Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is characterized by an individual’s fear of social situations, extreme self consciousness, and simple anxiety of being in public or around new people. Also, individuals suffering from social anxiety believe they are always being watched and critiqued and because of this are very embarrassed of many of their actions even if they are not really being watched or critiqued.
What triggers social anxiety?
Social anxiety does not affect all sufferers in the same way. In fact, some social anxiety sufferers simply worry and stress over certain social situations like speaking in public or eating in front of other people while some sufferers of social anxiety cannot encounter other people without feeling anxious, nervous, and self conscious.
Many times when an event is planned in the future, like a public speaking engagement, the social anxiety sufferer will worry and stress over the future event and practically drive themselves crazy. They may even skip work or school due to the fact that they simply cannot face social situations that day due to their social anxiety.
Other symptoms that accompany social anxiety include heavy sweating, including sweaty palms and feet, blushing, dry throat and mouth, difficulty finding voice, as well as nausea and stomach upset. Obviously, these symptoms are severe and can really affect a social anxiety sufferer even more so by making them more self conscious.
So, the physical affects of social anxiety perpetuate the emotional and mental effects of social anxiety. Remember, social anxiety is a real disorder and a serious one at that so if you are suffering from social anxiety be sure to see your physician as soon as possible because there is help available.
What is the best cure for social anxiety?
Everybody deals with anxiety and depression, however some people have a hard time in managing it. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their most persistent fears and every day anxieties.
When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.
Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things.
A person should visualize a red stop sign in their mind when they encounter a fear provoking thought. When the negative thought comes, a person should think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. A person can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.
Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.
Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.
Dealing with our persistent fears is not easy. Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education, and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go along way in fixing your problems.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties.