Why your social anxiety is disrupting your fun at social events
Updated: Jul 29, 2022
You’re out with friends. You should be enjoying yourself. But instead, your mind is consumed with worry.
You worry about what everyone is thinking about you.
You worry about whether they like you or not.
You worry. You worry. You worry.
What’s worse? You know you’ll go home tonight, and worry some more. Replaying those interactions again and again.
It’s mentally and physically exhausting.
We got you covered!
Keep reading to learn…
One of the causes of overthinking, especially in social situations…
What you can do about it
You can feel excited to attend social gatherings, instead of dreading them.
You can enjoy yourself with friends and family, instead of overthinking your interactions with them.
Understanding is the first step to tackling overthinking…it allows you to question whether or not your thoughts are valid.
This can help decrease the distress you feel when connecting with people.
Noticing when the rumination is happening is also important to stop the worry by paying attention to your feelings before, during, and after engaging with other people. This helps you identify triggers.
Practicing mindfulness at the moment by bringing your attention to 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can taste, and 1 thing you can smell.
This helps you name the experience your body is going through at the moment. It brings you back to the moment.
Distracting you from thinking to experiencing the moment.
Journal your thoughts to keep track of overthinking, when it happens and what you are thinking about, non-stop.
WHAT IS OVERTHINKING?
First, let’s understand the problem, then the “why”, and then I’ll give you some solutions!
Do you find it difficult to stop worrying about things that don’t go as planned?
Do you feel consumed by thoughts of things going wrong, making you feel not good enough?
Do you always feel stuck because you aren’t sure of what could happen if you take the next step?
All of these are examples of “overthinking”.
WHY YOU CAN’T STOP OVERTHINKING
A worry is a biological tool that tells us when there is danger. But, in today’s society, one of the biggest dangers we face is loneliness. And our brain works hard to find ways to notice if there is a threat to our “fitting in” and to come up with ways to avoid it.
Unfortunately, that part of some of our brains is on overdrive.
Instead of warning us of actual risks, our brain is constantly seeing risk, even where it doesn’t exist.
Simply telling yourself that you don’t need to worry and that there is no risk hasn’t worked so far…and it won’t. Let me tell you why…
The brain is tricky. You don’t have the right tools to help you understand what is going on inside your mind and body. But a professional does!
WHY CAN’T I STOP OVERTHINKING ON MY OWN?/Why isn’t what I’m trying, working?
You’ve tried to tell yourself to “stop”. You’ve “worst case scenario it”. You’ve journaled. You’ve watched Oprah.
Still. It’s not getting better.
It is not getting better because…
One, it might be the kind of THOUGHTS you are having!
This leads to…
Struggling to connect the dots on your own of why you keep overthinking everything and going down a rabbit hole…
Lastly, simply telling yourself to stop thinking too much does not help you understand why those thoughts even exist in the first place.
And this is WHY seeking professional help from a therapist could help you do…which is to stop suffering in silence on your own.
A therapist can support you with the tools to help you understand what you are feeling and thinking, why you are thinking and feeling those things, and what to do to feel in control of your thoughts so your social events can feel more like a fun experience instead of dread.
How do your THOUGHTS about yourself lead to “overthinking”?:
Are you having thoughts like…
You deep down feel like you do not deserve to have a stress-free, worry-free, anxiety-free life.
You don’t think it's not even possible to be at peace with yourself
Sometimes we develop this kind of thinking when….
You sink deeper and deeper into thinking scenarios and struggle to make your way back out of it.
Your thoughts about yourself change how you feel about being around people in social situations. These hurtful thoughts could be interfering with your fun and experiences around people
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP?
You think you will never get to a place where you feel a total sense of peace with yourself because the issues that consume your mind are just way too much to deal with. It just feels like you are experiencing mental gymnastics and can’t settle your mind down enough to rest.
You may not be making progress on your own with overthinking if your underlying thoughts about yourself are the cause. If your thoughts are what’s holding you back, it may be time to get the help of a professional that specializes in unhelpful thinking patterns.
Recognizing and aligning with your true purpose in life makes all the difference.
It helps you tap into a deeper side of yourself that wants to learn everything about who you are so you can in turn feel good about yourself and show up with different expectations and energy that will change your experiences in different situations.
You struggle to see the good things you are and bring to the situation, to other people’s lives.
All you do is focus on everything you aren’t doing right. This makes you feel even worse about yourself.
You don’t trust yourself to be consistent enough to keep searching for your greater purpose and the meaning of your life.
You also learned that if your thoughts are the underlying issue, you might benefit from professional help…..
So that can help you can experience life as it is happening instead of worrying constantly about being 10 steps ahead.
These are some of the reasons why you aren’t having fun at social events and why you might feel excluded and second-guessing everything that goes on.
Check out the next blog where I discuss how you can get your brain and body to relax to actually have fun around people even if you are just meeting them for the first time.