When talking about how to overcome social anxiety it is important first to understand what it is.
Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is an intense fear of social situations such as eating out or meeting new people. Symptoms can be very distressing and debilitating and interfere with someone’s life. It can often start in the teenage years.
People with social phobia often worry about socializing or speaking on the phone.
Also, they worry about embarrassing themselves and fear people are watching them.
This is not the case.
Emotional signs and symptoms of social anxiety
Excessive self- consciousness and anxiety in social situations
Intense worry for days or weeks or even months before an upcoming
Extreme fear of being watched, fear you will act in a way that will embarrass you.
People with social anxiety will often avoid situations and stay quiet, some will drink.
There are many ways you can overcome social anxiety, firstly it is important to understand more about what goes through your mind and what triggers your anxiety
For example, if you think someone is watching you in a social situation then think again is someone really watching you or is this just your thought process. This will give you a clearer idea of how to tackle your unrealistic beliefs and replace them with more rational ones.
For example, if a social situation went badly, think are there any facts to support this.
Do not think too much about how others see you, remember your anxiety symptoms are not as obvious as you think.
Start to do some activities that you would normally avoid, this can be tough at first so set yourself small targets and work towards more feared activities gradually. This can also be known as exposure therapy.
You may wish to explore cognitive behavioral therapy; this kind of treatment helps you explore your thought processes and look at how you can change them. Sometimes you can self-refer, or you may have to go to your doctor or mental health team to get a referral.
Learn to control your breathing if you breathe too quickly it can cause you to
hyperventilate. Many changes can happen when you become anxious, you can breathe too quickly and end up over-breathing and hyperventilating. This throws off the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body leading to physical symptoms such as nausea and dizziness.
Sit comfortably with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for four seconds. The hand on your stomach should rise, while the hand on your chest should move a little
Hold and your breath for two seconds, and then breathe through your mouth for six seconds, pushing out as much air as you can.
For more information on help with social anxiety please see websites below:
Claudette is a passionate campaigner and activist for mental health stigma and domestic abuse. She believes that everyone should be treated equally regardless of their disability or gender. She has diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, endometriosis, Chronic Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia. Claudette has a certificate in Management studies. Her interests include beauty, makeup, animals politics, current affairs and social networking.