Believe it or not, social anxiety can hinder your life in many ways. It’s not merely getting confused from your surroundings but more than that. If you have social anxiety or if there is someone around you suffering from it you would know that fear of using public transport is common in them. Not only can this cause fear of being surrounded by people in this situation but also, the fear of dealing with certain situations increases as well.
Fear of Public Transport
According to the doctors at the Psychology clinic, being socially awkward can also make you develop a fear of public transport.
The fear of public transport would include:
- The interactions with the strangers, both during buying the tickets and sitting with them
- Unexpected turn of an event which may or may not be in your control
- Fear of confined spaces
- Fear of missing your bus etc
Even if these issues exist, still, avoiding public transport can cause an unending spiral of social anxiety disorder in many other situations such as:
- Avoiding social gathering
- Being confined at home and not going out
- Relying on others for your activities
- Continuously missing the time to relax and enjoy
It is convenient for you to get your own car, but at times it is not financially possible for many of us. Either way, using public transport is a good option in many ways. Not only is it budget-friendly but is good for your environment as well. You would see your surroundings greener if you opt for public transport rather than your own vehicle.
Tips to Cope with Social Anxiety while Travelling
According to the best psychologists in Islamabad, anxiety is one of the common yet neglected mental health issues. But, you don’t need to worry as anxiety is very much treatable. You can see positive results and improvement in your anxiety in a few sessions. Apart from the therapy, there are many lifestyle changes that can help you manage your anxiety.
In the case of social anxiety while travelling, here are 6 simple and effective tips that can help you with your social anxiety.
- Distract Yourself
If you have heard different speakers on various forums or anyone who suffered from social anxiety, you would realize that one thing they all say is common. That one thing is how self-conscious they are, about their surroundings. Especially, more consciously when they are surrounded by the crowd or while travelling on public transport. And if a person keeps up with it, this discomfort can lead to a sudden “panic attack”, when you are not expecting it.
So, the first thing you can do is to distract yourself. Luckily, we are now in an era, where we are surrounded by digital distraction. These distractions have a negative impact on us if we overuse them, but, while we are travelling, you can spend time on them in order to avoid any situation that bothers you.
- Technology saves the Day
So, while we are discussing the perks of social media and the distractions of digitalization, why don’t we let it save us? Yes, I am talking about the very technology. Studies have shown that people with social anxiety have proven to benefit from digital tools such as Google maps and other apps. These apps have proven to help them in coping with their anxiety. They mentioned that the feeling of discomfort is erased seeing the dot tracking their journey. It helps your brain to relax that you are reaching your destination.
You don’t have to feel alone just because you are sitting alone, you can reach out to your friends or post a comment while you are travelling on local transport.
- Practice Mindfulness
“Mindfulness” is our armour against our fears that is highly underrated. While you are using public transport, it is a perfect opportunity for you to “practice your mindfulness”. You can do this by “concentrating on your breathing” or you can observe and enjoy the landscape around you or people who are just passing by. In fact, your own breathing will give you a sense of breathing. Not only this will let you enjoy the moment but is equally helpful in relieving your anxiety.
- Feeling of Acceptance
This feeling of acceptance is one of the major culprits for not only our peace of mind but also worsen our anxiety. While you are travelling, you can look around and see that everyone has worries of their own. Some are worried if they are late for work, some are immersed in their book, some are doing their makeup and the list goes on. You need to be calm here as it’s perfectly natural if you have anxiety. But, don’t let it control you and ruin your day.
- Preparation to Cope with Anxiety
If you have social anxiety, then you can easily cope with it, if you think that in what situation you are putting yourself in. If you know what bus you are going to take and where to your reach and what time. You have done your calculations and homework in this case, it’ll help you. Also, if you think that distraction will help you in this case. Then you can take a book with yourself or listen to music or enjoy the podcasts that you like.
- Face it with a Beloved one
Now beloved one can be your family or friend. You can face it with them. You can plan an outing with your friend as it gives you an opportunity to be mobile and get out and about. As I have mentioned above that you can easily reach out to your friend while you are travelling. However, it would be more efficient if you have your friend in person with you.
Anxiety is natural, so don’t let it control you. It’s pretty normal that you suffer from it but don’t let it ruin your day. Your anxiety is not your fault and you can recover from it easily. In the end, I hope you find these tips helpful in coping with your anxiety.