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How To Deal With Social Anxiety

How To Reduce Negative Thoughts

5 Ways to Deal with Social Anxiety on Your Own
  • Think back to a recent social situation in which you felt anxious. Write down what your negative thoughts were before, during, and after the situation.
  • Ask yourself questions to challenge your negative thoughts. For example, if your negative automatic thought was “People are yawning, they must think that I am boring,” ask yourself “Could there be a different explanation?” In this case, your alternative thought could be “It probably had nothing to do with me, they were just tired.”
  • Try to notice the automatic negative thoughts that you have before, during, and after feared social situations, and challenge them with alternatives.
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

    SSRIs are often the first-line treatment for social anxiety and depression.

    These medications which include paroxetine and sertraline work by increasing the level of serotonin in your brain.

    Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter, a molecule that helps send messages throughout your body. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression and anxiety.

    Stats About Social Anxiety

    Broadly, anxiety disorders are ranked as the most common mental health problem in the US. Almost 40 million adults are affected by some form of anxiety. Among those individuals, approximately 15 million American adults are affected by social anxiety disorder specifically. Men and women are equally affected by the disorder. Symptoms seem to start, on average, at approximately 13 years old. Many people struggle for years on their own before seeking counseling. Research suggests approximately 36% of the people who seek help will have waited 10 years or more to take that helpful step.

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    How Ssris Are Used To Treat Social Anxiety Disorder

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually the first choice of medication for treating social anxiety disorder . SSRIs affect your brain chemistry by slowing re-absorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a chemical that we think helps to regulate mood and anxiety.

    Talk Back To Negative Thoughts

    Learning How to Cope with Social Anxiety

    These thoughts might be about people or situations, and they may even be automatic. Most of the time, theyâre wrong. But they can cause you to misread things like facial expressions. This could lead you to assume people are thinking things about you that they arenât.

    One way to do this is simply to use pen and paper:

  • Think of all the negative thoughts you have in specific situations.
  • Write them down.
  • Recommended Reading: How To Stop Chronic Anxiety

    Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle

    The food we eat, the drinks we consume, and the thoughts we have can impact our anxiety levels.

    Research suggests that a poor lifestyle can impact your ability to manage anxiety symptoms. It can also hurt your self-confidence.

    So, adopting a healthy lifestyle is one way to deal with social anxiety. By making a few of the following changes, you can begin to see improvements in your health and anxiety levels.

    Links to Related Articles & Research

    You Have Panic Attacks

    This is one of the extreme symptoms of social anxiety. That is when you are among people and

    • The negative thoughts that make you self-conscious keep on growing inside you.
    • finding it difficult to breathe.
    • You will sweat a lot.
    • There is trouble withstanding.
    • You cant even say anything.

    This state can last for several hours. This is called a panic attack, during which the stress in you is very high and your body and mind in a way come on red alert.

    So friends these were the 9 signs of social anxiety with the help of which you can test whether you are social or not.

    Now lets talk about how to deal with social anxiety?

    Read Also: Who To See For Social Anxiety

    Key Points To Remember

    • Try not to stop any unwanted and stressful thoughts.
    • Gently place those thoughts in the background, as if they are background music. Dont give them life.
    • Direct your attention to whats happening outside of yourself.

    When you find yourself distracted by unhelpful thoughts, try saying something like be mindful, stay present, or breathe.

    An affirmation, or saying, can help bring you back to the current conversation or situation.

    Links to Related Articles & Research

    Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

    How To Deal With Social Anxiety | 5 Tips To Overcome Anxiety

    Eye movement desensitization reprocessing is a therapy that’s frequently used alongside traditional treatment methods for anxiety. It’s a short-term, 8-step method that uses repeated bilateral stimuli, as an object or finger moves back and forth while the person follows it with their eyes.

    Throughout these sessions, the individual addresses an anxiety-provoking situation, past trauma, or another issue, which ultimately helps reduce its impact throughout treatment.

    Read Also: Does Seeing A Therapist Help With Anxiety

    What Is The Deference Between Introvert And A Socially Anxious Person

    Being socially anxious is very different from being introverted. Because an introvert is someone who just likes to be alone, whereas a social naughty person is someone who wants to enjoy, talk and make memories with other people. But he is afraid to think that if If he goes among people, he will judge him, he will analyze him, he will be evil or he will make a mistake and people will make fun of him.

    Why Do Some People Develop Social Phobia

    Kids, teens, and adults can have social phobia. Most of the time, it starts when a person is young. Like other anxiety-based problems, social phobia develops because of a combination of three factors:

    The good news is that the effect of these negative experiences can be turned around with some focused slow-but-steady effort. Fear can be learned. And it can also be unlearned, too.

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    Attend To And Learn About Your Social Anxiety

    Often the first step to learning to deal with some problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem. In the case of social anxiety, there maybe some tendency to make excuses for the behaviors associated with the disorder. However, it will be important to identify social anxiety as the problem and to identify what behaviors are the product of the social anxiety.

    Along with this, it can be helpful to learn more about social anxiety. Like anything in life, more knowledge can provide more power in this situation. By learning about social anxiety, you can start to better understand the condition, yourself, and the way this condition has affected your life. As you learn more about it, you might also find it easier to manage the condition.

    Signs Of Social Anxiety

    Dealing With Social Anxiety

    If A Person Acts Cold Most of the Time

    Its not like they are rude or dont care about anybody, it is just that they are having trouble opening up even if they want to befriend you. They are just in fear of being embarrassed. Try to approach them and ease them.

    They act cold because they dont want to get hurt. Try to be friendly and not criticize them.

    If They Speak Too Fast

    They speak fast because they have a lot to share. They dont talk much or they dont get someone to talk to that is why they speak fast out of excitement.

    Try to be patient with them. They are just seeking someone to express themselves.

    Uncomfortable Body Posture And Expressions

    When you meet or talk to a person with social anxiety, you would find them hesitating a lot. You can sense the uncomfortably in their body language. Their body movements and expressions would be quick. They might not be even attentive as they are trying to process the situation in their mind.

    So no matter what you should never make them feel weird about themselves . This way they might also get comfortable in a few days and show you their true self.

    Read Also: How To Help A Teenager With Anxiety

    You Have Trouble Making Relationships

    With social anxiety, making friends or dating someone is almost impossible.

    Where an introvert or shy person will just hesitate a little until he gets to know a person a little better and comes close with him.

    On the other hand, a socially intelligent person is afraid of even the thought of talking to an unknown person and he either misses the opportunity of making new friends or partners or even gradually eliminates the existing relationships he has. Is. Just because he doesnt see any point in meeting someone and maintaining the relationship.

    A shy person may just feel a little awkward at the beginning of the relationship, but after getting to know the other person well, he opens up.

    But for a socially intelligent person, this comfortable face never comes. He always feels superior and uncomfortable in front of others. Whether it is other people, his old friends, relatives or even his own family. He is afraid of everyones judgment.

    How Has The Pandemic Impacted Our Social Lives And Social Skills

    COVID-19 has created severe isolation from people connecting with others physically and oftentimes mentally as well, which has been difficult, explains psychotherapist Patrice N. Douglas, Psy.D., LMFT. For some, she says, being by themselves allowed them to feel comfortable and reduced their social anxiety, but for others, the lack of interaction has caused depression. As people adjust to a new level of interactivity, she says, this has led to an increase in some peoples social anxiety.

    The pandemic has also impacted our relationships, leading to a spate of romantic and friend break-ups . Some relationships ended because they were environmental with the environment gone the connection wasnt the same, says Douglas. Others ended because they individuals were stuck under the same roof and didnt have the escape environments they once had and realised they were no longer a match.

    Douglas adds that over the pandemic sometimes weve assumed that loved ones dont care about us as theyre not checking in on us, but this was most likely due to them struggling with depression as well, causing those relationships to deteriorate.

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    Does Social Anxiety Ever Go Away

    For most people, social anxiety disorder will not go away without treatment. It is very important to seek help from a mental health professional if you believe you are experiencing symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is generally considered the most effective form of treatment for social anxiety. CBT is a form of therapy that enables you to identify negative patterns of thought and behavior and change them.

    National Institute of Mental Health. Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness. Accessed 4/21/21.

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder

    How Do You Deal with Social Anxiety?

    When having to perform in front of or be around others, people with social anxiety disorder tend to:

    • Blush, sweat, tremble, feel a rapid heart rate, or feel their mind going blank
    • Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach
    • Show a rigid body posture, make little eye contact, or speak with an overly soft voice
    • Find it scary and difficult to be with other people, especially those they dont already know, and have a hard time talking to them even though they wish they could
    • Be very self-conscious in front of other people and feel embarrassed and awkward
    • Be very afraid that other people will judge them
    • Stay away from places where there are other people

    Also Check: How To Help A Person With An Anxiety Attack

    Social Anxiety Is Affecting Growth

    You will find many introverts in the world who are highly successful, but you will never see a successful person who is socially inclined.

    Successful people tell the story of their past, they also tell how they used to have social anxiety, but without over-reducing this problem, no person can achieve his maximum potential.

    Socially intelligent people come in the middle of their growth.

    For example, if an employee is very hardworking and he works a lot for his company but is socially inclined, then even if he sees the operation opportunity of promotion in front of him, he will not speak to him either. Due to the fear that he will have to present himself in front of the people and all the attention will fall on him.

    Where many people are hungry for attention, the same socially intelligent people run away from more attention. Because according to them, people get free judgment with attention.

    So if you start making your name and growing right so that you do not get into the attention of people, then understand that the problem of your social anxiety is very serious and you need to reduce it over as soon as possible.

    Simple Steps To Feeling More Socially Confident

    Social anxiety disorder is often misunderstood, and many people could be suffering in silence. Its much more than feeling shy and not wanting to speak up in big groups. It can really take control and impede your everyday life. Anxiety Care UK states that social anxiety is a common and distressing condition, with as many as 40 percent of the population suffering from it.

    Young People With Social Anxiety

    Experiencing social anxiety and fear of social interactions can make simple responsibilities almost impossible to overcome. An estimated 15 million American adults have social anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, with young adolescents who are transitioning to secondary school or college being particularly vulnerable. Its suggested that social anxiety disorder symptoms usually begin around the age of 13.

    The good news is that there are ways to develop new habits to help ease and overcome your social anxiety.

    1. Challenge your negative and anxious thoughts. At times it may feel like theres nothing you can do about the way you feel and how you think. In reality, though, there are a number of things that can help.

    4. Create an exposure hierarchy. Identify and rate how each social situation makes you feel in terms of anxiousness. For example, 0 would mean no anxiety, and 10 would be a full-blown panic attack.

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    Tip : Focus On Others Not Yourself

    When were in a social situation that makes us nervous, many of us tend to get caught up in our anxious thoughts and feelings. You may be convinced that everyone is looking at you and judging you. Your focus is on your bodily sensations, hoping that by paying extra close attention you can better control them. But this excessive self-focus just makes you more aware of how nervous youre feeling, triggering even more anxiety! It also prevents you from fully concentrating on the conversations around you or the performance youre giving.

    Switching from an internal to an external focus can go a long way toward reducing social anxiety. This is easier said than done, but you cant pay attention to two things at once. The more you concentrate on whats happening around you, the less youll be affected by anxiety.

    Focus your attention on other people, but not on what theyre thinking of you! Instead, do your best to engage them and make a genuine connection.

    Remember that anxiety isnt as visible as you think. And even if someone notices that youre nervous, that doesnt mean theyll think badly of you. Chances are other people are feeling just as nervous as youor have done in the past.

    Really listen to what is being said not to your own negative thoughts.

    Focus on the present moment, rather than worrying about what youre going to say or beating yourself up for a flub thats already passed.

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