I remember the very first time I experienced social anxiety. Back when I was a young child in school, it was my turn to give a presentation for my shoebox diorama. The sensation that came over me was like my soul hit the floor. I felt drained and flushed like I was extremely sick to my stomach and ran out of the class.
Fast forward years later, I’ve wanted to pursue something natural and less harmful than prescribed medication for my anxiety disorder, which is how I came across CBD. It truly has been a life saver. CBD is absolutely amazing when it comes to anxiety. It truly calms you in social environments and brings you back to your center. The fact that it also doesn’t include all those unwanted side effects that come with
Science Supports CBD’s Effectiveness for Social Anxiety
A small study published in Neuropsychopharmacology in 2011 determined that CBD may help alleviate social anxiety. For this study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo an hour and a half before performing a simulated public speaking test. Additionally, 12 other people with social anxiety disorder performed the same test without receiving any CBD treatment. Results revealed that pre-treatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort while participants were delivering their speech.
A small 2010 study found that cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of social anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Brain scans of participants revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety. In this study, cannabidiol not only made participants feel better but also changed the way their brains responded to anxiety.
A 2011 study also found that cannabidiol could reduce social anxiety. For that study, researchers looked specifically at cannabidiol to treat anxiety associated with public speaking.
Research published in 2014 found that CBD oil had anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in an animal model.
A 2015 analysis of previous studies concluded that CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A 2016 case study explored whether cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety-provoked sleep disorder in a child with a history of trauma. Researchers found that cannabidiol reduced the child’s anxiety and helped her sleep.
8 Strategies to Help Cope with Social Anxiety
1. Slow breathing. When you’re anxious, your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Try deliberately slowing down your breathing. Count to three as you breathe in slowly – then count to three as you breathe out slowly.
2. Progressive muscle relaxation. Find a quiet location. Close your eyes and slowly tense and then relax each of your muscle groups from your toes to your head. Hold the tension for three seconds and then release quickly. This can help reduce the feelings of muscle tension that often comes with anxiety.
3. Stay in the present moment. Anxiety can make your thoughts live in a terrible future that hasn’t happened yet. Try to bring yourself back to where you are. Practising meditation can help.
4. Healthy lifestyle. Keeping active, eating well, going out into nature, spending time with family and friends, reducing stress and doing the activities you enjoy are all effective in reducing anxiety and improving your wellbeing.
5. Take small acts of bravery. Avoiding what makes you anxious provides some relief in the short term, but can make you more anxious in the long term. Try approaching something that makes you anxious – even in a small way. The way through anxiety is by learning that what you fear isn’t likely to happen – and if it does, you’ll be able to cope with it.
6. Challenge your self-talk. How you think affects how you feel. Anxiety can make you overestimate the danger in a situation and underestimate your ability to handle it. Try to think of different interpretations to a situation that’s making you anxious, rather than jumping to the worst-case scenario. Look at the facts for and against your thought being true.
7. Plan worry time. It’s hard to stop worrying entirely so set aside some time to indulge your worries. Even 10 minutes each evening to write them down or go over them in your head can help stop your worries from taking over at other times.
8. Always know that Anxiety doesn’t control you. Even in the moments of feeling like you are literally dying, it too shall pass.