Do you turn over and over in your mind bygone incidents that went wrong? When alone, do you introspect, ruminate and constantly fight the voices in your head? Let me tell you that you’re not alone. Introverts are prone to anxiety, and it’s aggravated by the extrovert-favoring culture we live in. For an anxious introvert, life is a constant struggle to fit into an extroverted world.
As a “quiet one” with anxiety, the more I’ve tried to ignore and suppress my anxiety, the more anxious I’ve become! In fact, I recently discovered that I have something known as high-functioning anxiety.
High-functioning anxiety is common among introverts. Contrary to the usual anxiety, which manifests as panic attacks, nervousness and sweaty palms, this type of anxiety is secretive and disguised by a stoic demeanor coupled with a high-achieving mindset.
I’ve discovered that making some anxiety-soothing and introvert-friendly changes in your lifestyle can work wonders. Below are some tips for anxious introverts to fight their anxiety. This list is not all-encompassing, but the solutions are tried-and-tested. Hence, they might work for you.
8 Tips For Anxious Introverts To Survive Anxiety
1. Acknowledge what does and doesn’t work for you
Why try so hard to be more extroverted? Stop. Say No!
Say “No” if you don’t want to go to that party all your friends are going to and instead just want to be lazy at home.
The majority is doing something doesn’t mean you have to too. What works for the world might not work for you. And that’s completely OKAY.
As an introvert living in a world of extroverts, we often feel this pressure to be more outgoing and social. But do understand this- forcing yourself to be all that won’t change your inherent need for solitude and alone time. On the contrary, it’ll drain you out more and trigger your anxiety.
Accept that your needs are different and do the things that what works for you. It’s okay to stop and say “This doesn’t work for me.”
2. Engage yourself in creative work
Introverts are creative souls bubbling with imagination. The good news is that nurturing your creative powers is good for your mental wellbeing. Creative projects provide a safe, happy place away from the troubles of the world and your own anxious thoughts.
According to science, simple creative works like DIYs and coloring in adult coloring books help release dopamine, the feel-good hormone in your brain. This, in turn, will help anxious introverts keep anxiety in check.
3. Accept that you’re a sensitive person and easily hurt
“Toughen up and let it go”— well, things aren’t so easy for us introverts, who also happen to be sensitive people. We feel too much and are very easily stimulated, which means that we are more prone to pain and anger.
If you’re a sensitive soul like me, then the way you perceive and react to things is different. Even when you feel anger, hurt or irritation for things that are seemingly petty, know that your feelings are valid. Something has hurt you and you should own it.
But holding on to pain and anger for long isn’t good for your system. So when you are ready, forgive the people that hurt you, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive them for your own peace of mind.
4. Enjoy nature
This may sound like a generic suggestion, but doctors actually prescribe “green” to their patients. Exploring nature creates a sense of peace, abundance and oneness in our minds that helps fight anxiety.
An introvert will surely enjoy the solitude and calming aura of various nature nooks. Escape the negative thoughts in your mind by heading to the woods. Replace your anxious thoughts with nature sounds and bird songs.