Have you ever avoided the gym because you feel people are staring? Have you avoided a party because of nerves? Maybe you've skipped a class or activity that involved public speaking. If you’ve experienced debilitating social anxiety symptoms that interfere with life activities like these, you know how hard it is to overcome. Some nootropics for social anxiety might make it a little easier.
In this guide, we will discuss the some of the symptoms of social anxiety and outline which brain-boosting nootropics may be most helpful to counteract them.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is characterized by irrational fears, feelings, and negative physical reactions in social situations. There are two types of social anxiety:
- Generalized Social Anxiety: Anxiety that occurs in every social situation a person encounters
- Non-generalized Social Anxiety: Anxiety that is specific to certain social situations. For example, a person might be terrified of public speaking.
These two types of anxiety characterize different levels of social anxiety. However, they can both be identified by the same symptoms:<1>
- Irrational fear of being judged or rejected by others in social settings
- Fear of speaking in social settings
- Avoiding social settings all together
- Excessively overthinking conversations and actions before and after the fact
- Fear of failure
Is Social Anxiety More Prevalent in Women?
Statistics show that girls from puberty to age 50 are two times more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men. When it comes to social anxiety specifically, women are also slightly more prone to experience symptoms than men. In fact, being a woman is a known risk factor for social anxiety. Other risk factors include:
- childhood trauma
- extreme shyness
- being poor
- family history
- elevated cortisol levels
Why Do Women Experience Social Anxiety More Often?
Women tend to experience social anxiety more often for multiple reasons. For example, they experience more hormone fluctuations due to menopause and menstruation, along with other biological and societal influences. In addition, the fight-or-flight response may last longer and be activated more quickly in women than in men.<2>
Social anxiety may also have something to do with the amount of glutamate and glutamine found in the brain. Those with social anxiety disorder have shown to have higher levels of glutamate and glutamine in some cases.<3> Regardless, anyone suffering from social anxiety may be able to soothe symptoms and avoid perpetuating more issues by taking the right nootropics.
Why Should You Seek Help for Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety has been linked to a variety of other issues including alcohol and drug abuse, depression, using healthcare resources in excess, and bad quality of life. While it may seem minor, social anxiety could be affecting your life in more ways than you realize.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of social anxiety on a regular basis, especially panic attacks, talk to your doctor first, and consider taking the right nootropics for an extra source of natural support.
Below, we’ll discuss what to look for and what to avoid on your mission to soothe your social anxiety with nootropics. Keep in mind, however, that therapy may be the most logical first step if you haven’t already consulted a psychologist or psychiatrist.
The Worst Nootropics for Social Anxiety
Before we get into the best nootropics for social anxiety, you should learn which to stay far away from. Women with social anxiety disorder should avoid nootropics with certain supplement ingredients because they have shown to heighten anxiety symptoms. Here are the major nootropics to avoid in this case.
Caffeine is present in various soft drinks including coffee, tea, and sodas. It can also be found in supplements meant for weight-loss and other purposes. However, if you’re already struggling with social anxiety, consuming caffeine in any form might worsen your symptoms.
- Studies show that caffeine intake may cause heightened symptoms of anxiety in those who are more sensitive to such symptoms (including women). It may even do so at lower doses, depending on the individual’s sensitivity levels. Specifically, women may want to consume less caffeine because they are more prone to symptoms of anxiety.<4>
In general, don't forget to pay attention to caffeine withdrawal, as well: It often has symptoms that mimic anxiety. However, it really depends on your individual brain and body.
Racetams are synthetic nootropic ingredients created in a lab. There are four main racetams, each with its own brain effects and benefits:
While racetams (as well as synthetic noopept and phenibut) may relieve certain symptoms associated with generalized anxiety in certain people, anyone with social anxiety should probably avoid them. Similar to coffee, racetams may heighten symptoms of social anxiety with their harshly stimulating effects. Regardless, there isn’t enough evidence out there to support using them for social anxiety symptoms.
Mind Lab Pro® uses Stimulant-Free Ingredients: Social anxiety marks just one reason why Mind Lab Pro® is 100% caffeine and stimulant-free -- to ensure zero of the negative side effects associated with synthetically made and modified stimulants.
Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for Social Anxiety
No Mind Lab Pro® ingredients that have proven to reverse social anxiety, specifically.
However, the following Mind Lab Pro® ingredients are supported by research demonstrating their potential to help with anxiety, mood and relaxation -- which form an effective stack to buy for social anxiety support.
Mind Lab Pro® nootropics may help with social anxiety by:
- Moderating cortisol levels associated with stress and anxiety;
- Regulating neurotransmitters for better brain chemical balance, associated with calm relaxation;
- Tuning your brain waves to a more calm and relaxed state
Let's take a look at the most promising Mind Lab Pro® ingredients for social anxiety concerns:
Phosphatidylserine may help soothe social anxiety by counteracting stress in the body. Specifically, phosphatidylserine has proven to reduce the effects of exercise-induced stress caused by cortisone release in males.<5> When it comes to women, PS may lead to a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and more interest in socialization for the elderly.
PS achieves these two anxiety support activities in a similar way: By slowing the production of cortisol, which the body might be producing in excess in reaction to stress factors. High cortisol levels can create blood pressure concerns, which may contribute to social anxiety symptoms as well.
Bacopa Monnieri is an adaptogen herb that may help balance the mood in stressful situations -- nicely complementing the anti-stress effects of PS. Studies on Bacopa Monnieri show it has the potential to help improve symptoms of anxiety with prolonged use.<6> It also has shown to have little to no side effects, making it extremely safe. However, more research should be done to determine whether consuming it can specifically soothe any symptoms of social anxiety.
Rhodiola rosea is an herbal adaptogen that may also help women soothe symptoms of social anxiety. While it is known for reducing stress and improving performance under stress, it has also shown some promise for reducing symptoms of stress associated with generalized anxiety.
Specifically, rhodiola rosea has proven to reduce self-assessed generalized anxiety scores significantly when administered to those experiencing symptoms.<7> Keep in mind, however, that general anxiety is somewhat different from social anxiety.
L-Theanine is one of the main amino acids in green tea. It is often used for relaxation and has proven anti-stress effects <8>. For example, it may decrease stress in the brain and body by reducing the arousal of cortisone and slowing down heart rate.<9>
L-Theanine is also known to activate Alpha waves in the brain, supporting broad-spectrum effects all tied to relaxation and mood enhancement. Studies show it can help to reduce anxiety and balance blood pressure in reaction to stressful situations.
Vitamins B6, B9, B12
B vitamins are essential nutrients necessary to maintain myriad healthy body and brain functions. One study shows that essential B vitamins (along with fatty acids and zinc), may be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety related to menopause and premenstrual syndrome in women. Researchers suggested the B-Vitamins might work on stress by decreasing secretion of salivary cortisol. Specifically, nootropic vitamin B6 has been suggested to help soothe symptoms of anxiety in elderly women.
Social anxiety can hold back quality of life. However, you don't have to suffer. There's a lot you can do to promote a healthier social outlook, safely and naturally -- including smart supplementation with the best brain-boosting nootropics.
Mind Lab Pro®, the Universal Nootropic™, uses all natural ingredients -- diverse brain boosting nootropics that are 100% caffeine-free. This approach allows Mind Lab Pro®'s "social nootropics" to take full effect without triggering anxiety side effects that are commonly associated with stimulants.
- Anxiety Disorders. National Institute of Mental Health.
- Facts. Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
- Pollack MH. High-field MRS study of GABA, glutamate and glutamine in social anxiety disorder: response to treatment with levetiracetam. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Apr 1;32(3):739-43.
- Nawrot P. Effects of caffeine on human health. Food Addit Contam. 2003 Jan;20(1):1-30.
- Michael A Starks et al. The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008; 5: 11.
- Sokołowska L, Bylka W. [Bacopa Monnieri - activity and applications in medicine]. Wiad Lek. 2015;68(3 pt 2):358-362.
- Bystritsky A. A pilot study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Mar;14(2):175-80.
- David J. White et al. Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an l-Theanine-Based Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2016 Jan; 8(1): 53.
- Kimura K et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45. Epub 2006 Aug 22.