Back in January this year, I participated in a body-cleanse challenge led by my friend, who is also a nutrition and health coach. The challenge included staying off alcohol, sugar, flour, and dairy for 21-days. Even though my body revolted for a few days initially, I’ve never felt better. I thought that giving up my occasional glass of wine would be the hardest, but I was surprised to find that sugar was the hardest to eliminate, mainly because it’s literally hidden in every product you buy.
By mid-month, I felt so good and so full of energy that I kept it going for 100 days straight. It’s been one of the best things I’ve done for myself, my mind, and my body.
Bringing this level of mindfulness to what I put into my body really gave me a new perspective on what I put into my mind too.
When I was in my teens and 20’s and socially awkward, I sometimes relied on a glass filled with White Zinfandel to help me relax and loosen up in social settings. What I didn’t know then that I do now, is that alcohol can make social anxiety symptoms worse when you drink too much. Certainly at first, one may feel more relaxed and at ease. That comes from a surge in the release of “feel good” neurotransmitters in our brain.
Unfortunately, the morning after drinking too much, your brain chemistry has to recalibrate and what goes up must come down. What originally had you chillin’ out, makes your anxiety symptoms come back with retribution the next day. If you drank one-too-many, you’re going to wake up sweaty, restless, feeling shaky, nauseous, and not to mention, more anxious.
From there, you can count on the psychological component to take over. This is where shame and embarrassment come in… which of course, give you more anxiety.
Do that long enough and, Houston, we have a problem.
Enter Hangxiety. That is, hangover anxiety. Something that is more common among the shy, socially anxious and introverted. According to scientists, Hangxiety can lead to Alcohol Use Disorder.
This year, I’ll turn 47 in August. I am more mentally and physically healthier now than I ever was in my teens and 20’s. Sure I was more limber then, but now I am more mentally strong, which has me reach physical feats I didn’t think were possible before. And when it comes to social anxiety, well, that White Zinfandel is no longer needed.
For the socially anxious out there, you can feel comfortable, relaxed and confident in any social setting, naturally, by following a few simple concepts and using an embodied approach. Trust me. Just like I did with my challenge in January by cleansing my body from unhealthy substances, you too can feel amazing when you don’t rely on anything outside of you to feel that way.
Go ahead, ask me how.