EP 114: Reader Question: Reader Question – How do I handle my social anxiety without alcohol?

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Why do I feel more anxiety about socializing when I know I won’t be drinking? Is it best to just avoid going out altogether? Annie Grace unpacks several tips for helping us deal with this common problem. Find out what safety behaviors are and how we can unteach our brain to depend on these behaviors to deal with social anxiety.

Going Without

Charlotte has stopped drinking but continues to struggle with acute social anxiety. How can she face these situations without her usual go to elixir? Is there a way to handle anxiety without alcohol?

Avoid Avoidance

The best advice is to avoid avoidance. By using alcohol as our crutch we are teaching our brain that to avoid social anxiety we need alcohol. That thought process is what leads to our desire to drink in those situations – it isn’t the alcohol lowering our social anxiety. It is actually the thought that the alcohol will help that calms us down.

Alcohol Causes Anxiety

Remember that alcohol in reality actually increases anxiety. The very thing you see as the cure is usually the curse. You can’t learn to handle anxiety without alcohol if you keep the belief that it is the savior.

Start Reading

Learn more about how I tackled both my depression and anxiety without alcohol. Start reading This Naked Mind for free today.

Dealing With Anxiety Without Alcohol

Alcohol has become like a set of training wheels to you. It’s a safety behavior. The thing about training wheels is that you become very, very dependent on them. Some kids become insanely dependent on training wheels to learn to ride a bike. In fact, you’ve become so reliant on it that you believe that you’re unable to deal with anxiety without alcohol. By identifying that, then you can go, “Okay, this is actually the thing that’s keeping me stuck.” Because as soon as you do something without the alcohol, you say, “Wow, I’m the kind of person that’s just not all tensed up at the party,” and then you go to the party, and you don’t have a drink and that’s a major safety behavior, and you’re like, “Wow, I’m the kind of person that doesn’t need it,” and you start building this bank of really positive emotions.

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Listen to the complete podcast for more of the science behind and tips for dealing with social anxiety without alcohol.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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