Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety. It can be a very isolating thing—people are either anxious about social situations, or they may even be ashamed of their anxiety. However, isolating yourself will actually make your anxiety worse. Surrounding yourself with a strong support network can be extremely beneficial in helping you cope.
Being able to talk about your anxiety and worries with other people is extremely therapeutic. While a therapist knows how to ask the right questions and find ways to help you cope, having friends who listen with empathy and without judgment will help you feel less alone. You may even find that they struggle with some of the same things, but were too afraid to talk about it.
Having personal relationships with people who know about your anxiety struggles can help your social life as well. While you might have been afraid before to go to parties or events where there will be lots of strangers, having people to go with you might make you feel more comfortable. If you’re having a particularly rough day, you’ll have people who understand why you’d rather stay home alone with pizza and a movie. (Although there’s nothing wrong with an occasional pizza and movie night too!)
Plus, when you have people who love you, they’re going to encourage you to keep up with your treatment so you can feel better. They’re rooting for you, and will offer support and encouragement when things get tough.
At the end of the day, you remember that you don’t have to solve your anxiety. It’s not something you have to fix on your own. As you find yourself cared for and supported by others, you’ll start to naturally care for and support yourself. And, as you do that, you’ll feel less anxious.
If you don’t have anyone to support you, work with a counselor or therapist to get care and support, and let the your therapist guide you back to a better life.