Dorisa

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Before diving into my story of living with a mental illness, I first want to say something to you.

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People with anxiety can be highly self-critical, tend to overestimate the likelihood that something negative will happen, and often feel that others are judging them. During social situations, people with anxiety might feel short of breath and experience dizziness, sweating, blushing, stuttering, and an upset stomach.

Many people are affected by anxiety. In fact, one in 14 people around the world will have an anxiety disorder at any given timewith women and young people being most affected.

But it is possible to overcome anxiety and date successfully. Here are some top scientific tips.

People with anxiety tend to worry about what might go wrong in a situation and fear that they will do or say something to embarrass themselves. These thoughts not only produce a highly negative mental state characterised by dread and helplessness, but also harmful physiological body changes, such as higher secretion of stress hormones. An effective way to get over this is to stop focusing on what might go wrong.

As soon as a worrying thought pops into your head, let it go. Realise that it is just that — a thought or a mental event that will pass just like many others did. This technique is based on mindfulnesswhich has been shown to lower anxiety in study after study.

This meditative technique will relax you and make you feel calmer. Repeated exposure to situations or people that make you feel anxious eventually lessens your fear response and makes you realise that you really are more resilient than you thought you were.

When it comes to social interactions — or any other phobias for that matter — graded exposure is an effective way of getting over those nerves: start small with mildly feared situations and build your way up to more strongly feared circumstances. For example, next time you go to a social event, practice making small talk for a short period of time or make it a point to voice a comment during a group interaction.

Face your fears

Next time, practice making small talk for a longer time and with more people. This will retrain your mind to stop seeing social situations as scary and will give you greater control when around others.

If there is an issue that needs to be dealt with, focus on fixing it or doing something about it — but without reacting to it. This is called problem-focused coping.

5 ways to overcome dating anxiety

According to research studies, people who do this have better mental health, tend to feel more positive and have more positive outcomes in life than those who use emotion-focused coping. Many self-help books talk about what you should do in order to keep someone attracted.

But that seems to be totally the wrong way of going about it. He or she may well be attractive and funny — and know just what to say to keep you hooked — but is that enough?

Is such a person really worth a relationship? Because the only thing worse than being in a bad relationship for a year, is being in a bad relationship for a year and a day. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Olivia RemesUniversity of Cambridge.

During social situations, people with anxiety might feel short of breath and experience dizziness, sweating, blushing, stuttering, and an upset stomach Many people are affected by anxiety.

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