A 12 year old’s guide to dealing with social anxiety

(This post was written by one of my seventh grade students who has social anxiety. She wanted to help other’s who may be going through the same things by writing this post. Enjoy!)

Have you ever felt anxiety? I used to feel like I didn’t belong or like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in with the popular kids and didn’t know the drama they went through. I felt like if I were speaking to someone my age, they were speaking negatively of me. I felt confused about friends, wondering if they were even really my friends. I felt like I wasn’t supposed have these feelings. Kids shouldn’t have anxiety. Right? But I realized that if I am sad and lonely all the time, then I will never be happy. So I did my best to get over these feelings. Here are some of the things I kept in mind that helped me with my social anxiety.

  1. Fake the shyness away

I tried to forget about what other people were thinking of me. So let’s say you’re sitting with the popular girls or something. Try to act like they’ve been friends with you forever. Stop overthinking and just enjoy the moment.

  1. Train your mind

Happiness is a choice. When you have anxiety, negative thoughts in your head all day are very common. But you should train your brain to think of the positive instead of the negative. You will end up being happier, and trust me, feeling happy is awesome.

  1. It’s okay to have these feelings.

I used to feel like I was the only kid who had anxiety. But then I heard some of the other girls my age talk about their experiences with anxiety and depression and I realized that I am not the only one who feels this way. People from kids to adults experience anxiety and that is normal.

  1. It’s okay to be different

I felt like I was different because I am the only girl at my school’s program who plays soccer. I stopped playing in school because I felt like I was weird. But I realized that if you are your true self that you will be happy. And when you are your true self, the right friends with similar interests will come along. I play soccer in school again now.

  1. It’s okay to be alone sometimes

Now I have and talk to more friends but I also spend a lot of time alone too. I like my alone time. Sitting by yourself does not make you weird. It lets you recharge your mind.

I changed a lot and now I am happier. I am dancing to happy music in my room like nobody’s watching! Being weird is a gift. It just means you’re different, and it makes other people smile.

Love,

Iraiz Bautista

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