By Stephanie ‘Sora’ Adams

Stress or anxiety is always bad. Both can actually provide you with a bit of a boost to accomplish the challenge before you. However, if they become persistent, they can begin to interfere with your daily life. In that case, it’s important to seek help.

It is only natural to be anxious when moving to a new place, starting a new job, falling in love again or even starting the New Year, 2020.

The wild thoughts about plans that didn’t work out in the previous year begin to linger or disturbing questions like, “Why didn’t I accomplish my resolutions? What have I accomplished? And what difference would this year make?” begin to engulf you. However, you must realize how unimportant it is to constantly dwell on what went wrong in 2019, be it a failed relationship, losing loved one, losing a contract, the scholarship didn’t work out, denied visa etc.

Let the pain and disappointment go, it’s time to start all over again.

It is important to note that anxiety can come in many forms and in the New Year, it may play a key role in your social activity hence, the interjection on social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety makes us overly conscious of our existence, how we are acting around others, as a result, we pay too much attention to “how do I walk? Do I walk strangely? Do I have a six packs yet? Do I look pretty?”

You begin to perceive too much of yourself negatively and focus on the perception of people who care less about you. Stay out of the thought that everyone is judging you, because no one really is. An overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations are both signs of social anxiety disorder.

Now that we have been able to establish a connection between social disorder and anxiety about the New Year, here are a few useful tips to tame that awkward feeling:

• Identify positivity in everything you do- don’t focus much on the future while letting the good things happening at the moment slide away.

It’s okay to live in the moment!

• Set small realistic (achievable) goals – don’t be too harsh on yourself or mount pressure on yourself by overemphasizing your needs. Setting too many unrealistic goals may lead to stress emotionally, physically and psychologically that could lead to burn out.

Your goals should be:

S- specific

M- measureable

A- achieveable

R- realistic

T- time bound 

• Talk about your feelings – communication is therapeutic, though poor communication has a greater impact on interpersonal relationships and a direct relationship with emotional trauma. 

While all relationships are based on good communication, once it is affected, it results in an altered emotion.

(Should we talk about how poor communication affects emotions?  Absolutely, so watch this space!).

• Attend social gatherings – we don’t grow when we stay in our comfort zones, that’s similar to making excuses about attending those concerts, book launch, birthday parties etc.

It is important to attend events, meet new like-minded people, share great ideas and possibly take up a New Year challenge together.

If you find yourself cancelling on dates at the last minute without tangible reasons that’s not a good sign. It could be a sign of social anxiety and remember, it leads to depression.

Therefore, it’s okay to be anxious but don’t let it alter who you are.

Remember that any failed plan in the previous year is just a fraction of your life and you have the opportunity to achieve your goals now. Don’t ruin a good year with negative thoughts about the previous one.