One of the steps in overcoming anxiety, particularly social anxiety, is to reduce or altogether eliminate the appearance that you are anxious (regardless of whether you still feel anxious inside or not). How we perceive ourselves is influenced by other’s opinions of us. If the general consensus from people you meet is that you’re awkward, shy, and riddled with anxiety, you start to think something’s wrong with you even if it isn’t true.
This is why the appearance of confidence can be a big help in overcoming anxiety, particularly social anxiety. If others cannot perceive that you are anxious, then they will not comment on your anxiousness because as far as they’re concerned, you’re perfectly normal. This will in turn boost your confidence and your perception of yourself, since you can begin to feel what it is like to be treated the way you hope to be. The next step afterwards is to actually overcome the anxiety you feel inside, but right now let’s focus on the outward, external symptoms because this can indirectly help you with your internal problems.
How to Get Started
If you are absolutely lost and are tired of struggling to overcome your symptoms, one simple way of appearing more confident is through the use of beta blockers, which can easily treat the physical symptoms of anxiety. It is often prescribed by physicians for the purposes of controlling your shaking, rapid heartbeat, jitteriness, and blushing in situations that cause you to feel uncomfortable – for hours at a time. For most patients, beta blockers for anxiety are very safe, with very few side effects. They are not habit-forming, meaning users typically do not become addicted to it, taking it only as they are needed.
Unfortunately for some, their degree of anxiousness is so great that beta blockers for anxiety can only reduce their physical symptoms but do not completely prevent them from happening. Also, since beta blockers reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure, people who already have low blood pressure or any heart defects may be further at risk. Therefore, it would be prudent to see your doctor before taking beta blockers for anxiety. They are not recommended for people suffering from asthma or anyone with illnesses which affect their breathing, or people with diabetes.
Below I will cover two beta blockers that can be used for anxiety.
Propranolol can provide a brief period of relief from social anxiety. It does this by preventing the symptoms of anxiety from happening, such as sweating, general tension, tachycardia, which benefits users who need to do public speaking or perform on stage. It also has few side effects.
However, those who take Propranolol daily should not suddenly stop; it must be slowly eased off or else it is very likely the patient will suffer withdrawal symptoms in tandem with their social anxiety, which will certainly make matters worse. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, consult your physician before even starting to take Propranolol.
If you have any of the following: chronic lung disease, diabetes, asthma, any heart disease, or suffering from acute depression, do not take Propranolol.
As mentioned above, Propranolol has very few side effects. Some of these include: dizziness, sleeplessness, diarrhea, cold extremities, short-term memory loss, slow heart-beat, etc. You should take between 20-40mg of propranolol at least one hour prior to the stressful event so that it has time to work its way into your system.
Atenolol lasts longer than Propranolol and typically has even fewer side effects than its counterpart. Wheezing is a common side effect that other beta blockers have, but Atenolol doesn’t. Like Propranolol, should you decide to stop, it is highly recommended to do so slowly. Sudden withdrawal can result to increased blood pressure and withdrawal symptoms. Be cautious when taking Atenolol with alcohol since alcohol can amplify the sedative effect of the drug. Atenolol’s side effects are similar to Propranolol’s: cold fingers and toes, diarrhea, slow pulse, etc. It is recommended that 50mg of Atenolol is taken daily for a week at first. If ineffective during this time, double the amount taken for another week. If still no response, do not increase the amount taken any further without consulting your doctor for advice.
Fake it until you make it is a phrase often heard for people who are struggling to overcome their problems. With social anxiety, that phrase is certainly applicable and with the help of beta blockers for anxiety, it can become a reality. By reducing the symptoms of anxiousness, you can increase your chances of being perceived as normal, if not confident. It will be a great benefit to your perception of yourself, and it can aid you in overcoming anxiety.
Photo Credit: kyeniz
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