there are a lot of people that are lonely all the time. It’s estimated that ½ of all Americans report either having no meaningful friendships or they chronically feel lonely.

Social isolation that leads to loneliness is not just a problem for the elderly or the homebound. It’s also a problem for younger people. The largest group of chronically lonely people are adults age 25 to 44. However the loneliest group of all are young adults aged 18 to 25. 

Do You Notice A Pattern? 

There have been many social and technological changes over the years that have changed how we make friends. In the past face-to-face interaction was more common than it is now. Meaningful friendships were formed through our workplaces, family and friends and community organizations. What changed? 

Since the 1980s there have been changes in the economy. This led to more people taking temporary jobs or taking other full jobs after a short period of time. Another thing that changed was less participation in community organizations; more people had to work longer hours and didn’t have as much time to socialize with others.

The changes in the economy required more people to move to unfamiliar cities. They took more temporary work assignments and had to move again when the assignment was over. These factors can make it hard to form meaningful friendships.

The Rise Of The Internet

The biggest change of all was the rise of the internet, especially the rise of social media.

Social media has led to many positive changes, but it led to alot of negative ones. It has led to a decline in face-to-face interactions with the people we associate with.

However, there has been a decrease in the quality of our face-to-face interactions as our communication skills suffer.

Also, many people have become more antisocial. They’re more complacent with the idea of sitting behind a computer screen.

I’ve mentioned many times in this blog about the overuse of technology on our mental health. Issues such as anxiety, sleep issues, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and loneliness.

We’re relying on online relationships more than real life ones. It’s making it harder to form meaningful connections.

What is The Solution To Loneliness?

This is a tough question, because everybody is different. What worked for me may work for other people, but it may not work for others.

What does work is for you to find your tribe or community. As a species we humans are naturally hardwired to make other connections with other people.

Our ancestors lived in communities to increase their chances for survival. They had a shared interest in hunting and gathering food. Later on this led to agriculture and other shared interests included religion, customs, traditions and culture appeared. 

The Rise Of Post-Modernity

Since the beginning of modernity there has been less emphasis on community. Instead there was more emphasis on unifying the world under a single point of view.

Since the end of world war 2 we have been entering a period of something called post-modernism. The world is no longer standardized under a single point of view. We are going back to forming communities of like minded people that share the same point of view as us.

The formation of communities also works. Individuals or groups of people gather for a common interest in a particular hobby or profession. They can also share the same relationship status.

The place to start is ironically through using social media. A positive part of social media is being able to network with like minded through sites like facebook or meetup.com. 

This solution to the loneliness epidemic has shown positive results. Many previously lonely people have reported fewer hospital visits and better physical and mental health.

Conclusion

The loneliness epidemic is one of the biggest public health challenges. It’s not only in the United States, but worldwide as well.

Reducing social media usage and reemphasizing face-to-face interactions are a simple solution to an otherwise complicated problem.

This post was written in 2019. As of 2020 face-to-face interactions have been harder due to COVID-19. Try connecting through zoom or FaceTime if you can’t connect face-to-face.

How Often do you Engage in Face-to Face
Interactions with Others?

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If you’re interested in reading more about social media’s role in society please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/loneliness-epidemic-consequences

https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilhowe/2019/05/03/millennials-and-the-loneliness-epidemic/?sh=183ba867676a

https://www.hrsa.gov/enews/past-issues/2019/january-17/loneliness-epidemic

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/01/606588504/americans-are-a-lonely-lot-and-young-people-bear-the-heaviest-burden

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Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception

Today’s post is a follow up of a blog post I wrote about “Turning Anxiety Into a Super Power”. I mentioned that change in my self-perception was one of the changes I made in my life to overcome the worst of my mental health issues.

If you want to read the post I just mentioned click on the link below:

What is Perception?

Perception is how we view ourselves and how we view others.

Your perception of something is the way you think about it or how you feel about it. For example how you perceive the world and everything around you has a direct effect on your thoughts, actions and behavior.

Also, your thoughts, actions and behavior are directly affected by how you perceive yourself. 

What Is Self-Perception?

Self-Perception gives you an idea of who you are or who you think you are.

When you perceive yourself in a healthy way when you’re able to assess your strengths, weakness, talents and potential. Also, you have the ability to be honest with yourself, be true to who you are and take responsibility for your choices and action.

However, when you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you may think you know yourself; you’re unsure of yourself and you tend to lie to yourself that everything is fine. 

What Problems Occur Due To Unhealthy Self-Perception?

Numerous problems occur due to unhealthy self-perception including:

  • Distorted Self-Esteem: Self esteem refers to self-worth or self-respect. When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you can have low self esteem that causes you to feel defeated and depressed, along with failing to live up to your full potential.
  • Anxiety: Unhealthy self perception leads to an anxious mindset that warps the way you view the world and reality. Symptoms of anxiety include feeling nervous and always have feelings of impending doom. Anxiety is an alarm for triggering your fight-or-flight response.
  • Guilt: When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you feel an unhealthy amount of guilt. This includes anything are beyond your control, such as feeling guilty about someone’s low opinion of you.
  • Negative Self-Talk: Negative self-talk is any inner self talk and it’s best known as your inner critic. It can cause you to have limiting beliefs about your abilities and it reduces your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in yourself to do so.

How Do You Improve Your Self-Perception?

It’s important look at why you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way. Factors such as stressful life events such as divorce or illness, past trauma or abuse, half baked goals or mental health problems play a role in our self-perception. 

It is possible to face these problems and transform how you perceive yourself.

Tips For Improving Self-Perception

Here are Tips for Improving your self-perception:

  • Identify Your Perceptions: You can identify your perceptions by asking yourself certain questions. You’ll notice certain thoughts come to the surface that feel familiar or true to you. For example you can ask yourself a question such as “What do I always say about myself ?” thoughts pertaining to your self perception comes to the surface such as “I’m an a@#h&le”. Then it’s important to examine that perception you’ve identified and ask why it’s justified and why you think that way about yourself.
  • Listen To Your Inner Critic: It gets worse if you ignore or suppress your inner critic. Instead you should listen to your inner critic and take note of what it’s trying to tell you. At that point you have the opportunity to judge what your inner critic is trying to tell you, maybe it’s telling you to take the action you need to take.
  • Stop Ruminating: Rumination means to go over a negative thought or problem over and over. It’s important to keep your mind occupied if you start ruminating, along with learning about your triggers and question your thoughts.
  • Boost Your Self Esteem: There are a lot of ways to boost your self esteem. These include learning a new skill, challenging your limiting beliefs and stand at the edge of your comfort zone.
  • Get Outside Your Comfort Zone: Getting outside your comfort zone creates enough good stress to ramp up your focus, creativity and drive. It helps you to respond to life’s stresses when unexpected things happen.

Have You Ever Felt Like Your Self-Perception Affects Your Life?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download your free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-concept.html

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-esteem-2795868

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160928-how-anxiety-warps-your-perception

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://www.thefix.com/living-sober/toxic-guilt

https://www.verywellmind.com/negative-self-talk-and-how-it-affects-us-4161304

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Tips For Building Rapport

Rapport is a very important but underrated skill to have. I’ll be discussing tips on how to build rapport.

What is Rapport?

There is a word that you may have heard called “rapport”, but you may not be aware of what it means.

Rapport is a meaningful connection or relationship with someone else. 

It’s also considered a state of harmonious understanding with an individual or group, examples include showing a real interest in someone else’s hobby or empathizing with someone’s situation and feeling “in sync” with them.

Building rapport is very important whether it’s with a client or more importantly with your personal relationships.

However, a lack of rapport can lead to not only a lack of communication, but also a lack of trust.

Why Is Rapport Important?

It’s important to build rapport with someone, but do you know why it’s important? 

Important Reasons Include:

  • Building Trust: It’s interesting to note that rapport can be built at the same time as trust. Rapport focuses on establishing a bond or connection with someone, which helps you to establish a reputation for reliability, consistency and keeping your promises that builds trust.
  • Improved Mental Health: When rapport is being built between a therapist and yourself to treat a mental disorder it can lead to a more successful outcome. 
  • Forming Deeper Relationships: Rapport forms the basis of  deep and meaningful relationships between people. It’s the sense of connection you feel when you like and trust someone, and understand their point of view.
  • It’s An Important Life Skill: Rapport is an often overlooked essential skill that helps you build relationships faster and improve communication more rapidly. This is important for all aspects of your life whether you’re connected on a more intimate level or professional level.


How To Build Rapport?

Here are some tips for building rapport with other people.

Tips Include:

  • Overcoming Communication Barriers: Strong communication skills are key to building rapport. However there are barriers in place that make building rapport difficult, so it’s important to learn how to overcome them.

Examples Of Communication Barriers Include:

Cultural Differences and Language

Inability To Listen To Others

Information Overload and Lack of Focus

Disorganized Thinking

Depression and Anxiety:

Lack of Empathy

Lack of Trust

Poor Social Skills

  • Improve Your Appearance: One of the fastest ways to build rapport is to make a great first impression. This includes taking pride in your appearance.
  • Find Common Ground: It’s essential to build rapport by asking someone open-ended questions about themselves. You’ll find common ground and build a deeper connection.
  • Be Your Authentic Self: When you’re being authentic, you’re being real. This is important for building rapport, because it helps to establish trust between you and other people.
  • Learn How To Be Empathetic: Learn how to see someone else’s point of view in order to find common ground. This is important when you’re trying to find common ground with them.
  • Mirror and Match Mannerisms and Speech: When we’re building rapport with other people, we may or may not be aware that we’re adopting their temperament, mannerisms, speech patterns and even their body language.

If you’re interested in overcoming social anxiety that keeps you from building rapport please click below:

How Do You Build Rapport?

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Sources:

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/rapport.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/202001/how-therapy-works-the-role-real-rapport

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/developing-rapport-empathy-workplace/

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/building-rapport.htm

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Turning Your Story Into a Blog(Part.1): Writing Away Anxiety

I received a message from a follower suggesting that I write a post about my blogging career.

My Story

A decade ago my life was going downhill really fast. I was undergoing a lot of financial hardship brought on by the 2008 stock market crash which resulted in job loss. 

The stress and anxiety from trying to pull my life out of a tailspin got to a point where I had a nervous breakdown when I could no longer cope in a healthy way. It began when I started coping in reckless ways such as blacking out at a party after drinking 15 beers and seven shots of whiskey. From that moment on I actually lost the ability to function in everyday life and it was made worse by being out of work. 

After a couple of years I did find full time work and things were starting to look up and I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 

Living with bipolar disorder/BPD is difficult, along with therapy and medication I overtime learned how to self-manage my symptoms, not let this condition define me and live a healthy and fulfilling life. Along with diet and exercise I learned different coping strategies including meditation, practicing good sleep hygiene and journaling.

I’ve come a long way since that infamous party. I’m doing much better, although I still have bad days, but as long as I take care of myself I’ll be ok.

My Blog Started Out As Journaling

My blog started out as journaling. For those who suffer from any kind of mental health problem whether it’s stress, depression or anxiety journaling is a great outlet for writing down my thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. Also, journaling can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.

Blogging just like journaling helps with anxiety for one big reason, it helps organize my thoughts better. Also, blogging helps me process what I’m feeling just like journaling and it’s intended to help other people as well.

I started blogging in early 2019 partly as a New Years Resolution. It started as a holistic health blog that discussed topics pertaining to CBD oil, organic food and probiotics, and their role in treating anxiety. The blog was originally called “Mike’s Holistics”.

Over time the blog evolved as I started to discuss different topics when I was finding my niche.

If you don’t know what a niche is, it’s a place, job or use for which a person is best fitted, for example I’m part of the health and wellness niche, specifically anxiety and mental health.

I ended up changing the name of the blog to “Mike’s Blog”, however as it continued to evolve it became “The Mindful Mastermind”.

In part. 2 I’ll be offering tips for anyone interested in blogging.

What Do You Do That’s Therapeutic?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the link below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

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Overcoming Self-Doubt (Part.1): Self-Doubt In A Nutshell

This post is the first part of a two part series on overcoming self-doubt.

What is Self-Doubt?

Self-Doubt is the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. 

We have all been at that point in our lives where we’re questioning ourselves. Are we good enough? Are we capable of facing all of life’s uncertainties? 

A certain amount of self-doubt is good. For example if you have self-doubt about how strong you are in a particular job skill can motivate you to always keep learning and growing in order to become the best you.

However, persistent fear and self-doubt can affect your life in a negative way.

What Causes Self-Doubt?

There are many causes of self-doubt including:

Past Experiences: Experiences from our past can shake and rattle our beliefs. If we keep referring back to bad experiences whether they were bad breakups or job losses we’ll doubt ourselves and our abilities when faced with similar situations in the future.

Childhood Trauma: Our habits and personalities are shaped by our upbringing. If you’re constantly being told that you’re not good enough or you’re bullied by your peers while in school you’ll always question yourself and your abilities as an adult.

Comparing Yourself To Others: Self-doubt kicks in when we start comparing ourselves to others. This is not always a bad thing, because sometimes comparing yourself to others causes you to look into what you lack in your life and find ways to improve yourself.

Fear Of Failure: Sometimes due to circumstances in our lives that are beyond our control such as illness or a bad economy we might experience setbacks and feel ashamed. It might cause us to fear failure and not take chances out of shame.

New Uncertain Challenges: If you’re experiencing a new challenge you’ve never faced it’s natural to have some self-doubt due to lack of experience.

My Experience With Self-Doubt?

Due to a childhood of stressful life experiences I ended up suffering from self-doubt made worse by Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Self-Doubt is not technically categorized as a mental illness, however it can spark anxiety and depression that can affect your life. It can lead to a negative thought pattern that can make you feel incapable of doing things that you need to do, making a mountain out of a mole hill when faced with the unknown and being unable to make clear decisions.

I overcame a lot of problems with self-doubt over the years with therapy and lifestyle changes. I wanted to share my experience with others who feel stuck and anxious about themselves, so I wrote a 5 Step Guide For Overcoming Negative Thinking.

In Part.2 I’ll be discussing how I overcame self-doubt.

By clicking on the button below you can download and purchase a copy of my new ebook:

Sources:

https://www.lifehack.org/567587/the-reasons-of-self-doubt-and-steps-to-deal-with-it

https://www.themuse.com/advice/self-doubt-good-for-your-career

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What is Social Anxiety and How do you Overcome it? Version 2.0

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is the fear of being judged or evaluated negatively by other people in everyday social interactions. It is a chronic condition that can get better with treatment.

A person suffering from social anxiety are mistaken for being:

  • Shy
  • Aloof
  • Withdrawn
  • Quiet
  • Unfriendly


Paradoxically, people with social anxiety want to make friends and want to become part of a group along with other forms of social interaction. However, being held back by the fear of being perceived by others in a negative way can make socializing difficult.

What are the Symptoms of Social Anxiety?

A person who suffers from social anxiety can experience different symptoms that include emotional and behavioral symptoms along with physical symptoms and mental symptoms.

Physical Symptoms include: 

Blushing: Blushing is a reddening of your face associated with triggered emotional stress caused by passion, embarrassment, shyness, anger or romantic stimulation. Social anxiety can make your face red.

Fatigue: There are many people who experience hyperactivity and arousal following an anxiety attack, while there are others that experience fatigue instead. Fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness characterized by a lack of energy and motivation.

Trembling and Sweating: Conditions such as anxiety, excitement and frailty can cause an uncontrollable shaking or quivering. Emotive stimuli like stress and anxiety can also cause sweating. Also, the sweating itself can make someone with social anxiety more self-conscious.

Upset Stomach or Nausea: Stress and anxiety can make you feel sick to your stomach with nausea and cramps. In some cases anxiety can lead to a condition called Irritible Bowel Symdrome (IBS).

Trouble Breathing and Dizziness: Anxiety can tighten your muscles including the ones that help you breath. The fear of passing out occurs with shortness of breath and it can make someone feel more anxious than they already are resulting in a panic attack. Being short of breath can cause dizziness and can make someone feel like they’re light headed.

Muscle Tension: Muscles can tense up due to anxiety and it causes feelings of stiffness throughout your body or unexplained pain.

Fast Heartbeat: Feeling anxious can cause an abnormally high heart rate and heart palpitations. Heart palpitations can feel like your heart is racing, pounding or beating irregularly.

Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms include:

Fear of Being Judged and Embarrassing Yourself: Fear of being judged is a contributor to social anxiety. Have you ever asked someone an embarrassing question and you end up feeling overwhelmed by shame and fear being judged for asking it? This happens a lot with social anxiety disorder.

Intense Fear of Interacting and Talking to Strangers: The fear of judgement can inhibit our ability to interact with strangers. The anticipation of becoming anxious in a social situation with strangers can bring on anxiety.

Fear that Others Will Notice your Physical Symptoms: Whatever your physical symptoms are, whether you’re trembling, sweating or blushing you can become even more anxious from the fear that someone with notice your physical symptoms.

Difficulty with Relationships: Social anxiety makes relationships difficult. All of the what if questions pertaining to whether you’d be judged or the fear of embarrassing yourself in front of a crowd.

Body Image Issues: Being self-conscious about you look can trigger social anxiety. A lot of people who have body image issues due to acne, being overweight, being too skinny, having visible scars can trigger negative self-talk about other people judging you.

Substance Abuse: Substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse is more common in people with anxiety disorders than the general population.

Mental symptoms include:

Anxiety and Panic Attacks: Anxiety is the feeling of fear of what’s to come in the future. A panic attack is an episode of intense fear with physical reactions including sweating, trembling and trouble breathing.

Depression and Low-Self Esteem: Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Along with depression social anxiety can result in low self-esteem, which can lead to a lack of confidence, feeling bad about yourself and can cause trouble with being assertive.

Hyperactive Amygdala: Signals from the emotional brain can overpower the cognitive brain due to a hyperactive amygdala.

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What Triggers Social Anxiety?

Anxiety and anxiety disorders are complicated. The causes are a combination of factors; including genetics and environmental reasons.

However, there are many triggers that can cause symptoms due to stressful events, emotions and experiences. Anxiety triggers vary from person to person; some people feel anxious due to multiple triggers, but there are others that can feel anxious for no reason at all.

These stressful experiences can include:

  • Stressful Life Events and Social Situations: A lot of stressful life events have the potential to trigger social anxiety including death of a loved one, job loss, divorce, moving, emotional problems, chronic illness or past trauma. Stressful life events can trigger anxiety in social situations due the fear of being judged, the fear of being embarrassed and worst of all the fear of rejection.
  • Caffeine and Diet: Most of us need a cup of coffee to wake us up in the morning. For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder consuming too much caffeine can trigger symptoms or make them worse. Also, diet can trigger anxiety symptoms; certain foods including dairy, fried foods, gluten and processed foods are not recommended for social anxiety suffers.
  • Negative Self Talk and Suicidal Thoughts: Social anxiety can trigger negative self-talk that may limit you from believing in yourself. Also, social anxiety can co-occur with depression and negative self-talk; this can cause someone to have suicidal thoughts. When this happens call a professional immediately.
  • Lack of Sleep: There is a connection between anxiety and lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can cause anxiety, however anxiety itself can cause sleep problems.

How Do You Overcome Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is a chronic lifelong condition and cannot be cured, but with the right treatment it can be overcome.

Ways of overcoming social anxiety include:

  • Work with a Therapist:: Along with self-help it’s important to work with a therapist on how to manage social anxiety through medication, cognitive therapy and setting objective goals. Therapists can also work with you by utilizing holistic treatments including meditation, acupuncture and herbal supplements.
  • CBD oil: CBD oil is great for alleviating anxiety related symptoms, for example anxiety can cause restless leg syndrome and make it difficult to fall asleep. By applying CBD oil you can relieve anxiety related symptoms and get a restful night sleep.
  • Reduce Your Caffeine Intake and Change Your Diet: When you reduce the amount of caffeine you consume and change your diet you’re less likely to experience anxiety symptoms. Your diet should consist of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables.
  • Exposure Therapy: It’s important to get outside your comfort zone and slowly expose yourself to social situations; including crowded places, parties or even traveling to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people.
  • Reframing Your Negative Thoughts: I mentioned in my post “How to Turn Anxiety into a Superpower” that reframing is the process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are replaced with positive and empowering ones.

Have You Ever Dealt with Social Anxiety?

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