Natural Ways I Got Rid of Most of My Social Anxiety


#1

I’ve had social anxiety since I smoked weed in my last year of high school, 8 years ago. I think it triggered the anxiety in my brain. I tried Klonopin and Xanax, which both worked well but I built up a tolerance and became dependent.

For the last 6 months I have really tweaked my diet and exercise and supplement use, as well as read books on overcoming the anxiety because I was so fed up, and I have gotten rid of most of it.

I just wanted to share these things with you in the hopes that it will help other people.

Here they are:

  1. Gym everyday - at the least 20 mins on the treadmill. If you don’t have a membership jog around the neighborhood. I find that cardio is the best.

  2. Cut out wheat, sugar, dairy, and alcohol - if you are seriously suffering from SA then the thought of getting better will overpower missing out on your bagel and cream cheese. If you want to be stricter, google anti-inflammatory diet.

  3. Eating one meal a day. I noticed I felt the anxiety creep up after I ate a meal so I wait to eat a late dinner right before bed. It has really helped! It will get easier over the 3 day hump. If you get really hungry try drinking some water with apple cider vinegar.

  4. Taking supplements. These include: magnesium (Calm drink from Whole Foods), vitamin B complex, multi-vitamin, vitamin D so I don’t get seasonal effective disorder in the winter, ashwaganda, lemon balm tea, and astragalus.

  5. Drinking a lot of water. It fights inflammation in the brain which will decrease anxiety.

  6. Helpful books. These are more spiritual and conceptual. They give me a different perspective on the world and really help me to see things differently.
    -Infinite Possibilities, by Mike Dooley
    -The Intention Experiment, by Lynne McTaggart


#2

Hi marissarose,

Thanks for sharing this information that has worked well for you.

I agree wholeheartedly with the gym (or some form of physical activity indoors/outdoors to get your heart rate up) everyday.

As for the nutrition advice, I feel everyone is different and some things may apply and others may not:

  • Completely cutting food groups out such as wheat, sugar, and dairy may not be necessary for everyone. Sugar in moderation is not a bad thing and may help someone adhere to their diet. Wheat (whole grains) and dairy are both fine as well and have health benefits in a balanced diet. Alcohol in moderation (a drink or two once in a while) is okay too and may possibly have health benefits.

  • Eating one meal a day is a form of dieting some people do well on known as “intermittent fasting”, but others may not like this and the feeling of being hungry all day could make them uncomfortable, irritable, etc. Others may perform well using several smaller meals throughout the day. Still others are fine with regular portion meals 3-4 times a day.

  • Supplements are overdone in my opinion. If you’re eating a balanced diet, there is really no need for them, as you’ll be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from the food you’re eating. Even vitamin D has been shown to be overused in recent studies.

  • Drinking enough water is important, but too much water can be a bad thing too, and wash away nutrients in the body and cause other issues.

I’m not trying to discredit anything you’ve said, but I’ve seen many people (myself included) restrict themselves from certain foods, entirely change the way they eat throughout the day, or buy countless supplements, when all they really needed to do was eat a balanced diet and exercise/stay active.

I am not against experimenting with these things you’ve mentioned, but I would suggest not to get too caught up in them. A lot of times we a so focused internally on our body and how we feel, we think something is making us feel better (placebo effect) when it’s really not. If it is helping though, then stick with it.


#3

Good comments, Doug.

In the spirit of sharing, all this is nice. Then each person should consider what works for them.

Hello marissarose,

Thank you for the post. Some good advice, at least things for people to consider. Thanks for the book titles.

My social anxiety started in a bigger way when I was 10. It was building up to it before that, but it came on in a way I could not avoid by 10 years old. I was 10 so I was sleeping enough, getting physical activity, certainly not drinking alcohol, etc. My anxiety continued increasing into middle school, continued through high school, through college, after college, into my 30s. I didn’t drink alcohol before the age of 25. I didn’t crink coffee before 28. Love coffee! Sure, it can make you jittery, it can also be nice, and nice to have a cup while having good conversation with a friend. Certainly I’m guilty of waking up and needing my coffee. If someone is too sensitive to something like coffee, then you’ll know that and adjust for how your body works.

I was a strict vegan from about 1997 until roughly 2017. I’ve since still been mostly vegan, at least at home, but I’m more flexible when I go out. I’ve eaten well at periods in my life, and I’ve eaten poorly at other periods. I’ve been mostly physical active in my life, jogging habit daily, sports, walking, hiking. Some years I was very active, daily. Other years, and right now, I’m not physically active enough at all. I’ve had periods where I drank water on a schedule, kept hydrated. Other times where I don’t think about it as much, but certainly I’m drinking something. I’ve done different types of eating, calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, and no plan at all.

What didn’t change, no matter if I was more healthy with sleep, diet, exercise or not, during all my years before doing therapy for social anxiety, was that I was still socially anxious, enough to make me feel miserable, interfere with my day in every way, limit my life to a tiny box.

I think it’s great to pay attention to all facets of our health - certainly what food we eat/drink, sleep, balance in all things, getting some type of physical activity in daily/regularly. These things are important. These things are part of a healthy lifestyle which then “help” your life in all ways. And each person is somewhere along this line, doing something similar or different in their choice of exercise, food comfort, feeding the mind cognitively with different sources of info… books, etc. Nobody here is going to say this stuff doesn’t matter.

If you managed to help yourself overcome social anxiety more through diet and exercise, that’s awesome. I’m glad you did. I couldn’t. I had social anxiety whether I was doing all these healthy things or not. Had social anxiety when I was getting perfect sleep, jogging daily, drinking only water, eating clean. Had social anxiety when I didn’t jog for a few weeks or months, when I had a coffee in the morning or a beer on a Friday and before and after I ate the candy bar. I definitely know that I feel better if I stay away from dairy. It’s great stuff! Tastes great, sure. But, my body doesn’t do so well with it. Dairy doesn’t affect the status of my social anxiety, though.

Now I don’t have social anxiety, because I did CBT therapy. So now, somedays I eat like crap, and I don’t have social anxiety anymore. Some days/weeks I’m back to eating good again, and I still don’t have social anxiety. But yes, I feel better now if I’m not eating like crap.


#4

I’m glad that CBT worked for you! How long have you been doing it? Do you have to keep up with it? Also, what kinds of things did you do or what did they say you should start or stop doing? I’m very curious :slight_smile:


#5

I understand your point that everyone is different. Hopefully someone else is like me and will benefit from this advice. The supplements I was talking about though you don’t get a dose amount from food. Also, last time I went to the doctors my vitamin D was below normal so when I started taking it I felt a lot better.

Thanks for reading my post!


#6

I began the audio therapy CBT series by Dr. Richards in 2007. I went through the series a few times before coming to a therapy group here in Phoenix. I went through a couple of therapy groups back to back. So, I was roughly focused in a direct way on the therapy for about 2 years, in a way of still making it a daily habit. I’ve never been so consistently in that habit since then, though there are times I refer back to the series. But also, the strategies of therapy just become your life habits. So, sure I do things now when I’m facing challenges that I got from therapy. But I don’t see that like doing therapy anymore. I see that just living. I could have either been living with bad habits, or living trying to apply a rational, healthy habit. The latter is what life becomes, at least for me it did.

Yes, I think you have to keep up with a relearning therapy for a time because time is needed. If you don’t keep up with it, you’re not forming a new habit.

What kinds of things do you do in therapy? It’s all described on the online therapy treatment page on the website, what’s in each session. Basically you persistently keep up with techniques to stop irrational thinking and replace it with rational thinking. You’re changing habits so you’re stopping thinking patterns and resulting behaviors and practicing replacing those with rational thoughts and then action - doing rather than avoiding.