How To Notice Social Situations That Trigger Your Anxiety & Take Back Control
Maybe you might feel that familiar pang of discomfort in your chest. Or a terrifying lurch in your stomach. And perhaps even the urge to turn around and run a mile. Yeah, everyone gets these sorts of feelings when they find themselves in uncomfortable situations. But surprisingly, we don’t always pay attention to these sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle warnings.
The key to reducing stress and anxiety lies firstly in your ability to **NOTICE** when something is making your blood start to boil or your stressometer to go off the chart, and secondly in whether or not you choose to take ACTION.
If you hate insects, you probably wouldn’t go camping, right? And if you are terrified of heights, the chances are you avoid going anywhere high up. But in social situations, and daily life, we often forget to listen to our bodies and take ourselves out of situations that we don’t need to be in.
OK, so maybe there are times where you can’t just turn around and leave, or conversations you can’t just abruptly bring to an end. However, you can change what you’re saying, and indicate when you’re not comfortable with something.
I’ve noticed a lot lately that certain people trigger my anxiety, but only if I engage in specific conversations. If I play my cards right I can still have positive convos with these people. The power is literally in my hands.
I’m now learning to become a master conversation navigator. I’ll try and steer things in another direction if I feel we’re approaching stormy waters.
And don’t forget, you can always tell people how you really feel. If talking about something is uncomfortable for you, make it clear to them. I have realised that in a lot of instances, **shock, horror**it’s actually me driving the negative conversation. Who knew, right? Turns out I’m not perfect, just like everyone else. Honestly, don’t always look for faults in what other people are doing and saying and blame them.
Be aware of what you are saying. Think about how this might influence what others say.
And so this is a little self-improvement side project of mine. Think about what I say to other people, and how it not only impacts me, but also the other person.
We’ve all got some people in our life that test us. Acquaintances, friends and family that drain us of all our good vibes.
But, we need to take some responsibility. If someone does manage to knock me off course, then really, it’s probably my fault for letting them.
There are some social occasions and times where you’re with people and you don’t really want to be there. Or you know it’s not good for your mental health and it will probably upset you.
If this is the case I just try to be kind to myself and recognise I may feel a little emotional, overwhelmed or anxious for a while afterwards. And that’s OK. I find anxiety is marginally easier to deal with if you know what’s causing it. You just have to kind of sit with it.
I’m slowly but surely learning that sometimes you have to be selfish. Yes really.
It’s funny because ‘selfish’ is seen as such a negative word.
Sure, it definitely is most of the time, but the negative connotations associated with the word often prevent people from simply making the right choices for them. If you know meeting up with certain people is going to send you on a downward spiral, then it’s OK to distance yourself.
You only get one life. So cliche but sooo true. You never know what could happen, so why spend your entire life trying to make others happy instead of doing whatever the hell you want to do? And from my recent experience, you can have better, more positive interactions with difficult people if you take control of the conversation. Promise.