Social anxiety is a mental illness that affects people in different ways. Some people are only mildly affected by it, while others have a more severe disorder. If you’re experiencing social anxiety, don’t worry! There are many things you can do to learn how to overcome it and get your life back.
What Is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is an intense and chronic fear of interacting with other people. There are two types: general anxiety disorder (GAD), characterized by excessive worry about the quality and significance of one’s thoughts, memories, feelings, or behaviours.
There is the social phobia that involves a persistent, irrational fear of being judged inadequate in some way during interactions with others. A visit to an Anxiety Therapist would be helpful to get a diagnosis and find out what type of anxiety you have. The fantastic thing about involving a therapist is that they can teach you new coping skills and tools to manage your stress.
Causes Of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder that a variety of factors can cause. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states two leading causes: genetics and early childhood trauma. The environment and life experiences also play a significant role in whether someone has social anxiety.
According to ADAA, genetics is passed down from parents-to-child. It can cause the child’s brain to be oversensitive to fear, causing them to react more intensely when faced with stressful or frightening situations. This could contribute significantly if they are constantly experiencing negative self-talk or criticism about themselves that reinforces their fears of rejection.
Early childhood trauma may lead an individual to believe they cannot handle stress well since it was experienced during such a critical time; this could continuously result in avoiding difficult confrontations throughout life due to being overwhelmed by thoughts of what might go wrong.
Signs Of Social Anxiety
If you are suffering from social anxiety, there are several signs to look for. These include:
- low self-esteem
- fear of being judged by others
- somatic symptoms include shaking hands or clammy skin in social situations and panic attacks during conversations with strangers or people you know less well.
- avoiding social interactions
How To Overcome It
Learn To Relax Your Body And Breathing
The tenser you are, the more nervous you will be in social settings. When we’re anxious or stressed out, our bodies act as if it’s a fight-or-flight response that gets us ready for fighting an enemy or running away from danger. That means that when you’re anxious, your heart rate can go up, which makes it feel like everything is spinning, and there might not be enough air – but really, what’s happening is just because of how tightly wound up you are! Try practising some deep breathing exercises so that your calm breath has something to follow suit with when anxiety strikes.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Lay on the ground face down; take five deep breaths, pushing your stomach out as you inhale and making sure to push it back in on the exhales.
Learn How To Manage Emotions
It’s not just that we’re anxious, but many other feelings are mixed up with social anxiety too! Social anxiety can cause sadness, anger, frustration, or shame, so learning about managing our emotional responses is essential to overcome social fear. When you’re feeling something you don’t want to feel, your goal is always going back to yourself – getting lost in what feels good for me (even if it’s only for five minutes). Try doing different activities like reading a book you love or taking a bath where you soak yourself well and use oils and bath salts.
Practice Your Social Skills
Practice makes perfect! The more you can practice making small talk with people, answering questions in interviews, or just talking to a group of friends about something going on in their lives – the easier it will be for you when those moments happen again. Practising new things is always scary, but if we’re willing to take that leap into the unknown, then we’ll start learning how strong our wings are and what they’re capable of doing! There’s no pressure here at all because there are so many places where you can experiment, like online forums, volunteering opportunities, or even taking classes solely dedicated to teaching people these skills (even as adults!).
Try joining different forums where people talk about social anxiety and see what the different experiences are. You’ll find that you’re not alone in feeling these ways, so don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, feelings, or experience – maybe someone else will relate!
Volunteering is always an excellent way to start getting some much-needed confidence back, whether it’s at an animal shelter or even just doing activities for kids like painting with them on Saturdays during their free time. When we volunteer our services, there becomes no expectation of us, which means that if something goes wrong, it isn’t because I did something wrong – it was my fear trying to stop me from being myself again.
Learn How To Give Yourself Credit
Social anxiety can take a toll on our self-esteem, and it’s so important that we don’t forget about the things we are good at. When you’re feeling low or not your best, try to leave yourself little reminders of when you were happy with who you were – like taking pictures of moments in time where you felt loved and appreciated by other people (or even cracks in my skin but they’re still beautiful).
Book An Appointment With A Therapist
If you feel like all hope is lost, then take another step forward by booking an appointment with a therapist! You deserve someone on your side fighting for you and being supportive when things seem impossible because I promise – if any person can get over their mental demons, then so can anyone else. Always listen hard to the advice they give. It’s not just for you – it’s for your family and friends who also care about you.
You might not have social anxiety, but if you do – it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Many people suffer from this disorder, and the good news is that help is available for those looking for it! With these tips in mind, overcoming your social anxiety will seem like an easy task by comparison.