Social Anxiety

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Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety. When you suffer from social anxiety, you tend to feel uncomfortable, nervous or shy is any social situation. You may feel like you will do something embarrassing or humiliating whenever you are in front of others. 

Symptoms 

The things you feel when you suffer from social anxiety are similar to regular anxiety. Here are some examples:

  • Negative thoughts (“I’ll have nothing to say”, “people won’t like me”)
  • Blushing/trembling
  • Racing heart rate
  • Avoiding social situations 
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness 

When does It become a problem?

Social Anxiety becomes a problem when you start avoiding regular day-to-day activities because the anxiety. Some activities you may avoid if you have social anxiety are:

  • Going to the grocery store
  • Taking the bus
  • Maintaining relationships 
  • Going to the gym 
  • Work meetings or interviews 
  • Stay home instead of going to a party/event

Tips for Calming Social Anxiety 

1. Understand your own social anxiety

    • Learning what events and situation trigger your anxiety can be very beneficial at helping you to put yourself at ease. You can begin to understand why these feelings come up and how to deal with the specific situations 

2.  Think Realistically

    • When you think thoughts like:
      • “no one will like me”
      • “I will look stupid”
      • “I won’t have anything to say”
    • These are thoughts you are having about yourself – not thoughts that other people have about you. Thinking these things can actually cause you to feel more anxious. Learning to think in a more positive way can reduce those feelings and give you more confidence going into social situations. Try and remember that these thoughts are yours and are not facts about what others are thinking. 

3.  Breathing Techniques

    • When the feelings of dizziness and rapid heart rate start creeping up, try to calm your breathing. Taking slow deep breaths will help lower your heart rate which then helps lower your anxiety. Try breathing in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and then breath out 4 seconds. Repeat this as many times as needed to help calm yourself. 

4.  Focus on others, not yourself 

    • When entering a social situation that might cause anxiety, focus on the other people around you. Anxiety is not as visible as some people may think it is. Focus on listening to what the other person is saying to you and do not focus on saying the right thing or trying to say or do the perfect thing.