Are you really anxious in social situations/crowds or is it actually nervous system/energetic overwhelm?
If you find yourself feeling anxious in social situations or crowds it can be helpful to consider whether you're actually anxious or whether you're mistaking sensory overwhelm for anxiety.
Before I realised that I had a tendency to be empathic and feel the emotions or energies of people around me I often felt anxious in crowds or on public transport etc, when in fact I was experiencing nervous system overwhelm.
Social anxiety absolutely does exisit and many people do experience anxiety in social situations that isn't necessarily related to energetic or nervous system overwhelm.
But if the anxious type feelings are related more to overwhelm, learning to navigate this is really important to allow you to enjoy social interactions or being in crowded places without coming away feeling overwhelmed or drained.
We all pick up on the emotions and energies of others - you know that experience of walking in to a room and you can just tell that you've walked in after an argument has taken place? But if you tend to be empathic or highly sensitive it tends to happen frequently and often to a stronger degree which can leave you feeling anxious, overwhelmed and drained until you learn to manage it!
If you have noticed this happening to you, it is really important to learn to differentiate what are your feelings and what are other people's!
Do you tend to experience this?
You can also read about my experience with this here:
If you tend to feel overwhelmed in crowds or overly affected by the emotions of others there are strategies which can help you navigate this- but recognising that that is what is going on is the first step!
I still limit the amount of time that I spend in crowded places and there are some days where my energy is low and I choose to avoid them altogether if that is an option. But these days, I have learned to ways to stop my sensitivity having a negative affect on my energy levels , my health and my wellbeing.
If you can recognise yourself here and would like to learn strategies to help you work with this I offer mentoring sessions especially for sensitive or empathic women to assist with strategies to embraceand support your sensitivity so that it doesn't feel like a weakness! - you can book one here:
Another very effective strategy which I have shared with you before is grounding. Making sure that you are grounded and connected to your body will help to reduce overwhelm (it's also very important if you are prone to anxiety). Here is a blog outlining some simple grounding strategies:
At times sensitivity can feel like a weakness, most sensitive people have been told many times to toughen up, try not to feel things so deeply or stop overreacting and have often grown up thinking that 'something is wrong' with them. Whilst learning strategies to manage your deeply feeling nature and sensitivity are often very beneficial, high sensitivity is most often an innate and genetic trait, just like eye colour and we don't go around telling people to change their eye colour do we!?
You can read more about Elaine Aron's research into high sensitivity (HSP) here: https://hsperson.com/