Fear. Shame. Frustration. Self-consciousness. Pain. Social Anxiety presents itself in many forms that can keep you from living your life to its fullest. Many people feel completely hopeless and alone, and some even turn to addiction to deal with the anxiety they face every day.
If you suffer from Social Anxiety, help is available. The following tips can help you manage your Social Anxiety and live your life free of fear.
What Is Society Anxiety?
Social Anxiety is a mental health disorder that creates feelings of intense, constant anxiety when you’re around other people. Individuals living with Social Anxiety might try to avoid social situations because they feel unwelcome, judged or stared at. These feelings might keep you from doing everyday tasks that you want to do, like:
- Hanging out with friends
- Going for a job interview
- Answering the phone
- Going on a first date
- Attending a party
- Speaking in front of a group
- Introducing yourself to a coworker or neighbor
The distress you feel with Social Anxiety can even cause physical symptoms like a racing heart, blushing, trembling, sweating and twitching. The condition is very real, and it can make you feel secluded and hopeless if it’s left untreated.
Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety
If you experience Social Anxiety, you aren’t alone. The condition affects more than 15 million adults across the country every year, which makes it the third largest mental health condition in the world. Fortunately, you can take several steps toward overcoming the symptoms of Social Anxiety:
- Start therapy: Probably the most important thing you can do to overcome your Social Anxiety is to seek out therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based solution recognized as the most effective treatment for Social Anxiety. Your therapist can help you find your negative thought patterns and inaccurate ways of thinking. Then, together, you can work toward facing situations that make you anxious. While it might be challenging to seek out help as someone with Social Anxiety, the reward is far worth the initial fear you might face.
- Examine your thinking: When you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts like, “Nobody cares what I have to say,” or “Everyone will laugh at me if I talk.” Take a moment to examine these thoughts and challenge how true they are. Most often, we tend to jump to worst-case scenarios in our heads rather than the most likely ones.
- Remind yourself that the anxiety will pass: The worst part of talking to someone new is often the anticipation leading up to it. However, our fears about these experiences are usually worse than the actual situations themselves. Once you approach someone and say “Hi,” the rest of the conversation will gradually get easier.
- Improve your physical health: Physical health plays an important role in your overall well-being — including your anxiety and stress levels. Do everything you can to stay in good physical health by exercising regularly and eating healthily. You can even invite a friend or coworker to join you on a walk or at the gym to gain some social experience in a more relaxed setting.
- Keep a journal: Check your progress and recognize any negative thought patterns by writing a small journal entry every day. You can record your thoughts, social experiences and goals as you keep improving through therapy and practice.
How 7 Summit Pathways Can Help
Some people feel like they can handle the fear and hopelessness of their Social Anxiety by drinking or taking drugs. These unhealthy coping habits can quickly turn into an addiction. If you’re struggling with Social Anxiety as well as a drug or alcohol addiction, 7 Summit Pathways is here to help. We offer individualized treatment options for a plan that treats both your addiction and the fear you might face with your Social Anxiety.