Enjoy a heaping bowl of… sauerkraut?
People with social anxiety who ate one serving of fermented foods daily showed less worry and were more outgoing in social settings, according to a study published in Psychiatry Research. And no, this isn’t some kind of science joke. Fermented foods—like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut—are rich in good bacteria for your gut. Your gut is responsible for making over 80 percent of your body’s serotonin, a feel-good neurochemical that helps us feel at ease in the world. This trick works particularly well for people who are genetically predisposed to social anxiety, the researchers added. So before your next blind date, load up on spicy fermented cabbage—just make sure to brush your teeth before heading out.
Kickbox your way out
Exercise is potent medicine for people with social anxiety, according to a study done by Queen’s University in Australia. Consistent exercise has the power to rewire your brain, making you literally see things in a different way. Specifically the researchers found that anxious people saw the world in a less threatening, more positive way after a workout. And any type of exercise will work so pick a way that you enjoy moving your body and stick with it.