Just cancelled you third hang out plans in the week? How many times have your friends taken you for someone being rude because of bailing out on plans? In order to overcome social anxiety, it is important that you acknowledge the struggles first.
Social anxiety disorder is a serious issue and not something that you need to invalidate by terming it as “being awkward”. If you are here struggling around with the prospects of handling people in the crowd and just people in general, it is time to fight back the shortcomings.
By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of everything there is to know about the things to do if you have social anxiety and how to fight it back.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is a type of mental health disorder which makes people has the constant dread and fear of being judged as well as evaluated around by people negatively.
This is one of the factors that instil feelings of inadequacy, self-consciousness, lack of self confidence and even embarrassment and humiliation.
Often times, people suffering from this condition tend to become very reclusive and closed off in social situations while the tables completely turn when they are alone at home.
In one of the epidemiological studies conducted in the United States, it was found that social anxiety was the third most prevailing mental health disorder, following depression and alcoholism. Statistics suggest that around 7% of the population across suffer from some form of social anxiety.
The worst part of this condition is the lack of awareness surrounding it.
What Causes Social Anxiety?
There could very well be a number of causes behind the condition of social anxiety, be it something that’s affecting you on the personal ground or even the professional foreground.
If you feel like this is one of the factors affecting your well being, it is important that you are familiar with some of the causes behind the condition too.
The exact cause behind the condition is still unknown and not particularly clear as per the scientific researches around.
Although, some of the latest studies conducted around do suggest that the combination of environmental factors, as well as genetics, has definitely got to play quite the role that we possibly don’t even know about.
Many people often believe that childhood trauma and experiences of abuse or humiliation could be the reasons behind the condition. Although, it is believed that these very well could be risk factors and triggers, it is not technically the cause.
Additionally, people who have the predisposition of having behavioural inhibition do tend to be very reclusive and such, thus affecting one’s overall condition of risks even more so.
Signs and Symptoms of Social Anxiety
As we did mention before, one of the major reasons behind the prevalence of this condition is because of the fact that many don’t even realize that they are suffering from this.
What this does is make them think its “normal” or an “unnecessary overdrive of emotions” that’s causing the problem.
In order to make it easier for your understanding, we are going to categorise them under sections and help you understand better.
|Physical Symptoms||Emotional Symptoms||Behavioural Symptoms|
|Fast racing heartbeat||Peeking anxiety and fear||Avoiding social gatherings|
|Dizziness and weakness||Constant feelings of nervousness||Refraining from certain activities|
|Constant muscle tension||Panic attacks||Isolation|
|Issues with stomach||Negative emotional cycles||Excessive dependence on alcohol or drugs|
|Dry throat and mouth|
Effects of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder does have the possibility of taking a toll on one’s overall well being and that too, for the worse. Not only does it affect your mental health, it also ends up making you have no social life, which further makes the situation even worse.
The constant fear of judgement and negative words thrown at you make the situation even hard to deal with on a daily basis when there are chances that the same is not even the case.
Additionally, social anxiety, if left unacknowledged or untreated can vehemently affect one’s overall well being for the worse.
How To Overcome Social Anxiety?
When it comes to exploring ways to overcome social anxiety, the possibilities are extensive and quite vast. It all comes down to your own realm of acknowledge and how you handle the situation. If you are struggling and avoiding this, chances are that you won’t even get the necessary help that you need to overcome this and get rid of it for good.
In here, we are going to be suggesting some of the effective cure for social anxiety that you can abide by.
Check Out These Effective Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder.
Instead of suffering in silence, adhere to these ways to get over social anxiety.
1. Challenge the Negative Thoughts
Nobody is completely aware of the string of thoughts that they struggle with on a daily basis. Some infiltrate our conscious mind while some peek through our sub-conscious minds.
Whatever the prospects be, it is important to ensure that if you wish to overcome and get rid of social anxiety, it is important to ensure that you challenge the negative thoughts that are coming up in your mind.
You might not realize this but having a positive outlook on situations can actually help you a lot in coping with the constant string of negative thoughts altogether. Question yourself why you are thinking like this all the time and changing the way you think can be a very drastic step in handling the progress you make with your condition of social anxiety.
2. Get out in the Wilderness
Avoiding social situations and such is one of the most common things that you can experience with your social anxiety. Not only are you going to struggle with this, but chances are also that you are definitely going to have a life with lack of social life and friends that you can mingle around with.
Owing to the severity of this, it is important to step out of your comfort zone and do the needful. Instead of holing yourself up in a room, it is best suggested to ensure that you take out the time to walk out and explore things that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
What this entails is you accepting the invitations that are waiting around in your inbox instead of straight up ignoring them all the more.
But, the challenge doesn’t technically end there. Not only do you need to accept the situation, but you also need to step out of your comfort zone and handle yourself out there as well.
3. Self Help Manual
Therapy is obviously the best way to treat social anxiety, without a speck of doubt. If you are here struggling around with social anxiety and don’t have the money for therapy, the best way to combat that is by ensuring that you opt for the self help manuals that you find across.
Self-help manuals are designed specifically to not completely supplement therapy but help you along the process to ensure that you are not completely struggling.
It is important to ensure that you get your hands on the best self-help books, ones that have good reviews and results to help deal with social anxiety. Irrespective of everything, this does help a lot in combating the shortcomings and helps you fight through the situation all the more.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Not many people realize this but being mindful is definitely one of the prospects that can help you with the social anxiety treatment for good.
Being present consciously helps ensure that you are able to fight through the constant string of negative thoughts that are infiltrating your mind.
Even in a conducted study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, the researchers did find that the participants who did indulge in mindful meditation were able to overcome the problems associated with one’s levels of anxiety altogether. They found around 39% decrease in the anxiety levels altogether.
In some other subsequent studies, it has been found that mindfulness and meditation does help a lot in not just effectively reducing one’s social anxiety but also fight through depression as well.
5. Improve your PHYSICAL health
Not many will realize this but your physical health has got a lot to do with your mental health too, without a speck of doubt undoubtedly.
Instead of just slagging around, it is important that you do put in the extra effort to keep your physical well being in check. Focus on maintaining a healthy diet and workout as well.
Having proper physical health, devoid of diseases helps ensure that you can work to improve your mental health as well.
Additionally, if your mind is filled with anxious thoughts all the while, it is best suggested to ensure that you divert your thoughts away from them by staying away from caffeine and other addictions because the same does end up making things worse.
6. Get Some Professional Help
Talking about your social anxiety with someone professional can actually help a lot to overcome social anxiety for good.
Therapy is possibly one of the best ways to combat the condition, mainly because of the fact that you get to converse with someone who is well aware of what your mind is going through. The prospects may be tough to deal with in the beginning but this is often the safest bet when it comes to ways to deal with social anxiety.
It is important to find a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorder and knows what is going around. Look through the reviews and such because that does play a very crucial role in the decision making of the process all the more.
7. Develop an Exposure Hierarchy
If you struggle with social anxiety, you will know that the rate of anxiousness varies with the situation you are stuck in. Irrespective everything, rate these situations based on what makes you the most anxious and so on and so forth.
If a situation is making it hard for you to handle things, try and rate it at the top and then gradually make your way down from there. Make a list of every situation and then assess how you will react to each of them or so. You can always write down the predictions on a piece of paper and then witness how you can change things through.
Have a prediction set ensures that you are prepared to fight the situation, thus helping get over the problem in a productive way.
8. Maintain a Journal
Maintaining a journal to overcome social anxiety might often seem absurd and too good to be true but the same does have amazing impacts on one’s overall well being.
Journaling is actually an amazing way to keep a track of your progress and witness for yourself how much you have improved.
Writing down the thoughts swirling around in your mind will actually be a lot helpful in recognizing the setbacks and prevent you from falling back into a routine aligning with the negative thinking patterns.
9. Deep Breaths – in and Out
Yet another one of the amazing ways to combat and get over social anxiety is by practicing deep breathing.
If you are in anxiety invoking situation or a position that’s making it hard for you to survive through, it is best suggested to ensure that you practice deep breathing. This does help a lot in overcoming such situations without many efforts.
Take deep breaths and focus on your breathing, letting go off of the accessory thoughts around. This is what does help in getting rid of the situation all the more.
10. Act confidently
Just because you are finding the person in front of you being the most confident doesn’t mean they can’t be vulnerable at all.
Confidence can be a different rendition for different people, irrespective of the situation involved. Many people say that you can easily learn to be confident the same way you did learn how to ride a bike.
The way you act with others is how the same is reciprocated back. Irrespective of the situation, if you are finding yourself lacking the confidence, it is best suggested to ensure that you take your time out to focus on channeling the confidence from your inner self.
When you act more confidently, you are assured that people will react positively to it. The process isn’t technically the easiest but once you master it, there is nothing more you need from it.
11. Start Appreciating Yourself
One of the best ways to overcome social anxiety is by starting to become a bit more generous about yourself. Instead of beating yourself up about any and every situation, try to appreciate yourself more.
Doing this does help a lot with one’s situation of social anxiety and even helps in building and boosting your confidence for the better. Having a good hold on your confidence does aid in leaving behind the constant string of negative thoughts that are swirling around in your mind.
Convince yourself that you are taking on things on your own and deserve the recognition for that as well. Some days, start by feeling proud about yourself, even if it is a small accomplishment in your life.
12. Be Realistic about the Process
The process of social anxiety treatment isn’t as easy as it might seem for many, not even for you as well. Often times, it becomes hard for people to overcome social anxiety, mainly because of the fact that they have unrealistic expectations out of the recovery process.
It is important to always have a rational outlook on the situation if you wish to overcome the condition even more so. Don’t put yourself in a high pedestal because if you fail to achieve the goals, chances are that you won’t technically be able to congratulate yourself for the small wins too.
Have a positive outlook at the outcome but ensure that it’s rational and something that you can achieve through and through.
13. Share your Experiences
One of the best ways to combat social anxiety is by making your voice heard. You wouldn’t even realize this but there are a lot more people like you than you realize.
The best way to combat the situation is by ensuring that you share your experiences with a platform that’s going to listen to you and draw inspiration from the same as well.
For the most part, we often tend to not acknowledge the situation, mainly because of the fact that they think it’s either something very common or too unnatural to even speak about. This is exactly where we go wrong with our judgements.
Sharing your story with others will help them realize that they are not alone in this situation. Being able to help even one person through their struggle can be something that helps you feel better about the situation yourself.
14. Get Social Support
Even if you do have struggle with the social situations around, chances are that you will have a few people around you whom you trust and cherish altogether.
If you find yourself struggling through and through, the best cure for social anxiety is to reach out to these people and see for yourself the problem that you are facing all the more.
Talking to them about your own struggles is never going to be easy for you. But, the act of talking itself can further help you overcome the problems that you are struggling through with.
If required, let the other person do the talking and you can go along with the same without issues all the more.
Get their opinions and thoughts too and that should further help you get a hang of it even more.
15. Start by Saying YES
One of the most common things that make people with social anxiety struggle more is because of the fact that they feel like they need to decline every single possible social gathering that they are encountered with.
That is definitely not how everything works. One of the best things to do if you have social anxiety is to start saying yes to such instances. What this does is help you come out of your shell and fight through the shortcomings even more so.
Get yourself out of the rut of saying NO all the time. If you are invited somewhere, instead of blatantly denying everything without even saying, try and start by saying YES.
16. Face Your Fears
It has often been found that the prospect of fear is what makes people uncomfortable with the surroundings they are in.
Whatever the shortcomings are, if you want to overcome social anxiety, the best way to combat that is by ensuring that you start by facing your fears.
It is impossible to face your social anxiety if you don’t even expose yourself to situations that do make you anxious. It can seem like an oxymoron but after all, iron beats the iron, right?
The only factor, as per research, is to ensure that you don’t technically expose yourself to this all of a sudden. Take it gently, one step at a time.
Every stressful and hard situation to accomplish, it becomes easier for you to fight through and through.
How to Help Someone with Social Anxiety?
The process of social anxiety is never easy for one to handle. Additionally, it does come down to one’s ability to handle someone who is struggling with the same battle.
Irrespective of everything, it is important to ensure that if you witness someone struggling with social anxiety, to help them overcome the situation and support them as much as possible.
You might not even realize this but your support can actually do wonders for your friend or the person who is struggling with the problem.
If a person with social anxiety approaches you with your problem, it is important that you don’t take the problem for granted. It goes without saying that the worst thing that you could do is demean their situation. Instead of doing that, ensure that you divert your focus on helping them through the process.
Stop telling people that what they are feeling is invalid because that is not necessarily the case. If someone is struggling with their thoughts and being social, chances are that they are actually facing this issue altogether.
Altogether, when it comes to finding ways to overcome social anxiety, the process is easier said than done. It will take time to recover from your fears and fight through the process all the more. It is only suggested to ensure that you channel your focus on getting over the issue and leave the rest be. We have suggested the top 15 ways of mitigation in here and we do hope it comes in handy.