There are a number of techniques and treatment to help us cope with social anxiety. For instance, breathing is very important, obviously, it keeps us alive. However, if our breathing becomes uncontrolled it could lead to physiological changes in our body that may increase anxiety. So the key is to monitor your breathing rate and pattern.
Like for example, you are in a social situation and suddenly you feel dizzy, your vision becomes blurred and you experience light headedness. This may be a result of over breathing which cause an oxygen reduction in some parts of the brain.
Accordingly, over breathing for a longer period of time may make you lose energy and makes you feel exhausted. And that is why when you experience anxiety, you feel dizzy, you experience hot flashes or sweat because when you feel anxious, you started to breathe fast.
So how do we regulate our breathing? There are two kinds of breathing, one is chest breathing and the other is stomach breathing. So the way to determine how you are breathing is to put your hand on your collar bone and the other hand on your stomach and take a deep breathe. If your stomach expands with less collar bone movement, you are breathing through your nose which is a good sign that your breathing is helpful. However if there is more chest movement, it means that you are breathing through your mouth, and this kind of breathing is usually related to anxiety.
How you breathe is the key so here are ways to help you control your breathing.
1. You can sit comfortably on a chair with your legs apart or you can do a yoga sitting position on the floor. Make sure that you are comfortable in your position.
2. When your shoulders, chest and jaws are relaxed, slowly breathe in through your nose.
3. Relax and breathe in and expand your waist so your stomach inflates. (you can place your dominant hand over your stomach to check if it inflates when you breathe in.)
4. Breathe naturally. Avoid deep breathing.
5. Breathe out through your mouth and release the air from your chest.
6. Maintain breathing low and slow and focus on the movement of your stomach.
You can use this technique whenever you feel symptoms of anxiety to positively cope with it. However, it may take a while to get use to it. So practice until it becomes your second nature. Till next time and I hope you find this post helpful.