Social anxiety is one of the most commonly experienced forms of anxiety – walking into a party, attending a function, making a speech, the feeling of exposure and embarrassment that often comes hand in hand with social anxiety, can affect even the most confident of people. Weddings can throw up all kinds of feelings for many of the wedding party. Anna Williamson, author of Breaking Mad offers a few pointers below for anyone about to get sucked into wedding fever, to help cope with any nerves on the day.
1) Take some exercise – not only will it help you look your best on the day, it will alleviate pent up stress too
2) Get a good night’s rest – prepare for a restful night with a warm bath, some calming music and a good book
3) Remember to eat – when we’re feeling nervous or anxious our appetite can dwindle. Being hungry will only make you feel more dizzy or faint
4) Choose good foods – ditch the chocolate and quick fix treats. The energy sugar spikes and subsequent crash will hinder anxious feelings. Choose fresh, unprocessed snacks instead
5) Ditch caffeine – this is anxiety’s nemesis and will only exacerbate feelings of worry
6) Drink plenty of water – keep well hydrated, it will help keep you calm and focused and also stave off an anxious dry mouth
7) Plan ahead – avoid any sudden anxiety creeping up on you with last minute plans. The more you know in advance, the calmer and more prepared you’ll feel
8) Familiarise yourself with the venue – make use of a rehearsal or practice session. Go and have a walk around the venue ahead of time and familiarise yourself with the surroundings to feel more settled on the day
9) Breathe – practice deep breathing to aid relaxation and ease off anxious feelings
10) Smile and enjoy – the best way to ward off anxiety is to trick it. It’s much harder to feel really anxious if you plaster a big smile over your face. Keep your head up, take a deep breath and just go for it. It will be over before you know it so try and just enjoy the moment.
Anna Williamson is the author of the hugely successful #1 selling book on Amazon ‘Breaking Mad’, with follow up book ‘Breaking Mum and Dad’ launching in March.
Anna found fame on big hitting children’s television shows on networks including CITV and Disney Channel, but after secretly battling an anxiety disorder, realised there was a huge stigma attached to mental health issues and became an official ambassador of the charity Mind.
She is now a qualified counsellor, life coach and Master NLP Practitioner. Anna currently runs her own private coaching practice alongside being the resident agony aunt and psychology expert on TV shows including ITV’s Good Morning Britain and BBC’s Inside Out.