According to a data from the National Institute of Mental Health, around 7.1% of U.S. adults had social anxiety disorder in the past year. Coupled with the fact that the World Health Organization revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 25% increase in the global prevalence of anxiety and depression, it’s become quite evident that we are in the midst of a mental health crisis.
One celebrity who has been open about her battles with anxiety, particularly social anxiety, is Kendall Jenner. The 26-year-old recently took to Instagram to share how she copes with the anxiety.
Kendall Jenner’s Journey with Anxiety
“I remember being really young—I’d say 8, 9, 10—and having shortness of breath and going to my mom and telling her that… I’ve had times where I feel like I need to be rushed to the hospital because I think my heart’s failing and I can’t breathe and I need someone to help me.” – Kendall Jenner, VOGUE
The model’s explanation of how she’s felt in the past will resonate with a lot of people who have social anxiety as these symptoms are quite common. Symptoms of social anxiety also include blushing, nausea, excessive sweating, trembling, difficulty speaking, dizziness, and lightheadedness, as well as a rapid heart rate (1).
So what triggers social anxiety?
Well it can be a number of things, and it’s all dependent on the person. However, researchers have concluded that it’s caused by a combination of external (domestic issues) as well as internal (genetics) factors.
Social anxiety can be disruptive as it can affect the way in which you interact with people. It can cause you to avoid them and activities due to a fear of potential embarrassment. What’s more, individuals may look to substances, such as drugs and alcohol, to help cope. Unfortunately, the long-term use of these substances can be detrimental to one’s health.
Thankfully, there are ways in which you can better manage your anxious feelings and it appears that Kim Kardashian’s sister has found a few.
Kendall Jenner’s Tips To Manage Social Anxiety
Taking to her Instagram page, the model share a candid video where she expressed the different things she does in the mornings so that she can start her day with a calmer, more positive mindset.
1. Deep breathing
Jenner revealed that when it comes to her morning routine, she tries to do “10 deep inhales/exhales” before using her phone in the morning.
According to a study published in JBISRIR, deep breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) was found to help reduce stress and anxiety.
This is because deep breathing helps to relax your nervous system. In doing so, it helps to mitigate feelings of anxiety and stress.
2. Spend time in nature
The video that Kendall Jenner shared on Instagram features her courtyard that’s filled with plenty of greenery, where the model shared that she “takes in the sun“.
A 2019 study revealed that spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature was linked to good health and wellbeing. What’s more, spending some time “taking in the sun” can provide you with a great dose of vitamin D which is great as research has linked low levels of vitamin D to mental health conditions like depression.
3. Journal your thoughts
In addition to taking in the sun, Jenner also revealed that she also spends her time journaling. She jots down all the things she’s looking forward to.
Writing your thoughts down can help you better manage those thoughts. This helps alleviate feelings of distress and improve your mood. Journaling can also provide insight into what exactly is causing your anxious feelings.
4. Express gratitude
As she jots down her thoughts, Jenner reveals that she also makes sure to express gratitude for all of her blessings, and, according to Harvard Health, being grateful can help to lift your spirits;
“In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
5. Sip some tea
Jenner also makes sure to include a cup of tea in her morning routine. While she hasn’t shared which tea she chooses to drink, the act of tea drinking can have benefits for your health.
In fact, a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that tea drinkers live longer with habitual tea drinkers having a 20% lower risk of incidental heart disease and stroke, 22% lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 15% decreased risk of all-cause death.
As for which teas can help with anxiety? Lavender, chamomile, peppermint, and green tea have each been found to help relieve anxiety symptoms.
2. Hopper, Susan I., Murray, Sherrie L., Ferrara, Lucille R., Singleton, Joanne K. (2019). Effectiveness of diaphragmatic breathing for reducing physiological and psychological stress in adults: a quantitative systematic review, JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports. Volume 17, Issue 9, p1855-1876, doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003848
3. White, M.P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J. et al. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Sci Rep 9, 7730 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3
4. Menon, V., Kar, S. K., Suthar, N., & Nebhinani, N. (2020). Vitamin D and Depression: A Critical Appraisal of the Evidence and Future Directions. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 42(1), 11–21. https://doi.org/10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_160_19
5. Xinyan W., Fangchao L., Jianxin L., Xueli Y., et al. (2020). Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Volume 27, Issue 18, Pages 1956–1963, https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487319894685