An Introvert with anxiety – A guide to getting through the day.

Introverts.

We are the least understood creatures on the planet. There is probably more known about the strange life forms that inhabit the Mariana Trench than is known about us. We lurk in plain sight, watching, listening (and sometimes judging).

But we all know, that the safety and coziness of our homes all the time everyday is not a luxury we can afford. Because unfortunately, as a (although unwilling) part of society, there are certain things we are required to do in our day to day lives. Like go to school, college, work, social gatherings etc. Basically whether we like it or not, we are required to spend at-least some of our time around people.

Getting out of social gatherings is a skill I have so impressively developed, that it might just end up on my resume one day. But for the rest of it, school, college, work, there isn’t much we can do to get out of it. These are important things.

But important things don’t come without their extra dose of extroverts that we end up having to mix around with almost on a daily basis. Now, for a lot of us, this could be an uncomfortable thought.

Most introverts find it difficult to carry out simple tasks, that may involve engaging in conversations with other people, being the centre of attention etc. It usually causes anxiety and stress and impairs our functioning, thus not allowing us to perform to our full potential.

Based on my 29 year experience as an introvert with anxiety, here are some tips that may help you get through the day with a little less trouble.

  1. How to deal with – Previous Day Anxiety.

Previous day anxiety is something I experience literally every single time before an important event, meeting, audition or even before meeting new people. It gets so severe at times that it has caused me to cancel at the last moment. I have missed out on several opportunities in my career because of this. Feeling dizzy, nauseous, irritable etc are only some of the things experienced during previous day anxiety.

Now, whether you believe it or not ( I know I didn’t) one way to drastically lower the effects of previous day anxiety is to meditate. Hear me out.

By meditation I do not mean only sitting cross legged with your eyes closed. I mean finding any activity, or way to relax you mind, as a way of surrendering to the situation instead of struggling to hold on and control it.

For many this could be prayer. Prayer does have a beautiful and strange way to calm you down, as it is a way of surrendering your troubles to a higher power. If you’re not religious, the best would be to try to be around nature, or at least keep a few plants at home. Set up your own calming ritual where you surrender your worries to nature. The whole idea is to understand that you need not struggle to be in control. There are forces much bigger than us that work for our wellbeing and happiness. Surrender to them.

My ritual is listening to calming music in a dimly lit room with my scented candles and just surrendering to the universe. Letting go like this can take some practice, but looking at the improvement it has brought about in my life, I felt it was necessary share.

2. Introducing yourself.

Another horror that we introverts have to face is introducing ourselves to people. My words always come out wrong and I end up sounding like I have never spoken this language before. The thing is, You’re talking about you. You know you. Should be easy. Right? RIGHT? Of course right. It IS easy.

An important piece of information to keep in mind when your’e introducing yourself to someone, is to never, never ever take in their energy. Do not try to decode their expressions and come to your own conclusions about what they may be thinking. The key is to be completely focused on yourself. Keep a few points in mind that you would like to mention and stick to that.

It’s easy to be intimidated by people as soon as you see them. But the truth is that once you get to know them, most aren’t half as scary as you think they are. For those of us who have social anxiety, this is literally the worst part of any day. We deal enough with thinking that the whole world is out to judge us, so trying to introduce yourself to someone is like trying to navigate through a floor of lava and hot coal.

The key is, keep it short. If you’re asked questions, keep your answers short. You are not required to lay out your entire life history for anyone.

3. Create a space for yourself, and make sure you spend time in it everyday.

I can’t stress enough on the importance of this one. As introverts with anxiety, doing the smallest outdoor tasks can be exhausting. As a result by the end of the day we are mentally and emotionally drained. It leads to lack of self care, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

By a space I mean either making a space, which could include anything you like to do. Reading, listening to music, playing music, video games, taking care of your garden, pets etc. Or just being in familiar comfortable surroundings. This is so essential to prevent you from losing who you really are in the chaos and struggle of the outside world in which just fitting in for us is a task.

Just take some time everyday, doing what you love, the way you love it – alone.

4. How to begin your day.

Now, having gone through some tips to go through your day, let us look at some tips to begin your day.

I never start my day feeling dull, irritated, anxious or keep any sort of negativity in my mind. The biggest mistake is dragging these feelings through the day, and then wondering why your day went the way it did.

Every morning, take the time, to gather your thoughts, and you may have heard of this one before – practice gratitude. Count things that make you smile, it could be one small thing, it could be many things. But take a few moments to go inward, be truly present, and count your blessings. You’ll find them, trust me, and you will be surprised.

Never start your day unless your energy has shifted from negative or agitated to calm or content.

These are the most basic every day things that help me get through my day. Of course there is a lot more we can do, but let’s start slow.

We’re all in this together. If there are tips that you have, that have made your day easier, do share it with us! Let’s help each other up, and make a little space of silence, in this world of chaos.

______________________________________________________________________________

Blog by Priya D'Silva.

CREDENTIALS 
M.A. in Sociology 
B.A. in Sociology __________________________________________________________________________ © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DISCLAIMER
The content of this article is not to be substituted for medical advice. It is merely my personal view based on my personal experience and understanding of the subject that is intended to help people in similar situations at a basic level. 

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