How To Bring Yourself Back Up After A Bad Episode Of Social Anxiety
What to do after a bad social experience that makes you feel down, depressed and disappointed?
We all have this kind of experiences. We all get hurt now and then. However, some people are better at handling these situations than others.
Some people simply brush it off and move on with their lives. They don’t spend a whole day thinking about what’s happened and what they should have done differently. They simply move on.
But people who have social anxiety can’t do that. They are accustomed to spending countless hours dwelling on the bad thing that’s just happened to them.
It’s hard not to when you’re programmed to act like that.
I’m sure you don’t find it easy to just forget the wrongdoings. You can’t just forget the bad stuff that has just happened to you.
Somehow these automatic negative thoughts emerge in our heads and we start thinking about what we should have done differently or we spend our time thinking what an injustice just happened to us. We think how could that person have done this to us. Why are they behaving this way?
We don’t want anyone to feel bad yet they’ve just done something that hurt us.
And so we find ourselves in this downward spiral of negative thinking when we beat ourselves up for what we have done wrong. And we start to generalize events that happened in our lives. We start to see everything as negative. We start to see everything that happens to us as bad and that’s not a good place to be in.
It makes no sense because it makes you miss the good moments in life. And even when you don’t miss them and when good moments actually do happen to you, you oversee them because you’re stuck with your negative thoughts and you can’t see past the problems that you have.
So when someone gives you a compliment you don’t accept it because you don’t see it as genuine and you don’t see it as such because you yourself don’t believe it to be true. You yourself don’t believe that you are good enough to be appreciated. It’s hard to believe that you’re appreciated when you don’t appreciate yourself.
Now unfortunately this downward spiral leads to even worse self-esteem. You may even develop some unhealthy coping mechanisms such as binge eating or binge drinking. Some people even cut themselves and this is very unhealthy to your emotional health.
My coping mechanism was binge eating. When I felt bad about myself I opened the fridge and I ate. That’s what I did. Food made me feel good again because I loved the taste. I loved salty things and I loved sweet things.
So I used to seek comfort in food and it made me very overweight and unhealthy. And I don’t want you to have these problems yourself because you don’t have to.
You need to find a better way to cope with bad moments.
You need to learn how to stop your automatic negative thoughts. So when something bad happens to you, here’s what you can do.
If it’s really bad go to the toilet and cry. Just get it out of your system because you need to get it out.
If you don’t get it out you will engage in automatic negative thinking and you won’t stop until you find something that will make you feel better and this something is usually something unhealthy.
And you don’t want that.
You want to prevent this to happen.
You want to get it out of your system before it reaches its climax and pushes you over to your unhealthy coping mechanisms.
So that’s why I recommend you to go to the toilet and cry if you have to…
Then breathe. Have some deep breaths and regain your breath so that your body gets the right proportions of oxygen and carbon dioxide that it needs to function normally.
Then make a deal with yourself.
Make a decision on what you’re going to do today in order to feel better.
If you like a good movie decide that you’re going to watch a good movie when you get home.
If you like to exercise, decide that you will exercise for an hour or so.
If you like a bubble bath, decide to take a bubble bath.
And if you like yoga, decide that you’ll do yoga today.
Just make a promise to yourself that you will do something good for yourself TODAY. Make a promise that you will do something that makes you feel good and happy.
And then follow through.
If this bad thing happened to you at work, wait until you get home and then do it.
And if there’s nothing that stops you from doing it right now, then do it right now.
Do something that makes you happy. Do whatever you feel is necessary to help you switch focus away from the negative thoughts so that they don’t reach the climax and you don’t have to reach for your unhealthy coping mechanisms.
It really is that important that you stop your automatic negative thoughts and you can’t do it in any other way but to switch your focus on something positive… on something that you like and makes you happy.
You cannot not think about something.
That’s why changing your focus is so important.
If you don’t believe me I’m just going to give you a quick example.
Try not to think about a pink elephant. Do whatever you can to not think about pink elephant with big pink ears and a pink tail.
Do not think about this pink elephant.
Now tell me, did you think about pink elephant or not?
You probably did because your mind cannot not think about something. That’s why you cannot not think about a bad event unless you switch your focus on something positive.
So to recap, if the situation is really bad, remove yourself from that situation and let it all out. Cry if you need to. Then start breathing properly. Catch your breath. Get your body to get all it needs to function normally. And then make a commitment to do something that makes you happy.
Just the thought of this will help you switch your focus.
So even if you don’t or cant do what makes you happy right now, just the thought about doing it later on will help you not think about the bad thing that’s just happened to you.