Managing Anxiety: Learning to Live Independently

Is it difficult to do things on your own?  Have you wanted to go to a yoga class, but can’t seem to feel comfortable with the idea of going by yourself?  Do you think others judge you when you’re out and about?  Do you feel uncomfortable with others looking at you for too long?  Do you feel anxious around others, especially places you’re unfamiliar with?

There can be many reasons to feel anxious around others.  You may have been in situations in the past where you were unsafe.  You may have difficulty tolerating anxiety.  Many people feel uncomfortable with unfamiliar places or people, but some have learned to master their anxiety by using skills to get through these situations.  Some people use substances (alcohol) or cigarettes to manage their social anxieties (which is ineffective).  We all have some level of social anxiety, some more than others.  You can learn how to master anxiety and feel freedom in your life.

Having a high level of anxiety can cause you to become overly dependent on others.  It’s wonderful to go out with friends and do things with one another, but to be dependent on having a friend go with you on every outing is a problem.

I think it’s important to develop skills to manage anxiety.  Here are some tips:

-Attend a process group to learn how to tolerate anxious feelings

-Identify hobbies you want to pursue and schedule to attend events in your community

-Learn how to tolerate anxiety by practicing Mindfulness Meditation

-Go on walks or jogs in the park

-Eat dinner by yourself in a restaurant and take your journal to write your feelings

-Challenge negative thinking

-Imagine a safe place when you feel an overwhelming amount of anxiety

-See the anxiety come in and out like a wave, keeping in mind that it’s temporary

Here are some meditations to support you.  Hope you enjoy them.

Safe place exercise

RelaxingAnxiety 1


Elana Clark-Faler
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