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50 Thoughts Every Person with Social Anxiety Experiences at an Event

If there was one thing I would change about myself, it would be eliminating my social anxiety. Every now and then, I enjoy catching up and spending time with friends. However, curling up in my room while journaling or surfing the web is always the more comfortable option for me than trying to make small talk with others.

Here is a more-or-less exaggerated (slightly-silly) scenario of what goes through a person’s mind when they experience social anxiety at a larger social function.

1.) I really don’t want to go to (insert party/event/gathering).

2.) But, there will be free food…

3.) That attractive guy might be there….

4.) Oh, but my bed and Netflix are so heavenly!!!

5.) Maybe, I’ll just slip in for 10 minutes, get my food, and leave.

6.) Yes, that sounds like a plan. *Goes into ninja mode*

7.) Gah, I don’t want to dress up!!! Pajammas are acceptable, right?

8.) No, I should wear that pretty dress in case attractive guy is there.

9.) Do I really NEED makeup? I’ll only be there for 10 minutes….

10.) Okay, I’m ready!!! Not really, but….

11.) WHY AM I SWEATING SO MUCH???

12.) Alright, so far I don’t recognize anyone….good because I really don’t want to talk to ANYBODY.

13.) I feel like I’m being watched and it’s REALLY freaking me out.

14.) OMGosh attractive guy is HERE!!!! Act natural…..

15.) Dang it, I look SOOO socially awkward. He’ll never ask me out.

16.) Okay, where’s the food, where’s the food???

17.) I really don’t want to look like a pig eating all these cookies and chips. NOBODY JUDGE ME!

18.) GASP, I see people I know….Don’t make eye contact!!!

19.) I love them, but I’m just NOT in the mood to talk. I hope they didn’t notice me avoiding them.

20.) I think I have a better relationship with food than people. That’s really sad.

21.) What’s wrong with me???

22.) There is literally NOTHING to do here expect for talking to people. I think I’ll just stick with eating.

23.) How long does this event last for anyways?

24.) I think I will go to the bathroom for a while.

25.) *Looks in the restroom mirror* I look like I just saw a ghost while running a marathon.

26.) Okay, I came, I ate, I conquered. Time to leave!

27.) Is it wrong for me to feel happy about this?

28.) I AM  mentally drained and tired.

29.) Okay, the coast is clear….RUN.

30.) Well, don’t RUN, but walk out quickly and with purpose.

31.) I’m almost out the door! Freedom at last!

32.) SOMEONE JUST CALLED MY NAME.

33.) I can’t just look like I’m avoiding the world. Okay, I’ll talk for a little bit.

34.) I hate small talk that lasts forever….I don’t do small talk.

35.) I could be doing a lot more productive things right now.

36.) Wait, I think she/he is wrapping up the story.

37.) THERE IS A SILENT PAUSE.

38.) Whew, NOW I can say it’s time for me to leave.

39.) WHY do people always have to ask WHY I’m leaving??? It’s none of their business.

40.) I just want to stay in my bedroom and enjoy some alone time and peace.

41.) I don’t want to stay longer. I’ve already stayed 30+ minutes longer than I intended.

42.) Fine. I’ll stay for 10 more minutes. Then I’m leaving for real. I’m only doing this for you because I love you.

43.) Wait, where did all these other friends come from???

44.) I think I’m going to faint from social exhaustion.

45.) People are starting to leave! I guess the gathering is nearly over!

46.) YES, I FEEL SO RELIEVED! ALLELUIA!

47.) I’m almost home! YAY!

48.) Whew, that was a long event.

49.) It WAS good to talk with my friends, though.

50.) Maybe I’ll just curl up in a ball and go to sleep now.

 

What other thoughts go through YOUR mind when you experience social anxiety?

Julia

 

 

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10 Simple Ways to Bring Joy into Your Life.

Are you having one of those days where you’re just not content with your life? We all experience bad days now and again. Work can be stressful and knock you down. Sometimes, you’re self esteem plummets for whatever reason. Your neighbors bought the latest car and you’re feeling mighty envious. Relationships can get tense…..so on and so forth.

Whether you feel ungrateful, depressed, anxious, or sad, I’ve compiled a number of simple methods to help you realize how much you have to be thankful for and boost your happiness!

  1. Count your blessings. It can be easy to envy the possessions and accomplishments of others while undermining what we have in our own lives.  Here’s the thing: Happiness isn’t accumulated by more money or prestige. I would die happily knowing that I spent ample time loving my family and participating in my faith – not possessing a large house, the latest clothing trends, or driving the slickest car. I won’t be thinking, “I should have gotten that 100″ flat-screen plasma TV for the living room.” I will be thinking of meeting my Father in Heaven, which is greater than any reward on earth. With that in mind, find a quite place, take a pencil and paper, and write down absolutely everything that you are grateful for today (food, water, shelter, employment, clothing, friends, family, pets, hobbies, love, freedom, talents, etc.).
  2. Surround yourself by people you love. Love is found in people – not things. Step away from the electronics and engage in face-to-face interaction with friends and family that you care about. Go for a walk, discuss life over lunch, play board games, or walk in the park. The internet can be loaded with negativity. Create some positivity in your life by laughing and loving those you love. Experience love and life – not a virtual reality that you can’t wrap your arms around.

3. Exercise. Get rid of all that tension by pumping your heart full of blood. Sweating rids your body of toxins and releases endorphins, which will brighten your mood. Physical activity can lower anxiety levels, improve sleep, tone muscles, and raise self esteem. Get active!

4. Wear clothes you like that fit you. If you are feeling body-conscious like me, you first and foremost need to toss out any clothes that don’t fit you/don’t make you feel confident. Don’t say you’ll lose the weight and eventually fit into those jeans….”eventually” is not “now”. You need to feel great today – not a couple months from now. So, buy clothes that make you feel like a million bucks. I’m not suggesting that you splurge all your money or give up on becoming a healthier person. But, losing weight takes time. You need to feel happy and confident no matter what you’re size.

5. Get involved in your community. If you are focusing your energy on yourself, get out into the community and serve those less fortunate than you. It’s eye opening to witness what we take for granted causing abundant joy to others. Volunteer at a food pantry, soup kitchen, clothing drive, nursing home, etc.

6. Journal. Silence brings clarity. When you aren’t in the mood to talk with anyone, a journal can be your best friend. Write about your burdens, struggles, and inner thoughts. List your questions and concerns. When you’re done, read over what you’ve written and reflect. Getting your emotions out on paper feels so relieving.

7. Take small naps. Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do at a given moment is sleep. Those 10 minutes spent resting and rejuvenating your body look a lot more effective than the same 10 minutes trying to keep your eyelids open while completing your work. You’ll be grateful for those extra minutes of snoozing.

8. Find a hobby. Play the guitar, sing, dance, get artsy, blog, or exercise. Schedule out some leisure time in your daily routine for yourself.

9. Eat nutritious meals. A Pop-Tart and cinnamon roll might look appetizing for breakfast, but are those frankenfoods going to deliver the nutrients you need to live healthfully? Think again. Do your body a favor by filling it up with nutrient-dense fruits, whole grains, protein, dairy, and veggies. I could spend numerous articles and give a thousand reasons why eating right is good for you. In fact, there really aren’t any bad effects to eating healthfully. You’ll feel fuller longer and feel great in the long run. Trust me!

10. Participate in your faith. Spirituality brings deep perspective and purpose into your life. Step away from noise in this world yelling at you to look a certain way and act a certain way. Attending church service, reading spiritual books, prayer, and wholesome music will redirect your life in a direction full of passion and purpose.  

Remember, happiness is only a feeling. Like all others feelings, it comes and goes. But, you can live a life with joy because God endows us with that gift. Be grateful for each day you are alive!

Julia

I Don’t Support Same-Sex Marriage. Here’s Why.

I am not one to voice my opinion politically or religiously, but due to the exceptional occurrences recently, I feel obliged to share my part. Friday, June 26, 2015 marked a significant moment in history for the LGBT community. As a Christian and decent human being, I look to all my friends, family, and anyone I meet with love regardless of race, sexual orientation, and the like. This is to stick with God’s commandment to love one another as He loves us (John 15:12). I don’t HATE anyone – except the devil and sin. GOD doesn’t hate anyone – except the devil and sin. God is for us – not sin.

“Love” also does not necessarily equate to “support”. In fact, God tells us to “love” our enemies (Matthew 5:44). So, I’ll be kind and respectful to all but that doesn’t mean I’ll agree with everyone’s beliefs or practices. However, beliefs won’t make me love you any less as a person – only that I know my opinions and beliefs are different. I will still look out for you and treat you as a good friend and human being. This post is not meant to start arguments. I realize that my beliefs are SO against supporters of same-sex marriage. Many will look at me as a “bigot” and “homophobic”. My beliefs are outrageous according to several people. I get that.

Several will roll their eyes when I say that a strong conviction in the very roots of God’s Word expressed through the Catholic faith is the reason why I’m not for gay marriage. As a Roman Catholic, I believe the purpose of marriage is a loving bond between one man and one woman who are fully opened and accepting to the procreation of children. There, I said it. Simply put, God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). I find that the most fundamental reason for marriage is to create and nurture new life. The outward sign of marriage is children. It’s all about sacrifice – just like Jesus sacrificed for us. Same-sex marriage does not in any way promote this lifestyle.

I put God’s authority over man-made decisions. Love the sinner but dislike the sin. Again, I’m just one person with one opinion. But, what I believe is important to me. I’m entitled to my opinion and you are entitled to yours. I’ll still love you and treat you as a person, but that doesn’t mean we’ll support everything together.

Everyone deserves to be loved. However, being romantically involved with the same sex is another story. Attraction isn’t a sin. It’s when we apply those feelings towards lustful, fruitless actions that makes this attitude sinful. Find love through Jesus Christ.

Julia

Introvert Insight

It is no lie. I am an introvert. I don’t think there is anyone I know who wouldn’t consider me quiet, reserve, and introspective. In many cases, this is true but definitely not all the time. Sometimes, I feel like introverts are viewed in a less-than-positive way from the more outgoing crowd. It is a shame that we (on behalf of introverts) are easily misinterpreted as shy, antisocial, and even snotty. But, hopefully this article shows our side of the story. 🙂

1.) We over think things…a lot. It’s almost like we are living in a separate world where all of our thoughts just explode and evolve into millions of deep scenarios, which can lead to anxiety. We might be silent on the outside but our brains don’t seem to relax.

2.) We speak up when necessary. If we are passionate about something, there is no stopping us voicing our beliefs. If we have something significant to share with others, we will do it….and others are intrigued by what we have to say.

3.) We withdraw ourselves from social events for a breather. Introverts get exhausted when socializing with lots of people for a given amount of time. This includes shopping “sprees”, parties, and dances. We really do enjoy you and your company, but we also get overstimulated and it wears us out quickly.

4.) Bedrooms are safe havens. Returning to my bedroom or dorm is my escape from the noise and busyness taking away my energy. Peace and quiet is glorious, especially after a full day of school and work. We’ve been surrounded by others all day, so any free moments to ourselves are like mini vacations to rest and recover.

5.) We only have a handful of really close friends. We are friendly to all but confine our complete trust and troubles to a select few. This can even include family members. We select our friends wisely. These are the people who are lucky enough to see our wild, silly side.

6.) We could watch Netflix all day by ourselves and be perfectly content. Let’s face it. We pride our alone time. Lots of extroverts find that this can be lonely. We don’t mind though. We actually really enjoy it.

7.) We love people. We really do. We care about you, want the best for you, and love spending time with you. We just need more breaks to ourselves than the average person so we don’t get overwhelmed.

8.) We have nothing against extroverts. Honestly, we need people like you to remind us to let loose, have fun, and take chances in life. AND, you might need us if you are searching for a peaceful escape from life’s demands. We love naps, Netflix, food, reading, journaling, and thinking among other things. You are welcome to join us.

Signing off,

Julia

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