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Tips To Free Yourself From Social Anxiety

By October 27, 2022November 30th, 2022Blogs, Employee Assistance Program

Rahul feels intense fear and anxiety when he has to meet strangers in his official meetings, speak in public, while making presentations in board rooms, and even have lunch with his friends in a restaurant. He worries more than usual when he has to attend regularly to his meetings. When he talks with unknown people, his worries grow manyfold. He thus started avoiding social situations. Eventually, Rahul realized that these feelings of fear and anxiety are overwhelming and difficult to cope with. Rahul is suffering from social anxiety formerly known as social phobia.

What is social anxiety disorder?

Social anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder. A person may feel constant fear or anxiety that he/she may be judged, scrutinized, or criticized by others. They think that their activities are constantly watched by others. This may give the feeling that they are the subject of attention. These feelings make a person worry to the extent that they find it extremely difficult to speak or perform in social situations like attending a wedding or a party, speaking in board meetings, dating, or giving a job interview. Sometimes a person may feel anxious to talk to strangers in public gatherings or even use a restroom in a public place. Eventually, he/she may tend to avoid these social situations in the long run. This greatly affects relationships, work-life and even affects their self-confidence and self-esteem. Social anxiety is more than shyness. They have this constant worry about doing things that they may think are embarrassing.

Causes of social anxiety

Causes of social anxiety disorder range from genetic influence to environmental factors. Influence from a family member with social phobia or a part of the brain activity called the Amygdala which controls the fear response may also cause social anxiety.

Symptoms include

  1. Blush, sweat, or tremble
  2. Rapid heart rate
  3. Stomach trouble and diarrhoea
  4. Difficulty making eye contact
  5. Dizziness and light-headedness
  6. Feelings of self-consciousness or fear that people will judge them negatively.

Tips to free yourself from social anxiety

Living with Social anxiety disorder is overwhelming and can control your life. But the good news is, it can be treatable. You can use these self-help tips to reduce social anxiety before trying other treatments.

  • The first step is to understand your feelings of fear, anxiety, and distress that social anxiety creates. Acknowledging these feelings can relieve your stress. It’s hard to understand and acknowledge the feelings associated with social anxiety though, but everyday awareness about the emotions can help you to reduce the distress.
  • Writing or naming the feelings will give great relief from the stress caused due to social anxiety.
  • Talking to a person whom you can trust can also help you understand and take control of the behaviour associated with social anxiety.
  • Practicing breathing exercises and meditation can make you feel relaxed and help in reducing social anxiety.
  • It is a good idea to seek professional help when the coping mechanisms get exhausted. You can approach a mental health professional and communicate your concerns about your anxiety. A mental health care provider will help you with counselling sessions and recommend therapy. There are numerous therapies and medications to treat social anxiety.

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