Natural Cures For Social Anxiety

Occasional feelings of shyness or anxiety in social situations, whether it’s meeting someone for the very first time or giving a presentation, are perfectly normal. On the other hand, social anxiety disorder is a condition defined by debilitating fear, overwhelming feelings of self-consciousness, intense worry and continual avoidance of social contact. If these feelings are disrupting your life, you should contact a medical professional immediately. There are, however, certain natural steps you can take to help you cope with this disorder.

Lifestyle Changes

Changing your lifestyle, by itself, will not cure social anxiety disorder. It will, depending on the severity of your anxiety, help limit the symptoms and work in conjunction with other treatment options. First, it is necessary to stop smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant, which ultimately leads to higher levels of anxiety. Caffeine, contained in coffee, tea, many sodas and energy drinks, is also a stimulant that will worsen your symptoms. Furthermore, drink only small to moderate amounts of alcohol, as excessive drinking can lead to an anxiety attack. Lastly, try to get enough sleep. A lack of sleep causes greater susceptibility to feelings of anxiety and worry.

Breathing Exercises and Meditation

Learning breathe and focus on the moment at hand can greatly help reduce stress and anxiety associated with social interaction. The first step towards relaxation during a stress-inducing situation is simply learning pause, recognize the body’s physical reaction to anxiety, and simply take deep breaths. Learning breathe deeply will automatically reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, which, in turn, causes your body to relax. Meditation is an equally effective tool for reducing anxiety. In order to meditate, focus your attention on your environment and attempt to understand it without thinking about change it. This will lead to relaxation because you are not worrying about what may happen in the future or a perceived mistake that occurred in the past.

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Herbal and Dietary Supplements

There are many herbs and vitamins marketed as remedies for social anxiety disorder and social phobia. Very few of them have been proven scientifically effective. Kava, however, is one herbal supplement that has shown promise. According to Doctors Saeed, Bloch, and Antonacci at East Carolina University, there is substantial evidence showing that kava has a positive effect on the symptoms of anxiety disorders. The root of the kava plant can be taken as either a supplement or as a liquid extract. One nutritional supplement that also possesses some benefit for alternative treatment of social anxiety is inositol, which is part of the vitamin B complex (B8). The doctors at East Carolina University found that inositol has a positive effect on those with panic disorders and performs just as well as Luvox, an antidepressant originally marketed to treat social anxiety disorder.

Before taking any herbal or dietary supplement, it is vital to first consult with a doctor.