Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety Disorder can affect anybody at any age.

Social Anxiety

 

Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is an intense fear or discomfort experienced in social situations. It is characterised by an excessive and persistent fear of being judged, evaluated, or humiliated by others. People with social anxiety often have an intense fear of embarrassing themselves or being the centre of attention. This fear can significantly impact their ability to interact with others, attend social events, or engage in everyday activities that involve social interaction.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms, such as sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty speaking, may accompany social anxiety. It is important to note that social anxiety is different from shyness, as it involves a heightened level of fear and anxiety that can interfere with daily functioning.

  • Blushing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling hands
  • Muscle tension
  • Racing Heart

 

 

Awareness

You may be aware that you have Social Anxiety but may feel you are unable to control it. You may find it only occurs in certain situations, although for some people, it may occur in many or all situations. You may feel uncomfortable if you are being watched/ judged and may fear embarrassing yourself.

Here are some proven strategies to effectively manage social anxiety:

1. Challenge negative thoughts: Identify and challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs contributing to social anxiety. Replace them with more realistic and positive thoughts. Remind yourself that your fears and worries are often based on irrational thinking.

2. Practice relaxation techniques: Engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation regularly. These techniques can help calm your mind and body, reducing anxiety symptoms.

3. Gradual exposure: Gradually expose yourself to feared social situations or triggers. Start with situations that cause mild anxiety and gradually work your way up to more challenging ones. This allows you to build confidence and tolerance over time.

4. Use visualisation: Practice visualising yourself successfully navigating social situations. Imagine yourself feeling calm and confident and engaging in conversations with ease. Visualisation can help build positive associations with social situations and reduce anxiety.

5. Focus on the present moment: Practice mindfulness techniques to stay grounded in the present moment. Pay attention to your senses, thoughts, and bodily sensations without judgment. This can help reduce anxiety by shifting your focus away from worrying about the future or dwelling on past social experiences.

6. Seek social support: Surround yourself with supportive and understanding individuals. Share your feelings and experiences with trusted friends. Connecting with others who have similar experiences can provide a sense of validation and encouragement.

7. Develop social skills: Improve your social skills through practice and learning. Take small steps to engage in social interactions, such as starting conversations, maintaining eye contact, or active listening. Social skills training or therapy can help develop and refine these skills.

8. Take care of your overall well-being: Engage in self-care activities that promote your well-being, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep. These factors can positively impact your mood and reduce anxiety levels.

Remember that managing social anxiety is a process that takes time and effort. It’s essential to be patient with yourself and seek help if needed. 

Anxiety in some situations can become so extreme that it can interfere with your daily life and stop you from doing the things you need and want to do.

I can help you overcome your anxiety by taking small steps, using relaxation exercises, reframing your negative thoughts, and allowing you to expose yourself gradually to new situations and friends whilst keeping a positive mindset and helping you identify patterns, which will ultimately help you in the future.

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