Ever been somewhere that just really gives you serious anxiety?
I’m talking about the kind of anxiety that has you afraid of other people. It can have your heart racing, leave you wringing your hands for no reason, or make you so physically uncomfortable that you just have to leave.
You’re not alone if you’ve experienced those feelings.
I’d like to think I have that type of anxiety in some public places because I just hate crowds, not necessarily because I hate people – but hey, sometimes people and their actions do make me nervous. I don’t like that part of me, but it is part of me.
If you’ve ever felt even half of what I described earlier when out somewhere, you’re not alone.
Maybe we should start by admitting that we can act out when we’re feeling this way? The Mighty posted a really interesting piece on how this type of anxiety can manifest.
If you’re looking for a calmer approach, I’m here to share my story. Maybe you can relate to what I’m feeling?
The top places that I get serious anxiety in public are…
- Grocery stores: When they’re crowded on a Sunday, and that’s the only day I can get there to shop with my husband, I dread it. I am terrified of the folks who don’t observe personal space, are so oblivious to their surroundings that they’ll bump me with their carts, or are so impatient that they’ll Inspector Gadget themselves around me to reach a product I’m standing in front of at the moment. Why does this scare me? I’m terrified that they’re completely okay with physically harming me. My thoughts tell me that if they can be that disrespectful (knowingly or unknowingly), they’ll have no problem harming tiny me. I’ll get irritable quickly in that scenario. I try to stay on my phone so I don’t notice these folks in hopes that I’ll be calmer.
- Concerts: Ironically, one of my favorite things to do gives me some anxiety. Being smushed in a crowd in a small venue isn’t always my idea of fun. When the moshing starts, I get out of the way fast. However, I think I handle this scenario better because the music distracts me when it starts, and ultimately that’s what most of us are there for anyway. So, I tell myself I actually have something in common with those around me to calm myself down.
- Places with lots of kids running around: I’m 29, and I still like going to the zoo. I expect kids to be around when I visit places like that, but I get nervous as hell when there are so many kids running around. I’m afraid that I won’t see them and physically hurt them somehow without meaning to. I’m literally afraid of stepping on them or knocking them down. To me, I’m the adult in that situation, so I have to watch out for them – and that’s not something I take lightly.
I’m hoping you’ll relate to some of what I shared. I’m still working on navigating my anxiety in these scenarios, but it’s hard.
How do you keep calm in these scenarios?