5 solutions for social anxiety

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Chances are, most of us have experienced anxiety in a social situation. But social anxiety is much more complicated than that. A crippling condition that causes feelings of self-consciousness, depression and utter panic, social anxiety is one of the most common – and most misunderstood – disorders that young people face today.

"Social anxiety is one of the most common – and most misunderstood – disorders that young people face today."

So what’s the cure? While prescription drugs are a popular solution, many people are deterred by the side effects that go hand-in-hand with popping pills. If you’re hesitant about going the conventional route, here’s a number of natural alternatives that offer effective relief.

1. Try an herbal remedy

Herbs are all the rage these days. Available in various forms including teas, capsules, sprays and topical ointments, certain herbs minimize oxidative stress and maintain nervous system health, ultimately reducing anxiety. There are thousands of options available, so it’s important to know what to look for. Chamomile, St. John’s Wort, Lavender, Valerian Root and Passionflower are all known for their calming, confidence-boosting affects. Take your pick!

"Chamomile, St. John’s Wort, Lavender, Valerian Root and Passionflower are all known for their calming, confidence-boosting affects."

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2. Practice relaxation techniques

We’ve all been told to “take deep breaths” in moments of high stress – and for good reason. Breathing deeply, quite simply, gives your brain a surge of oxygen. When this oxygen reaches your brain, it causes a chain of chemical reactions that reduces agitation and nervousness. Feeling anxious? Whether you’re spiritual or not, try meditating. By encouraging you to sit quietly and take deep breaths, this practice calms the mind and reduces anxiety. And it can be done anywhere!

3. EFT

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an energy therapy that many people swear by. Proven to cure insomnia, promote weight loss and even help people stop smoking, EFT involves tapping specific meridian points on the body while repeating positive phrases targeted at your goal (in this case, social anxiety). This technique releases energy blockages that can contribute to certain disorders and illnesses, therefore alleviating the root of the problem.

"EFT releases energy blockages that can contribute to certain disorders and illnesses."

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4. Take a few tokes

Have you tried medical marijuana? This magical plant is among the most common solutions for social anxiety. While more studies need to be done on how it affects health in the long term – it can’t be as risky as pumping yourself full of prescription drugs. Keep in mind that, as like all remedies, cannabis isn’t for everyone. In some cases, it can make anxiety worse. But there are numerous different strains that have different results, so chat with your doctor about giving it a try.

5. Face your fears

Yes, it sucks. And no, it’s not easy. But you can’t avoid life forever. Eventually, your perpetual fear will become worse because you’ll completely forget how to interact with humans. Stop the negative cycle by biting the bullet and facing your fears. Practice might not make perfect, but it sure won’t hurt.