What is social anxiety?
Nootropics and anxiety
Best nootropics for social anxiety
How to naturally deal with social anxiety?
The following article will help you understand social anxiety so that you can efficiently manage the disorder using natural methods or nootropics.
You can treat social anxiety at this very moment by meditating and challenging any negative thought that comes to mind.
More often than not, the road to eliminating social anxiety isn’t easy.
Supplementation should also be considered because it can definitely help both short-term and in the long haul.
Therefore, you should also know which are the best nootropics for anxiety.
Social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety and is defined by an irrational fear of social situations and interaction with other people.
According to the US National Institute of Mental Health, social anxiety affects around 15 million Americans.
A world statistic may be imprecise, though one can be certain that this is a disorder that affects people all over the world.
Someone suffering from social anxiety may feel inadequate or inferior when interacting with strangers, acquaintances or even friends.
Public speaking can be absolutely daunting and forming new relationships is very difficult.
One may give the outward impression of being shy, aloof, nervous and uneasy, making interaction with other people undesirable and, sometimes, unpleasant for one or both parties.
Most people seem to blame their own genetics, personality or past experiences for their social anxiety.
Actually, few people even realize that they have social anxiety.
The causes aren’t fully understood by scientists, though they did find something common and concrete shared by every person with this disorder: a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The neurotransmitter systems involved in anxiety levels are GABA, glutamate, norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. An imbalance of any of these chemicals can lead to varying levels of social anxiety.
That is why you may have been unsuccessful in treating your social anxiety by using only one treatment that deals with one neurotransmitter.
A common misconception is that GABA and glutamate lie at the heart of the chemical aspect of social anxiety. While the two definitely play an important part, the matter is much more complex.
Serotonin is important in regulating mood and many people struggling with depression or other disorders have benefited from taking SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like 5-HTP or Phenibut.
GABA is the brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter. Doctors prescribe benzodiazepines or barbiturates to raise GABA levels and produce anxiolytic effects, though it does come at a cost.
These medications prevent the formation of new memories and can lead to amnesia in some cases.
Phenibut is a derivative of GABA and it’s proven to be efficient at combatting GABA-related social anxiety.
Norepinephrine also plays an important role in social anxiety.
Magnesium inhibits norepinephrine release and has been proven to create soothing effects. Studies have shown that higher the consumption of magnesium within a community is associated with lower rates of depression.
Glutamate plays an important role in every neuronal pathway, including those related to social anxiety. Noopept and L-theanine stimulate glutamate receptors, helping the brain communicate better and making it more resistant to stress.
Doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines to give the person “breathing space” so that he or she can function normally in society.
Addiction can develop and new memories will be more difficult to form.
Not exactly the best side-effects..
Nootropics generally have low addictive potential and present few side-effects.
Each nootropic has its own mechanism of action which may or may not benefit your situation. It’s up to you to determine which one works for you. Here are some of the best nootropics for social anxiety:
Ashwagandha is herb used in Ayurvedic medicine as a general tonic. Ashwagandha is regarded as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps the body cope with stress.
This makes it an effective anti-anxiety herb that increases energy levels and boosts concentration.
Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can even reverse the damage caused by chronic anxiety.
Kratom is a herb that grows in Southeast Asia and can be used for quite a lot of purposes. In low doses, it produces stimulating effects, much like caffeine, excluding the jitters.
In larger quantities, it generates sedating effects in a similar way to opioids.
Some strains of Kratom are more energetic while others are more effective at combatting anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain.
Red strains are generally preferred due to their mentally and physically calming effects.
Red Vein Indo and Red Vein Bali are particularly effective at fighting the distress caused by social anxiety and help people integrate better in social situations.
Phenibut is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA that has proven to be effective in combatting depression and social anxiety.
It was designed by Russian scientists for people who need to be at full mental capacity during stressful situations.
It can make you feel more social and will also boost your focus and concentration at low doses.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a key role in regulating mood and calming the mind and body.
Your body consumes large amounts of magnesium when going through stressful periods.
You may be feeling anxious because you have a magnesium deficiency.
You can get your magnesium from nuts, leafy greens, brown rice and parsley, among others.
Many people who are magnesium deficient take supplements, which usually contain calcium too.
L-Theanine is a chemical found naturally in green tea and several fungal species.
It’s been found to provide significant benefits for mental health due to its effectiveness at treating insomnia, anxiety and stress.
Lower doses o yet many people choose to take it as a supplement to avoid the caffeine that is also present in green tea.
Lower doses up to 100 mg are good for concentration, while higher doses up to 400 mg are used for stress and anxiety relief.
Rhodiola Rosea, also known as roseroot, is a medicinal herb from Siberia that typically grows in colder climates.
The chemical compounds found within this plant are effective in treating depression, managing low mood and raising energy levels.
Rhodiola stimulates dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine activity.
It’s certainly one of the best herbs for social anxiety due to its action on these neurotransmitters.
Just like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea is considered an effective adaptogen.
Do not take it you’re pregnant or currently taking other MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).
Noopept is a smart drug with neuroprotective properties, closely related to the racetam family and first synthesized in 1996.
Noopept is, in fact, a dipeptide conjugate of Piracetam.
It boosts focus and concentration, increases energy levels and generates a sense of mental clarity.
Noopept also has significant anxiolytic qualities, though it’s not quite clear whether this is a consequence or an actual effect that it generates.
It produces similar effects to Piracetam, yet it’s hundreds of times more potent.
You would need around 10 mg of Noopept to feel the same intensity as 2 grams of Piracetam.
Many people across the web say that Phenibut is the most effective at quickly alleviating social anxiety symptoms.
That may be true, though it may cause addiction and sleepiness if taken regularly over an extended period of time.
Nevertheless, even by taking Phenibut only once, you will better understand how GABA affects your mood.
The runner-up, both from personal experience and hype spread over the internet, is Ashwagandha.
It’s an all-round healthy choice that boosts both mental and physical health.
A word of caution, though..
Do not use any nootropic before doing your research, especially if you’re already on anti-anxiety medication.
Cultivate the habit of being mindful and challenge negative thoughts. Spot a negative thought (like “People will laugh at me”) and ask yourself why you’d be thinking that.
It may be hard to fight negative thoughts, but it’s better than succumbing to even more negative thoughts, or worse, to avoid them.
Focus on other people. When interacting with others, try to focus on them and their own life. This will deflect your self-consciousness and open you up to connection, which will decrease anxiety levels.
Practice meditation. Meditation is really hyped up and many will either downsize or oversize its difficulty and effectiveness.
Think of it like going to the gym, only that it’s your focus and breathing that you’re working on (among others).
Face your fears. Avoiding something you’re fearful about will only deepen the fear.
This is one of the benefits offered by supplements.
Sometimes a fear may be debilitating due to the difficulty that comes with fighting against the chemical imbalance in the brain.
Fortunately, nootropics make this process a bit easier and the natural ones are good to take also because of the health benefits offered.