An Introvert's Anxiety: Ways to Manage and Ultimately Accept it

Growing up introverted along with anxious as a close companion can definitely be difficult especially through the middle and high school years. It is easy to feel lost in the shadows or overlooked compared to others who are not as afraid to be outspoken, loud or bubbly. I used to be nervous to play on the playground if there were too many other children on it because I was afraid of what they would think of me… I was five. I still find myself dealing with this same feeling, only now in more grown-up situations, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. However, over the years I’ve discovered some tips and tricks for making living with anxiety a little easier. I hope anyone else who is experiencing this can use some of these ideas to make their own lives easier too.

 

Getting Some Time Alone

I have personally found making some time for just yourself can be crucial in helping to lower anxiety levels. I mean let’s face it, the world and the people in it can get really freakin' exhausting and overwhelming. It can truly be a breath of fresh air to just take a moment and get away from everything that could or is stressing you out. Spending even just 30 minutes to an hour alone can prove to be a good way to recoup and recharge. Try listening to some relaxing noises or lighting a candle and focus on some breathing techniques. 

 

Writing Things Down

Sometimes our emotions and our thoughts can become so overwhelming that we feel like we’re drowning in them. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t always like talking to others, especially about something that I find to be a personal matter. Keeping a journal and writing down things you may be feeling can help to relieve some stress and anxiety while keeping things personal and private. You may be surprised by what you have to write down, as something I’ve come to discover, just because someone may not say much, it does not mean they don’t have much to say. 

Reading a Good Book

Like a true introvert reading is one of my favorite hobbies and stress reducers. Escaping into someone else's world can be both an entertaining and relaxing way to take your mind away from the stressors in your life while focusing your energy on something more positive. Reading is also a good way to possibly change your perspective by looking through someone else's eyes. This may give you a more positive outlook on problems in your life and better understand new ways to work through them. While you shouldn't ignore your mental health I believe it is important to take a break from it, and reading can be a great way to lose yourself, your troubles and your anxieties for a little while. Check out this short list of some of my favorite reads for inspiration!

  1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  3. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

  4. The Naturals Series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  5. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

 

Humor

It is easy to hold yourself back in fear of facing embarrassment or failure when in certain situations. However, I have some, maybe soul-crushing, news for many… embarrassment and failure are basically inevitable, and you will be forced to face it one way or another. By not taking yourself so seriously and throwing a little humor into what may be an awkward or embarrassing moment other people may begin to laugh with you. If you don’t make small moments into big ones, odds are others won’t either. Something my mom always told me is “don't flatter yourself, people are not thinking about every little thing you’re doing all the time.” As much as these two words taste like vinegar in my mouth I have to admit it...she’s right. 

 

And Finally, Acceptance…

or at least a better understanding of yourself. I feel like acceptance is a lifelong and possibly never-ending process someone goes through, as there are still times my anxiety feels like it’s all-consuming. However, I am learning to accept that it is ok, that this is a part of who I am and may very well always be a part of who I am. There are still days where the world feels overwhelming, but also days, when I recognize my low points, are something that actually makes me stronger in the long run. So, if you’re feeling like you're being strangled by your own anxiety, don’t get all anxious over it. Just slow down, take a minute and try some of the previous management tips from this article.