Many people with MS develop social anxiety and is hard to recognize the symptoms unless you’ve had an anxiety diagnosis in the past. Social anxiety & stress at social gatherings usually go hand-in-hand.
YES! It’s very important to listen to your body. Your body knows best and if it’s giving you signs that an event or situation is too stressful and causing angst, you need to take a step back and assess the situation and your body.
Remember to breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth slower. Alternatively, you can hold one side of your nose closed, breathe in, then switch to the other side, close that side of nose and breathe out. This helps the stress levels calm and boosts cortisol which gives you more energy to survive these situations. This practice help reduce social anxiety & stress.
Also, remember to give yourself self-care before, during and after these events. Self-care is often over looked. During the event and social anxiety & stress levels are creeping up, take some time to yourself in another room, alone. Breathe, talk to yourself. Positive self-talk can get you through these situations. Self-talk is the practice of talking to oneself, either mentally or aloud. Self-talk is the inner voice that you can experience when you are still or quiet. It is running constantly in the background of your mind. This voice tells you how to feel about yourself, either positively or negatively. Whether you realize it or not, you are already engaging in self-talk. The questions is whether or not your self-talk is in your conscious awareness. Becoming aware of your self-talk is important because it impacts your emotional well-being, your self-esteem, your confidence and your ability to change old patterns. Practicing mindfulness is essential for your health & well-being.
During your social gathering/event if you can, step outside, look around at nature. Smell some flowers, get grounded with mother earth for a bit. There’s nothing more soothing than getting some fresh air, breathing deeply, and hitting the re-set button.
You can do this! You are a strong MS Woman-Warrior!
In Health & Wellness,