If you feel stressed or nervous due to large crowds of people, you’re probably dealing with crowd anxiety. Thankfully, there are ways you can manage your anxiety and feel more comfortable around large groups.
What is crowd anxiety
Some of the common symptoms of anxiety in large crowds include feelings of restlessness, nervousness, and unease.
You may also experience an increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, or nausea.
Other possible symptoms include difficulty concentrating or focusing, feeling overwhelmed or panicked, and a desire to avoid crowds at all costs.
Understanding your triggers is a great first step to managing anxiety in large crowds.
This means recognising the things that cause feelings of anxiety.
Triggers can be:
- The extreme level of noise, activity, or chaos of a large crowd.
- Fearing that you won’t be able to leave quickly in an emergency.
- Being concerned about possible harm from others in the event of an accident or emergency.
Once you know what your triggers are, you can take steps to avoid them or manage your feelings when they do occur.
Prepare yourself for the crowds
Preparing yourself mentally and physically for the experience of being in a crowd can help ease any feelings of anxiety you may experience.
Ways to prepare for busy crowds include:
- Scoping out venues ahead of time and identifying a safe place or exit route in case you need to leave quickly.
- Planning routes ahead of time so you can walk along quieter streets.
- Creating positive mantras or affirmations to repeat to yourself if you start to feel anxious.
- Making sure you’ve set yourself up well for the day by ensuring you’ve eaten properly, had enough sleep the night before, and are wearing comfortable clothes and shoes for walking!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you start to feel overwhelmed.
Grounding techniques are useful tools to have when you are experiencing anxiety in crowds.
This may include focusing on your breathing, repeating positive mantras or affirmations in your mind, and focusing on the sights and sounds around you.