Everyone gets nervous from time to time, and dating can trigger anxiety in even the most confident of guys. But if you suffer from social anxiety, the feelings you experience before a date go far beyond your typical pre-date jitters. They can run even deeper if you’re ready to settle down and committed to learning how to meet your dream girl.
Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is a chronic mental health condition that is characterized by extreme fear, anxiety, and stress during — or in anticipation of — social situations.
- Chronic fear of being judged in social situations
- Rumination over being embarrassed or humiliated
- Fear of conversation with strangers
- Experiencing physical symptoms like sweating, blushing, nausea and dizziness during social situations
- Avoidance of social situations and public speaking
It’s not hard to see why social anxiety would prevent someone from entering the dating scene. It can seem even worse when you’re consciously trying to meet your dream girl. But if you suffer from social anxiety, know that you are not alone.
Approximately 12.1% of U.S. adults experience social anxiety at some point in their lives, with more than 200,000 U.S. cases reported each year. I’ve got it too. I do all sorts of strange thing when I’m nervous about social situations. That’s why I know that we can overcome this thing together.
If you suffer from social anxiety and it is affecting your daily life, I recommend looking into professional treatment. I go to a counselor weekly and it does wonders for my confidence and social aptitude. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, medications or a combination of both can significantly decrease symptoms and help you find happiness in a thriving social life.
Once you have consulted a professional (if needed), you can speak with them about when would be an appropriate time to pursue dating and romantic relationships.
And once you’re ready, there are several lifestyle changes you can make and strategies to help you overcome your social fear when dating so that you can gain more confidence and find the girl of your dreams. Take a look at the tips below.
How to Meet Your Dream Girl By Limiting Social Anxiety Tip #1: Exercise
Exercise is a great, natural stress reliever. When you work out, chemicals in the brain known as endorphins are released. Endorphins naturally relieve pain, decrease stress and have been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
And you don’t have to do a crazy amount of exercise each day to enjoy these benefits. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, doing exercises like jogging, walking and biking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a great way to get started. And if that seems too much, you can start off with 10-20 minutes per day and work your way up. I like to embed my daily workouts into social settings by taking 30 minute circuit training classes at lunch. They’re fun, fast, and full of good-looking, healthy people. Hello, can we say “target-rich environment?!”
Tip #2: Eat a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
Time for a gut check! We all know that it’s good to eat healthily, but did you know that your diet can actually affect your mood?
Things like refined sugars, gluten, dairy, and caffeine can trigger anxiety and depression. According to the Harvard Health Blog, the way that certain foods are metabolized can leave you feeling upset or anxious due to something called the “gut-brain axis.” About 95% of our serotonin receptors (which have a profound effect on mood) are found in the lining of the gut, which is why a stomach ache can result in feelings that go way beyond the physical.
The following foods and food types can help relieve anxiety and also improve your overall health:
- Beans-my favorite superfood! They’re filling, affordable and delicious and keep your waist-line flat as a pancake!
- Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach
- Foods high in B vitamins, like avocados and almonds
- Salmon and other types of fish and oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids
- Raw bar lovers can rejoice! Oysters are one of many foods high in zinc that have been shown to reduce anxiety
- Pickled foods that have probiotic elements can relieve stomach upset and improve anxiety, as well. A bonus that comes with pickles is that they have very few calories, so you don’t need to worry about packing on the pounds by chowing down
Everyone is different when it comes to their reactions to food. Obviously, things like food allergies and intolerance can make certain “healthy” foods become “bad” foods if your body can’t handle them. If you’re worried you may be suffering from an allergy or intolerance, contact your physician.
Tip #3: Limit or Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can both be enjoyed in moderation. However, when you have social anxiety, these substances can exacerbate the problem.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it increases nervous activity in the body. If you suffer from social anxiety, you are already going to be experiencing a lot of unwanted stimulation, such as fast heartbeat and difficulty sleeping. Throwing caffeine on top of those symptoms is basically like trying to put a fire out with gasoline.
Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down nervous activity. Understandably, people with social anxiety may feel like grabbing a couple drinks will make it easier to interact with others. But depending on alcohol to reduce your anxiety puts you at a high risk of alcohol abuse and dependence, which basically just leaves you with a whole new set of problems.
That said, I totally get it—I have a hard time with this one myself. Social anxiety is tough and we’re all human but becoming aware of those moments when you’re drinking more than normal because you’re nervous is important. Not only is alcohol abuse detrimental to your physical health, it can wreak havoc on self-esteem and actually escalate the problems associated with anxiety.
It can seem difficult to plan a date and avoid these things, since lots of people like going to a bar or meeting for coffee. But there’s no reason you have to order something with caffeine or alcohol. Grab something decaf if you’re at a cafe or order an appetizer and/or something non-alcoholic when you’re at a bar. Or get creative about your date planning and do something out of the box that doesn’t involve alcohol or caffeine. This will also help you stand out from the competition.
Tip #4: Use Relaxation Techniques
Something as simple as diaphragmatic breathing can help to alleviate social anxiety. Try practicing deep breathing for about 10-20 minutes each day. For specific steps on diaphragmatic breathing, click here.
Sleep difficulties are another issue that often accompany social anxiety and can cause problems with mood. Getting a good night’s sleep can make a big difference in how you feel during the day. If you’re having problems sleeping, check out these tips from the National Sleep Foundation so you can stop counting sheep and greet each day more energized and less anxious. I personally struggle with insomnia at times and find Valerian Root to be a godsend. It’s a vitamin you can find at any pharmacy or grocery store.
Tip #5: Practice Makes Perfect
Don’t feel like you need to thrust yourself into a bunch of uncomfortable situations like public speaking, going to a crowded party or concert, or trying to become friends with every stranger you meet.
Small steps lead to big results when it comes to social anxiety. Here are some small steps you can take to slowly but surely build your confidence:
- Reach out to close friends and family for social situations. When you are with people you trust and are close to, it will be much easier to endure
- Practice things like making eye contact with strangers, giving and returning a compliment, and asking people how they’re doing
- Focus outward instead of being in your head. Ask people questions. You can even prepare a list of 3 or 5 questions to ask in advance
One way to place yourself in a social situation that can help you eliminate anxiety is by going to a yoga class. Yoga is specifically designed to connect the mind and body in order to improve overall wellness. Yoga combines elements of fitness, deep breathing, and meditation to provide class participants with an experience that can leave you feeling less anxious and more confident during and after class.
There are several different kinds of yoga, ranging from restorative (this type is focused mainly relaxation and is for any type of fitness level) to power yoga (this incorporates more fitness elements to help people get in shape). All types can be beneficial, but I would definitely recommend a more restorative, gentle type of yoga if you’re new to it and want to use a class as a way to step outside of your comfort zone.
Tip #6: MegaDate
OK, so I’ve offered a lot of tips on relieving anxiety, but you may be wondering, “How is this supposed to help me land my dream girl?”
By relieving your social anxiety, you are increasing confidence, which is a huge thing when it comes to meeting your dream girl. Once you’re able to overcome certain barriers, you can go into dating without it being completely terrifying.
Of course, going on a first (or even third) date can induce anxiety no matter who you are, which is why I recommend megadating. MegaDating is the strategy I used during my 100 date experiment and it is what led me to a successful, long-term relationship.
The megadating strategy involves dating several women at one time in order to reduce anxiety, increase self-confidence, learn how to handle rejection, and allows you to avoid settling for the mediocre so that you can find a relationship with the woman of your dreams!
As I mentioned, you are not alone when it comes to experiencing social anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the U.S., with 40 million Americans suffering from an anxiety-related condition each year. You don’t have to allow your anxiety to keep you from finding love.
I’m here to help. Book a 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During the session, we will discuss your dating roadblocks, how to overcome these roadblocks, and create a plan to help you meet your dating goals.
You can also check out my comprehensive online dating course. This course is 100% designed to help you learn how to meet your dream girl through a series of phases that will help you get more dates with attractive, interesting women, stop settling and lead you to a healthy relationship. Moreover, my course is designed to help make dating fun, not stressful.