Overcome Party Anxiety
Are parties really exciting? Yes and no- for those who revel in social gatherings, it's a great opportunity to meet new people, eat, dance and make merry- it's literally a gold mine. Not for everyone though- for the socially perturbed and anxious you, parties are terrifying and a source of constant embarrassment. Even if the party is a couple of weeks away, thinking about makes you go into a cold sweat- your hands are all thumbs and your legs won't hold you up.
The very thought of having to make small talk, having to eat when you can't even swallow a morsel, smile when you don't feel like it coupled with the fact that you feel everyone is watching you, makes you feel awkward and uneasy. You just wait for the party to fold up. For such people parties are a nightmare- but remember, it needn't be that way.
Taking the easy way out, you can always avoid parties, but there may be times when you just cannot avoid going to one. This shouldn't drive you over the edge- on the other hand there are some things that you can do to make your next party more agreeable.
Let's take a look at what can put you at ease at the next social gathering that you attend- and also have a little fun.
Bring a friend
Having someone who understands you to tag along is an extremely good idea- provided you don't make it into an excuse to avoid talking to others. Your friend should just act as a cushion and prod you to come out of your comfort zone and also calm you down when you feel your anxiety levels are increasing. They're a good back up to have should things not turn out the way you expect them to.
Prepare for a party
Wouldn't you prepare for a test or exam-so how about preparing for the party well beforehand? It could definitely help you work off some stress and leave you less anxious. Think of what you would wear, turn on the hot water and have a nice bath, pamper yourself so that you cortisol levels naturally decrease. In short, do anything that will elevate your mood and allay that anxiety.
Get to the party early
This allows you to meet guests as they arrive instead of walking into a room full of people and meeting a sea of new faces all together. You also get to feel the atmosphere, meet your host and get talking. It will also allow you to meet the early arrivers one by one instead of as a big group. You get a chance to familiarize yourself with the place and the seating arrangements and help yourself to fit in better.
No one else but you is thinking about you
That may seem uncomplimentary but its true- if you're having party jitters you feel that everyone's eyes are upon you alone. Remember, no one has the time to even think about you as there is so much to engage themselves with. So stop feeling awkward about your dress, the way you look and concentrate on attending to others. Once this feeling is re-directed in different directions, you automatically feel good about it. So don't have a bloated ego about yourself, think about the others that are present.
Join in the fun
One way to really lose yourself is to get caught up in the events and games. You're one among many if you choose to go out of the way and have fun while making friends. When you get involved with something, your mind doesn't have the time to think about anything else and that's the best thing that can happen. In case you don't want to join in the fun, just excuse yourself naturally and no-one will mind.
Plan how you approach people
If you can find someone that's on the same wavelength as you, that would make things easy for you. Breaking the ice can be tricky- some people respond, some don't- so never let that put you off. Look about you and see if you can find another person who appears to be alone or search for a friendly face. Make some general comments and see if anybody reciprocates- you can almost always find someone if you try hard enough. Don't try and find the perfect opening line to enter into a conversation- be your natural self and try and get people to talk. It isn't easy by any means but you have to make a beginning sometime and with someone.
It may be a good idea to prepare a few topics on which you can safely talk. The latest movies, books, music are always good openers.
Eat and drink in moderation
Food usually helps to cope with anxiety and if it's a buffet, well you get a chance to mingle and talk with all the others. Drink in moderation- wine could go to your head if you're not careful.
Curb the urge to run away
Anxiety levels usually peak at the beginning of the party but as you get used to your surroundings, the levels fall. Take advantage of this and try and fit into the scheme of things as they are, instead of trying to run away.
A party is a happy event
It will do you good to constantly remind yourself that parties are meant to be enjoyed- so don't be a wet blanket all around and a dampener. Think of all positive things and push the negativity away- you want to carry away a good feeling about the party.
The first time is always difficult but if you wade through the party successfully, it augurs well for future events. You won't be so reluctant to attend the next time as you will be better prepared. Social anxiety is curable, provided you make your mind accept the fact that parties are fun.
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