”When I first met you I thought you were a B*tch but you’re actually a really nice person”. Oh if I had a penny for everytime this was said to me. I actually heard this phrase so many times that at some point I finally dared to ask the person: ” why? ” . And she said: ”Because you were so quiet in the beginning and didn’t look us in the eyes that much. Actually you were staring around a lot too.”
Honestly, this didn’t leave me cold. I wasn’t that self-aware yet, so I wasn’t aware that I was doing this. If I’d never gathered all my courage to ask her Why? I would have never known that I was having social anxiety. I thought it was normal to feel anxious when meeting new people, to have a heavy feeling in the gut and to not be able to speak without stuttering. I mean, it’s meeting new people! You don’t know them yet! After social gatherings I would go home and re-watch the whole day like a movie in my head searching for moments where I may have said or did something stupid, and contemplating whether my friends still like me or not. If I thought I messed up, next time that they would invite me I would not go and cancel plans, leave them hanging. These were all signs that I was dealing with anxiety and unfortunately to people who do not have anxiety I might have come across as a B*tch. So I thought it would be nice to blog about it to spread more awareness for people dealing with anxiety and the people who aren’t who might meet someone with anxiety.

Mental signs of anxiety:
  • racing thoughts,
  • uncontrollable over-thinking
  • difficulties concentrating
  • feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’
  • feeling irritable
  • heightened alertness
  • problems with sleep
  • changes in appetite
  • wanting to escape from the situation you are in, and
  • dissociation.

If you dissociate you might feel like you are not connected to your own body. Or like you are watching things happen around you, without feeling it.

Physical signs of anxiety:
  • sweating
  • heavy and fast breathing
  • hot flushes or blushing
  • dry mouth
  • shaking
  • hair loss
  • fast heartbeat
  • extreme tiredness or lack of energy
  • dizziness and fainting, and
  • stomach aches and sickness.

Social signs of anxiety:

  • Canceling plans a lot
  • Not responding to text messages
  • Not looking others in the eye
  • stuttering
  • Over-expressing on how much fun they are having at social gatherings (which comes across fake)
  • Being a bit distant in social gatherings (because the overthinking and racing thoughts just won’t stop)

So what I’ve done to beat my anxiety was a combination of breathing excersises, mindfulness and adding routine to my life. This has changed my life for the better and I’d like to help others dealing with anxiety with managing healthy coping mechanisms and techniques to beat their anxiety. Anxiety can lead to depression if left untreated. So if you are someone who is struggling with anxiety, it’s okay to ask for help. If you are interested in learning techniques to beat anxiety or just need someone to talk to, feel free to contact me here.

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