Social anxiety disorder (abbreviated SAD), also referred to as social phobia is a condition that causes fear and avoidance of public spaces, so much so that it interferes with every day living. While discomfort in public spaces is perfectly normal, the moment this discomfort hampers with your daily routines alongside specific symptoms as described below, then it is classified as disorder or phobia. Some of the accompanying signs and symptoms of this disorder include the dreadful fear of being embarrassed in public spaces, the intense fear that other people will notice your anxiety and the avoidance of situations where you are set to be the center of attention.
For a number of people, these symptoms are also accompanied by sweaty palms, trembling, a shaky timid voice and extreme blushing. Many people affected by SAD also have a tendency to expect the worst of social situations, which only worsens the condition. Kids who suffer from SAD will manifest this through temper tantrums, incessant crying as well as the refusal to associate with other kids in social gatherings. Other symptoms that manifest for those with SAD include increased heart rate inexplicable tummy ache, diarrhea and dizziness. It is important to see a doctor in order to get proper diagnosis as well as seek the way forward. In addition to the choice treatment regimen, there are also natural remedies that affected persons may use to treat the condition and make it less intimidating.
1. Passion Flower:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of passion flower (dried), a cup of boiling water, a strainer and honey (optional).
Passion flower is one of the most popular home remedies for those who suffer from SAD. This is because in addition to its gentle nature which helps calms individuals down, its potent medicinal properties go a long way in treating different kinds of anxiety, among them, social anxiety disorder.
The dried flower is used to prepare a drink with excellent anxiolytic and antioxidant properties which help deal with the anxious moments and the overall oxidation of nerve cells respectively. The latter is especially important because it ensures that the integrity of the nerve cells remains intact.
- Place 1 teaspoon of the dried passion flower in a cup and add the boiling water over it.
- Cover the cup and allow the flowers to steep in the water for 15 minutes.
- Strain the tea and stir in the honey if you would prefer to.
- Drink this tea at least thrice daily to help deal with social phobia, especially if you have meetings or gatherings that you need to attend.
2. Chamomile Tea:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of dried chamomile, a cup of water, sieve and honey (optional).
Chamomile is a popular herb for a myriad of conditions, among them social anxiety. The herb’s attributes include its soothing and calming properties which allow individuals to get firm control of their emotions and how they respond to anxiety. The herb, when taken in tea form, calms the nerves and enhances communication within the nervous system. Honey is added as a natural sweetener. This tea takes just about 20 minutes to prepare, and is a great fix especially right before events in which you are prone to suffer social phobia.
- Boil the water and set aside.
- Place the dried chamomile in a cup and pour the boiling water over it.
- Let the herb steep for 15 minutes before you sieve it and sip it.
- Take this remedy at least thrice daily for a better grip on your composure during social events.
3. Aromatherapy Using Essential Oils:
Time Required: 1/2 Hr
What You Need: Essential oil of choice (these may include lavender oil, chamomile oil, jojoba oil among others).
Aromatherapy is known to be therapeutic for a host of conditions that include social anxiety. The use of essential oils benefits you if you suffer from this form of anxiety as they enhance general well-being and psychological soundness. Combine this with a relaxing massage and you are set to be well able to deal with the condition. If you can, schedule for these massage appointments at least every fortnight. Try and center the sessions right around the same time you are expected to attend a social gathering.
- Get your partner or a friend to massage you using your choice essential oils.
- Alternatively, settle for a spa session where you can have the massage done by a professional masseuse.
Time Required: Depends on the exercises you choose.
What You Need: A good pair of shoes and equipment for your choice fitness routine.
Regular exercise has been shown to be a great way to beat anxiety as well as reduce the accompanying symptoms of the condition. Research shows that part of the reason for this is that exercise allows the body to experience a surge of adrenaline, in effect letting go of all the negativity that accompanies social phobia.
In fact, a number of studies point out that left accumulated, the adrenaline predisposes you to more of the phobia’s symptoms. Get rid of this extra adrenaline and indulge in exercises to reap the reward thereof. Note that an active lifestyle does not necessarily mean that you sign up at the gym. While this is one of the ways to manage anxiety, you can also choose to do home exercises such as jogging, nature walks, rope skipping or even the use of a home treadmill.
- Identify your choice exercise, establish what equipment you need and just begin on your routine.
5. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A comfortable and preferably quiet place.
For some people, the best way to deal with SAD is to walk down memory lane by taking flashbacks to their childhood, blissfully so. The essence of this remedy is to opt for a time when things were far much simpler and stress-free. Whether it is the aroma of mom’s freshly baked muffins, or memories of a Disney holiday, or even the smell of new story books, this collection of happy memories makes a whole new difference. Research shows that the nose’s olfactory cells play a key role in allowing one to relax, and therefore keep social anxiety at bay.
- Sit at your preferred place, close your eyes and recall your favorite memories.
6. Meditation and Affirmations:
Time Required: Between 10 & 30 Min
What You Need: A quiet place and affirmations (preferably written).
Meditation, for the most part, works well for people who suffer social anxiety phobia as it sets a stable foundation for a calm state of mind which you can then draw from for the rest of the day. To get the best of meditation however takes time and practice. The more frequently you take time to meditate, the better places you are to feel less anxious in social places. For many people, adding positive affirmations to one’s meditation also contributes to wholeness and overall helps reduce anxiety making the condition a little easier to deal with.
- Get a quiet place to meditate.
- Read your affirmations too, slowly and calmly to let them sink in.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of hot water, 1 teaspoon of dried Valerian, a filter and honey (natural sweetener).
Valerian is a popular herb with people who usually suffer the adverse effects of SAD, thanks to its natural sedative traits. In fact, the herb has long been used to treat different kinds of anxieties as it helps stabilize the function of the nervous system. Note however, that you need to consult with your doctor as Valerian has potentially negative effects on the liver. It is also advisable to note that prolonged use of the herb calls for gradual decrease at the point of cessation. This is key because it prevents sharp withdrawal symptoms that may worsen the condition.
- Place the dried herb in a cup.
- Boil the water and pour it over the dried herb.
- Steep it for 15 minutes to allow the herb release its healing properties into the water.
- Pass the tea through the filter and then discard the used herbs.
- Add the honey, stir and enjoy this herbal tea.
- Use this remedy at least thrice daily to deal with SAD.
8. Winter Cherry:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon of Winter Cherry and a glass of warm milk.
Winter cherry is a powerful remedy whose ability to strengthen the body and enhance the proper functioning of the nervous system makes it ideal for the treatment of social anxiety disorder. the herb helps the mind stray alert and allows optimal mental strength. The best time to use this herb is in the morning, and especially on the days when you have a social function and are likely to suffer this form of anxiety.
- Place half a tablespoon of winter cherry in a glass.
- Pour the warm milk over the herb and drink the mixture at least once daily, preferably in the morning.
9. A Good Sense of Humor:
Time Required: Varies depending on your choice medium.
What You Need: Comedy, good company or even phone apps for laughing.
Create a great sense of humor and you will have found an excellent way to deal with social anxiety and phobia. The reason for this is that laughing releases dopamine, one of the key chemical messengers in the brain. This brain chemical manages pleasurable feelings while giving you a sense of reward for not feeling anxious. Your favorite comedy series or the funniest people at the office can get you cracking and ease the social phobia. If you are one of those people who is too uptight, then you may consider getting mobile phone applications purely intended to get you laughing.
- Switch on your favorite comedy series or hang out with a bunch of light-hearted folks to get you through the social anxiety.
- Alternatively, turn to technology to ease you and allow you manage social anxiety disorder.
Lastly, it helps to manage your schedule and insert blocks of relaxation to give you time to resting and just unplug form life’s hectic pace. This ranges from yoga to meditation or catching up with your favorite reads.