The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.-Raficki (The Lion King)
Imagine this: I was on my way to a church event and, I knew all the people and so I knew they wouldn’t hurt me or make fun of me. However, in the car on the way there I started to hyperventilating, of course I’m telling myself there is no reason to freak out. I start to go through my breathing exercises and eventually my breathing goes back to normal. I got lucky this time and it was in the car instead of in front of people.
If you’re like me this situation happens often, you’re going somewhere or you’re hanging out with new people and all of sudden your hands start to sweat, or you get a really bad headache, or worst of all you start to lose vision and hyperventilate. This is called anxiety, and it stems from several things, stress, chemicals missing from the brain, and mental disorders. Now, I’m not saying there is something wrong with you, but I am saying these are causes of anxiety, specifically social anxiety. I got diagnosed with social anxiety my freshman year of college, and since then I have learned how to deal with it and I have enjoyed life so much more. Dr. Thomas A. Richards describes social anxiety like this:
Social anxiety is the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.
It is essentially, a phobia, but is a real physical problem as well. The brain is missing chemicals that usually helps to tell the body that it is okay and will not be harmed. I take something known as 5HTP which, helps to regulate vitamin B, this vitamin is like a sleeping hormone, except instead of making you go to sleep it helps to regulate the systems that make you feel calm and happy. In other words, when you take this, it will help slow you down, and help to relax you, I take it because it helps me to calm down and I become able to think more clearly. At first, it did make me really tired though because my body is not used to having more of that vitamin in it. I take one in the morning and one at night before bed and if I feel like its going to be a bad day.
Now, if you think you have social anxiety, don’t diagnose yourself you should go see a doctor first and make sure you have it before taking anything for it. Other than physical attributes, anxiety can also be cause by stress, in recent studies, its shown that more than half of the adults in the U.S. have some sort of stress caused anxiety. When we don’t take time to relax and we take on too much this can become a problem, stress can make you physically sick. If you’re overly stressed, please take a day off and relax!
One last cause is spiritual…..thats right, sin. Sin can cause physical problems, if we have the Spirit of God in us, then when we sin, we harm that Spirit. The result of that damage is anxiety. We can avoid this by becoming obedient to the word of God, and really truly being repentant.
I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.
I think sometimes we can be very sensitive and we don’t know how to express ourselves in a society that says we have to be happy all the time, and when we aren’t okay we bring “down the mood”. Its okay to not be okay as cliche as that is.
To a great mind, nothing is little. -Sherlock Holmes
If you struggle with anxiety some things that i have found that help a lot are; prayer, herbal supplements, exercise, and choosing to make each day a good day. If you think you have social anxiety meet with a doctor and asked to be tested, learn about the ways to cope with anxiety, learn how to control your breathing, and evaluate your life to see if there is sin hindering you. If you have any questions feel free to ask me, I am always willing to talk. My journey with social anxiety has been a long one, people have pitied me, people have thought I was being dumb, and some have truly cared and understood. I know how much it means to have someone who really understands you and cares about you, I am willing to be that person for you! We mustn’t forget God though, one of the biggest things for me, is praying that God will lead me and help me to get through things and teach me about people.
Praying for each of you!