I Struggle With Social Anxiety | 5 Self Help Tips
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety where you may feel extremely worried and anxious in certain social situations. You may feel scared of others think of you, or how other people are going to judge you. Social anxiety can affect your day-to-day life leaving you feeling lonely and isolated.
The Effects Of Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety can have a negative impact on your day-to-day functioning and negatively influence many aspects of your life, such as your performance at school or work.
People struggling with social anxiety disorder might engage in excessive alcohol drinking, or drug-taking behaviours in order to manage their feelings of anxiety. You might also struggle with depression as a result of not being able to socialise with friends, or take up any new activities.
Social anxiety might be a consequence of traumatic childhood experiences. Others might have a genetic predisposition which can lead to the development of the disorder in conjunction with environmental factors. For example, your social anxiety might have started after having an embarrassing experience in public.
5 Self-Help Tips
Challenge yourself to be more social when you can. Start small by joining a close friend for a dinner in public and see how your confidence builds as you continue to stretch your comfort zones.
Sign up to a group activity that you like. Start with one that doesn’t involve too much interacting, an activity including a small group of people. For example you could talk to your co-workers, join a gym class, take a language course or volunteer in a local charity.
Start facing your fears. Make a list with all the situations that generate anxiety and start by visiting the least scary one. Repeat this activity until you feel less anxious about doing it. When you feel comfortable in that setting, start initiating small conversation.
Acting lessons and drama therapy are very beneficial for social anxiety.
Practice mindfulness techniques regularly, such as deep breathing. When you start to feel yourself become overwhelmed, take a 5-second breath in, and slowly let it out. This breathing will help you blood flow and help you feel more relaxed.
If you are experiencing symptoms of social anxiety disorder is important that you seek treatment. Your symptoms, even when they are severe, can improve with the right interventions.
Our team at EmotionMatters can help you get your life back on track. We have a multidisciplinary team who can help you overcome social anxiety:
Psychotherapists – talking therapy to break stuck patterns of thinking and ritualistic behaviour
Nutritional Therapy – diet, lifestyle and health interventions to balance your body chemistry
Psychiatry – medical assessment and anti-anxiety medications
Learn more about Anxiety
Here are some articles and blogs about anxiety