Do you struggle with focusing during a socially anxious situation?
And you’re here asking, “Why does this always happen to me?”
Calm down, it’s not just you!
The better question is, “What can I do about it?”
Hear from our Social Confidence Coach as he shares his top 7 Tips to Keep You Focus While Socially Anxious.
Hello, this is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com. I help people with social anxiety feel calm and relaxed in social situations.
I’m answering a question today. That question is something along the lines of: “Hey Sebastiaan, when you were suffering from social anxiety yourself, did you struggle with focusing”
And the answer? Yes, definitely!
I’ll tell you why that happens. Let us first get into that.
When your brain perceives a threat, it then activates the Fight-Flight-Freeze response. This almond sized and shaped part of your brain called the amygdala, then activates the Fight-Flight-Freeze response and then it releases cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream, then blood goes away from your digestive system and into your outer limbs. Your heart rate increases, your pupils dilate, and basically your whole system is energized to deal with the threat that your brain is perceiving. Now, that caused your system energy and you only have so much energy available. So when you are off in an anxious mode, or worried mode, or stressed out mode, that caused your system energy and you don’t have that energy available when it comes time to study, or read a book, or consume information, or do your best at a particular task. Your best is not available because you’ve consumed a lot of that energy already.
So yes, I definitely struggled with that. A lot!
I studied a lot of personal development, productivity tips, and that kind of stuff, to help me manage those things. I still use that. And I think anyone uses it. Anyone who wants to get hold of life that is. But it is especially helpful when you are dealing with anxiety. So, I will go over my top 7 that you can use to help you with focusing even if you are struggling with social anxiety, which hopefully, you are doing something about, right? That is why I create most of these videos. To tell you that, “Hey, there is a problem, but it is a temporary challenge that you can do something about. Heal the wounds, get rid of the beliefs so that you don’t have the perception, there’s no longer anxiety. If you want to know how to do that, go to my website, and sign up for my free Social Anxiety Course, or get of some of the other amazing stuff like life-coaching session replays that you can tap along with.
So, here are my 7 tips for focusing even though you have social anxiety.
Tip # 1: Get enough sleep.
Now, you only have a certain amount of willpower available to you. The less willpower you have left, the more difficult it is to focus on a particular task. Therefore, you won’t have so much of willpower available to you. One of the best ways to restore that is to have a full, whole 8-hour night sleep. People are a bit different about what the ideal amount is but on the average people would say it is about 8 hours. For me, it’s 8 hours. When I get 8 hours, I wake up with plenty of willpower and that helps me to focus best.
A lot of people with social anxiety have trouble sleeping or getting to sleep. I can do a different video for that, so I won’t give too much detail about that. One of the things that you can do is to simply tap a couple of rounds before you go to bed. Just tap for a couple of minutes. You don’t have to particularly focus on anything. You just tap on these points. You soothe and calm yourself up. I would also do this.
“I don’t want to sleep.”
“I have too many things to think about.”
“I refused to sleep.”
“I’m not going to sleep.”
“I can’t sleep.”
“I won’t sleep.”
You just have to do that for one round. Voicing all the possible reasons for why don’t want to sleep or why you can’t sleep. Just for one round and then after that, you can do a couple of rounds. Just general tapping. Take a deep breath. Then you go to sleep. That’s likely going to improve your sleep. If you have sleep issue, there’s a whole lot to it than this little quick fix. But that’s the number one that you want to do.
Tip # 2: Meditate.
I am a big fan of meditation. I have been doing it for years. On and off. I have had consistent periods like 6 months or 3 months. It’s been on and off. Currently, I am meditating for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes before I go into bed. I am going to get that up to 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes in the evening. I do a video up to 15 minutes a day, just a little bit of stretching.
Meditation has been proven to increase your willpower. That helps you with your focus. Meditation? Fantastic. Highly Recommended. It’s difficult when you start with the beginning. So, start with 3 minutes and just build that up. As you are doing that, you can see that as a tool to build that self-focus. That’s going to be very careful. There you go, that was number 2.
Tip # 3: Focus on one particular thing at a time.
We get distracted by a lot of things. We are most efficient and effective when we only focus on one particular thing. So do not multitask. Multi-tasking eats up your willpower. It makes you very inefficient. That decreases your focus. One single thing is what makes you focus the most.
Tip # 4: Big rocks first.
What do I mean by that? There is an old metaphor that goes like this.
If you have a bunch of pebbles, some of them are big pebbles and then you have some smaller pebbles, and then you have some sand. Then, you want to get as much stuff into this jar. If you first put in the sand, and then you put in the smaller pebbles, and then you put in the big pebbles, the big pebbles won’t fit in anymore.
If you first take the big pebbles and put those in, and then you put the sand around it, and then you put the small things around it, it all fits in nicely.
This may be the most horrible metaphor I have given you to picture it but I think you get the idea. You want to do the most important task first.
Tip # 5: Tap to soothe your stress.
As I said earlier, stress, anxiety and worry eat up your willpower. Say that you have a good night’s sleep. You’ve meditated a bit. You’ve decided to focus on one particular task. You decided to focus on the most important of all tasks. Then, you sit down to start doing the things that you are about to do, and you feel worried or stressed. Simply focus on that and tap. Focus on a particular thought that is on your mind and keep focusing on that thought. Focus on where you feel the stress in your body, maybe you feel it in your chest or in your stomach. You just do a couple of rounds. Deep breathing helps while you are doing that as well. Just do that for a minute or two. Just that little bit will help you.
Tip # 6: Get rid of all distractions.
What I do when I sit down is I turn my phone to airplane mode. If I don’t need internet for the task I’m about to do, if I’m doing some writing or I’m making a video, I turn my Wi-Fi off on my laptop. I make sure that nobody disturbs me. Any distractions take you out of the moment, causes you to multitask, and that decreases your willpower. There you go.
Tip # 7: Watch your food.
I have tested this. I love cheese. I love chocolate. I love ice cream. I love delicious food. Then, I found that certain food drains my energy. Some drain my willpower and makes me just want to hang on the beach or do nothing. It makes me lose my focus and lose my ability to think clearly. Pizza, just before I need to write something important – not going to happen. A salad, just before I need to write something important is very helpful. It gives me a nice sustained focus. Other kinds of food take that focus away. So green leafy vegetables. Salads. That kind of stuff helps you with your focus.
I hope that has been helpful for you. Those are my 7 quick tips to help you focus even when you have social anxiety. Thank you for your question. This is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com. Subscribe here or leave a comment. If you have an additional tip, put it on there so others can benefit from it too. I’ll connect with you soon. Bye for now.