Social anxiety can be understood as the intense fear of being evaluated negatively by others, causing the feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, humiliation, embarrassment, and even depression. Thus, if a person feels better while alone, but becomes anxious in social situations, then they may be suffering from social anxiety. Social anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders. Millions of people around the world have to deal with this traumatic and devastating condition every other day. In the United States, it is the third most common mental disorder after alcoholism and depression. About seven percent of Americans suffer from some form of social anxiety.
Issues with Social Anxiety and the Problems it comes with
Some of the most common physiological manifestations associated with social anxiety include heart racing, intense fear, blushing, dry mouth and throat, excessive sweating, muscle switches, trembling among others. People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant psychological distress in the following social situations;
- When facing people in authority
- When they are at the center of attention
- When they are being criticized or teased
- When being introduced to others
- When they are required to address a public gathering
- When meeting strangers
- When starting new friendships or romantic relationships
Tips on How to overcome social Anxiety
Most people suffering from social anxiety know that their fears are irrational and do not make cognitive sense. However, knowing something is not synonymous with feeling or believing it. As a result, for people living with the social anxiety disorder, the feeling and thoughts of anxiety persist and do not seem to go away even though they have to face their fears every day of their lives. Below is a rundown of some important tips you can count on to overcome social anxiety.
- Admit it to yourself
The first step to dealing with social anxiety has to do with admitting that you have a problem. When you do this, you can stop living in denial, put things into perspective, and start working on it. You have to start treating yourself as the most important person in life and make deliberate commitments to improve yourself to become the best that you can be for you to share your best with other people. Most importantly, don’t procrastinate, start working on this today.
- Seek out Situations
Avoiding social situation situations does not help; it only reinforces your fears. The more you avoid social situations, the stronger the messages from the unconscious mind warning you about facing social situations will be next time to have to face a social situation. In life, people tend to avoid what frightens them and are frightened by what they avoid. Thus, putting yourself in social situations regularly would be a great way of convincing your unconscious brain that social situations are not dangerous at all.
- Practice deep breathing daily
Deep breathing is a great technique that can help you to face an anxiety-provoking situation. However, rather than doing it only moments before facing a social situation, it is imperative to practice it daily. This will make deep breathing second nature to avoid focusing too much on the deep breathing at the expense of the main issue before you.
Overall, it is apparent that social anxiety is a severe mental disorder affecting millions of people around the world. It is also evident that it comes with many challenges that people suffering from it have to face every day. However, there are ways through which one can overcome it and significantly enhance the quality of their lives. If social anxiety is stopping you from doing the things that you need to do, you can practice the above-discussed tips and seek the assistance of a professional therapist specializing in anxiety.