The not so sweet life of social anxiety.
In a recent interview with Steven Bartlett on his podcast, The Diary Of A CEO, Cole Sprouse, the actor known for his roles in Riverdale and as a childhood star on Friends, opened up about his personal experience with social anxiety. With refreshing honesty, he shared insights on how he copes with social anxiety on a daily basis and described the physical sensations that come with it.
"My social anxiety feels a lot like sitting in a sauna where it's just a bit too hot like the sauna right before you have to get out. You know what I mean?"
But it's far from a relaxing spa experience — it's unbearably hot: "It's like this warm sort of blanketing feeling, but it's not warm. It's f***ing hot. But it's a blanket over me for sure." 😰
I don't remember this episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Sprouse vividly described how his anxiety can become all-consuming. He explained that it constantly occupies his thoughts.
"Anxiety is really present. Even though I'm thinking about future possibility or past actions that I've made. It is a consistent: I'm living in this, I'm living in this, I'm living in this, I'm living in this, I'm living in this. And so in that way, it's almost blanketed over me."
Despite the intensity of his anxiety, Sprouse offered hope to those who may be going through something similar by sharing his personal coping strategies. He employs grounding techniques that involve activating his senses, which helps to anchor him in the present moment, a technique Sprouse credits to Eastern philosophers and Buddhists.
"What do I see? What do I smell? What can I hear? Can I taste anything? What do I feel? It immediately grounds me in the process. Meditate, ground yourself in the present. Grounding yourself in the present is the greatest enemy of anxiety."
While Sprouse acknowledges that everyone has their own unique experiences with mental health, and he is not a trained professional, he does suggest that meditating and staying grounded in the present moment can be powerful tools in combating anxiety. We love you Cole!
Another coping strategy Cole recommends is to physically step away from situations that trigger social anxiety. He shared that when he feels emotionally overwhelmed, he takes a break from the situation by literally walking away. By giving himself space and time to regroup, he's able to manage his anxiety more effectively.
"Whenever I'm feeling heightened emotionally I will take a break from whatever I'm doing. I will truly walk away from whatever I'm doing. I will go: 'Hey, right now I'm feeling some heightened emotion. If you don't mind, let's pick up this conversation in about 20 minutes'. Give yourself time."
Cole Sprouse shared that he approaches his emotions with logic or "logos," which allows him to think more clearly and calmly about his situation. However, he recognises that this approach may not work for everyone and that some people may find it off-putting to be met with solutions or rational thinking when they're just trying to vent and process their emotions.
"The vastness of the problem as you perceive it is not the way other people perceive it."
Finally, Cole Sprouse contextualises his anxiety by reminding himself that he's not alone in his struggles. He sympathises that many others have gone through or will go through anxiety. By recognising that his problem is not unique and is a common experience shared by many, he is able to put his anxiety into perspective and manage it more effectively.
What is social anxiety, exactly?
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a condition in which a person experiences a constant fear of one or more social situations that they perceive as potentially embarrassing or leading to negative evaluation by others.
Social anxiety is essentially anxiety about what other people think. Those with social anxiety disorder often believe that they will be judged negatively by others when in social situations, leading to embarrassment or humiliation.
This fear can manifest in various social situations, including interaction with strangers, eating in front of others, and public speaking or performing. While it is normal to feel some nervousness before an event, social anxiety disorder can significantly impact a person's ability to enjoy activities they love. The constant worry and excessive anxiety can even prevent them from participating in social situations weeks in advance.
Social anxiety disorder is crippling – and common. If you think you or someone you know may be struggling with social anxiety disorder, it's important to seek professional help. With treatment, many people with this disorder can learn to manage their symptoms and live a fulfilling life.
Try these affirmations for anxiety when you're feeling overwhelmed
Managing anxiety can be a challenging experience, but incorporating positive affirmations and traditional Sanskrit mantras into your daily routine can help ease feelings of stress and promote a more peaceful state of mind. These tools can also be useful in high-stress moments when you need an extra boost of calm.
Try incorporating these positive affirmations into your daily routine:
- I am worthy of love and connection.
- I am confident and capable of handling social situations.
- I am valued for who I am, not for what I say or do.
- I am comfortable being myself around others.
- I am in control of my thoughts and emotions.
- I am becoming more confident in social situations every day.
- I am capable of making meaningful connections with others.
- I am learning to accept myself and others without judgment.
- I am worthy of respect and kindness.
- I am grateful for every opportunity to connect with others and grow as a person.
Remember, affirmations can be a helpful tool for managing anxiety, but they are not a cure-all. It's important to seek professional help if you're struggling with social anxiety or any other mental health concerns.
Shade your worries away with The Affirmations Colouring Book for anxiety relief. 🖍️
As someone who has struggled with social anxiety for years, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to manage the symptoms. It started at the age of seven in primary school. I was picked last for the netball sports team and everyone laughed — some inside joke I wasn't in on. My friends excluded me from activities and friendship groups. I wasn’t good enough. My confidence was shattered.
I made myself invisible by hiding from social situations. It’s not that I didn’t want to socialise or connect with people — quite the opposite, I’m a sociable person and love making friends — but it was safer to dodge the spotlight and avoid interacting. Sadly, I stopped the activities I loved the most such as making people laugh, going to events or parties, and playing sports. And my fear of social situations worsened as the belief “I’m not enough” became more ingrained in my psyche.
That's why I was excited to try The Affirmations Colouring Book, a tool that combines the therapeutic benefits of colouring with positive affirmations designed to help manage anxiety. From the moment I opened the book, I was struck by the intricate designs and beautiful illustrations. The act of colouring itself was a calming activity that helped me relax and unwind, and the addition of positive affirmations on each page helped shift my mindset and promote more positive self-talk.
One of my favourite affirmations in the book is "I can safely be me." This statement, combined with the act of colouring, helped me feel more confident in my ability to navigate social situations that once seemed overwhelming.
Using the Affirmations Coloring Book has become a regular part of my self-care routine. It's a tool I can turn to when I need a moment of calm or a reminder of my own strength and resilience. And as someone who often struggles with negative self-talk and self-doubt, the positive affirmations have been a powerful tool in promoting a more balanced and positive mindset.
Whether you're looking for a new way to manage your social anxiety or simply want to incorporate more mindfulness and positivity into your routine, I highly recommend giving the Affirmations Colouring Book a try.
Buy your The Affirmations Colouring Book now on Amazon. 🛍️
A Piece Of Mind — How jigsaw puzzles finally eased one woman’s chronic anxiety 🧩
Jan Gates had relied on prescription drugs to manage her chronic anxiety for decades. After undergoing surgery and being cooped up in her home for weeks, Jan was thrilled to be cleared by her orthopedic surgeon to return to her normal activities. However, just days later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdowns went into effect, leaving her feeling panicked and frustrated.
Despite taking medication, Jan struggled to calm her anxiety as she tried to navigate the pandemic and her recovery. Then, she discovered a new hobby that would change her life for the better: jigsaw puzzles. Jan had received a puzzle from her sister before her surgery and was surprised at how focused and pain-free she felt while working on it. So, she decided to try it again as a way to relieve her anxiety.
As she worked on puzzles each day, Jan found herself becoming more and more immersed in the activity, and her anxiety levels decreased. She was amazed to discover that doing jigsaw puzzles had a more positive effect on her mood than taking medication.
Research has shown that doing jigsaw puzzles has a positive effect on the brain, increasing short-term memory and problem-solving abilities while encouraging the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and affects concentration and motivation. Susan Vandermorris, Ph.D., confirms that doing puzzles is immersive and can disconnect you from the stresses of day-to-day life.
Now, Jan spends several hours each day working on puzzles and has been able to significantly decrease her medication dosage with the help of her doctor. Her ultimate goal is to wean off the drug completely and be medication-free once and for all. Jan says that doing jigsaw puzzles keeps her on an even keel better than anything she has tried before. It's not only fun, but it makes her brain feel younger, and most importantly, it helps her feel calm.
More from Rest In Pieces
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- Bella Hadid uses positive affirmations for anxiety
- Signs of burnout and how to prevent it 🕯️
- Sleep affirmations for deep sleep 💤
Rest In Pieces does not offer medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information published on this website or by this brand is not intended to replace medical advice, and it is important that you consult with a healthcare professional before taking any action based on this information.