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A Practical Guide to Manage Social Anxiety as an LGBTQ+ Person


  1. What is Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)?
  2. Causes of Social Anxiety in LGBTQ+ People
  3. How to Manage Social Anxiety in Day-to-day Life
  4. Final Thought

Anxiety, particularly social anxiety, weighs heavily on the LGBTQ+ community, reflecting a notable disparity in mental health concerns when compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. The rate of anxiety disorders amongst individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ is significantly higher, with those relating to terms like pansexual, asexual, or questioning experiencing, particularly heightened rates. Roughly a third to a half of this community grapples with anxiety and depression, marking a rate 1.5 to 2.5 times higher than seen elsewhere. The transgender community witnesses these pressures acutely, with around 40 to 47 percent dealing with anxiety.

Furthermore, this community faces the specific challenge of social anxiety disorder, which leads to distress or discomfort in social situations. While social anxiety affects about 13 in every 100 individuals globally, its prevalence is markedly higher in the LGBTQ+ community.

Now, let's dive into practical strategies for managing social anxiety within this context.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)?

Social anxiety disorder, or SAD, is a condition marked by fear or anxiety during social encounters. It's characterized by both mental and physical symptoms, persisting for six months or more, and can lead to avoidance of public interaction or speech. With roughly 15 million Americans battling SAD, as per the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, it's a significant mental health issue. Regrettably, the LGBTQ+ community is more susceptible to this disorder due to societal stigma, discrimination, and non-acceptance. We'll explore ways to navigate and manage this challenge in the following sections.

Causes of Social Anxiety in LGBTQ+ People

A key element of social anxiety is the dread of negative judgment or evaluation. Although society has made progress in accepting the LGBTQ+ community, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness persist, heightening the fear of hate crimes, ridicule, and other adverse experiences.

In the LGBTQ+ community, multiple factors can heighten social anxiety. These include a history of abuse, like bullying or teasing, stress over coming out, fear of prejudice or discrimination, and even genetic or environmental aspects. Often, social anxiety disorder arises during childhood or adolescence, a crucial period when many LGBTQ+ individuals are discovering their true identities or grappling with when and how to come out. This timing can make LGBTQ+ youth particularly susceptible to social anxiety.

Moreover, the LGBTQ+ community faces unique fears that can fuel social anxiety. Concerns about being addressed with incorrect pronouns or difficulties discussing their romantic relationships can contribute to distress. It's essential to recognize these factors and devise strategies to combat the anxiety they cause.

How to Manage Social Anxiety in Day-to-day Life

Navigating social anxiety can be a complicated task, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community due to various factors that are often beyond personal control. However, there are practical strategies you can apply in everyday situations to help manage this anxiety.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings: It's crucial to normalize your feelings if you're experiencing social anxiety disorder. Remember, you're not alone in this struggle. Many others face it too and find ways to overcome it.
  2. Connect with the LGBTQ+ community: Bonding with fellow community members can significantly alleviate social anxiety. It allows you to understand yourself better, and it's crucial to maintain patience and compassion toward yourself on this journey.
  3. Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing can be a simple yet powerful way to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. When stressed, our breathing becomes shallow, increasing our heart rate, which may lead to further anxiety. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique: inhale for a count of 4, hold for 7, and exhale for 8. This pattern regulates oxygen intake, sending relaxation signals to the brain and body. For an added layer of calm, try spinning your Wonder Relax spinner ring in sync with your breaths.
  4. Engage in soothing movements: Small movements, like spinning a ring, can counterbalance our body's stress response and invoke a sense of calm. This is where our spinner rings come into play! They are designed to stimulate relaxation, making them a fantastic stress-relief tool for your everyday life.
  6. Prioritize daily self-care: Different people find solace in different activities. Maybe you unwind through exercise, or perhaps reading or listening to music helps you let go of stress. Remember, self-care isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It's all about finding what works for you and incorporating it into your daily routine.

Remember, managing social anxiety is a journey, and every step, no matter how small, counts towards a more peaceful and confident you. With our spinner rings, we hope to offer a piece of tranquility in your everyday life, helping you manage your stress in a stylish, comforting manner.

Final Thought

The golden rule to manage social anxiety is to stop overthinking about what others think of you. This might sound like a tough call, especially for my friends in the LGBTQ+ community, where external judgments might often rear their ugly heads. But trust me, prioritizing your genuine, unfiltered self over others' perspectives? It's a game-changer.

Now, let's get real: Letting go of the hold others' opinions have on you is as liberating as it is transformative. It's about aligning yourself with your true self, rooting for your values, and saying, "This is me, and I'm owning it."

And don't forget, our spinner rings are here to support you on this journey, serving as a stylish and comforting tool to help manage stress, spin by spin. At the end of the day, it's your journey and your peace - don't let anything stand in your way!

Always remember, you're not alone, and you're stronger than you think!

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