Elevating by Celebrating
Anticipatory Anxiety and Initial Worry
As we encounter birthdays, engagements, weddings, graduations, holidays and many other milestones; gatherings can bring both joy and anxiety.
Some people find excitement, enjoyment and a sense of community in large celebrations. There are other people that can feel overwhelmed, anxious or even “frozen” by the prospect of socializing. This can be a lifelong issue or due to a recent change in their life.
What people don’t realize is that the greatest hurdles are the anticipatory and initial anxieties. These occur weeks, days, hours before the event and during the first 10,20, to 60 minutes of your arrival.
The advantage of recognizing the above is that through understanding this, planning and the Nike “Just Do It“ method, jumping in can work! Anxiety can subside just by being in the environment and becoming more familiar with speaking to smaller groups of people at a time. People are surprised at just how much better they feel.
Celebrations Elevate Your Mood
Steps to Celebrating
To really feel confident attending events
1. See or visualize yourself there (positively)
2. Visualize yourself with whoever you will be going with and share your concerns with them.
3. Think about the positive : get to know neighbor or acquaintance better … think about speaking with people on a smaller scale at the party is not public speaking.
4. Don’t consume alcohol or engage in use of other substances as they can cause depression, anxiety, and lead to different feelings or reactions than you may normally have.. or your ability to manage your anxiety differently.
5. The same is true of food and non alcoholic drinks. Try to enjoy but eat as healthy as possible. Eating too much sugar or consuming too much caffeine can lead to a change in how you feel. Try not to sabotage a good mood by ingesting food or drink that makes you jittery. Everyone’s body metabolizes sugar, caffeine, and alcohol differently and many people find that these impact their mood.
6. ENJOY…when engaging with people. We start to relax and see that we can be a part of this new type of setting with friends and family.
7. ALLOW the experience to foster a more positive mood.
A positive experience leads to MORE opportunities which makes people become pro ‘s at socializing and celebrating!
It is only a matter of time before people see that celebrations can lighten their mood and lead to a happier life !
–M. Abramsky, LCSW