Soothing touch techniques. One is called "Havening."
The basic idea is to put your hands on opposite shoulders, and then rub down the backs of your arms to your elbows. Then lift the hands and replace them on your opposite shoulders, and rub down to the elbows again. Repeat over and over.
While doing this, you can repeat a mantra in your mind that you want to believe. “I am safe. I am powerful. I am infinite.” Anything that you want to believe. There are more complex techniques that work even better, but this is a really good start and super easy to do.
If you're too anxious to go to a therapist, don't go yet.
Find a video that soothes and inspires you. Watch it. Take gentle, deep breaths while you do.
Then find another. Watch that one. Breathe and know that because you are alive, every day is new.
Then talk to someone you feel safe with.
Ask them if they have any good sources (videos) for help with anxiety.
At some point, your brain will learn from your positive actions that you are braver you thought.
Find the smallest steps and take them. As you build bits of momentum, the next steps are less effortful.
I have social anxiety. I begin my first job tomorrow but I'm super nervous and shaking. I can't stop thinking about it. And now I don't want to go. I'm going to feel so uncomfortable and I will be shaking. What can I do to not feel like that?
The best way to do thinking is to DO something that uses all of yourself.
Your whole mind and body.
If your anxiety gets real bad at work, go outside and run around the block while singing a song in your head.
I also recommend soothing self touch. Give yourself a hug and a fake makeout session.
Rub your arms and torso as if you were soothing a baby, while singing a song in your head.
Get the body to feel loved, and do something that uses your whole mind, and your emotions will change.
Anxiety is as much about uncomfortable physical sensations in the body (viscera) as it is about repetitive uncomfortable thoughts in the mind.
Find powerful mind-body tools and practice them diligently.
I recommend you look into Havening, a technique that involves soothing touch and mental stimulation. It's been researched as an effective anxiety treatment.
Diet and exercise also play a role. Complex problems require multifaceted solutions. Your life right now might have to be about working through the anxiety. You have to study, experiment, and evaluate different techniques as solutions for you.
What you learn along the way will make you a natural leader.
I have an anxiety disorder, I really don't know what to do. Apparently I'm getting really bad and I need to see someone. But I'm scared.
Definitely find someone who makes you feel safe to talk to. A friend AND a professional if possible. The more the merrier.
Aside from that, anxiety is a brain state, not just a mind state. This means that the body is highly involved. I have had tons of social anxiety for years, and the only things that have made a real difference are mind-body practices and techniques.
Look for mind-body practices that you like. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, cardio exercise, dance, singing, anything that both moves and generates energy.
The other thing is to build a practice that you can use in real time. A self-talk technique, attentional focusing technique, or breathing technique. These kinds of things can allow you to recenter in real time. A therapist or coach might be able to help you find one for you.
Dave Wolovsky, MS CAPP
Relationships Coach, answering the internet's questions about all kinds of relationships.