(AscendHealthy)- Social anxiety, which is characterized by fear and nervousness caused by interactions with other people, affects an estimated 15 million adults living in America. This anxiety disorder is actually among the most common, second only to specific phobias.
For individuals with this kind of anxiety, everyday activities can feel nearly impossible because they require communicating with and interacting with other people. Many people with social anxiety have an extreme fear they’re being judged by the people they’re interacting with. This can manifest in physical symptoms, like racing heart, sweating, nausea and dizziness. Ready to move past this debilitating disorder? These strategies could help.
Improve Your Social Anxiety with These Tips.
Understand Your Triggers
Being wrapped up in anxiety can be confusing, making it difficult to understand what is causing blushing, heavy breathing and sweating. The first step to improving the symptoms of anxiety is gaining a better understanding of what is going on.
This means that individuals with social anxiety need to pay attention to their triggers. Certain events may cause panicked reactions. Greater awareness can lead to adjusting to circumstances or better preparing for difficult social interactions.
Small, Progressive Steps
For those with intense social anxiety, avoiding trigger situations may provide the most relief from symptoms. Avoidance can be isolating, however, and may cause the individual to feel as though they’re missing out on life. It isn’t easy to do things that feel terrifying. Baby steps can increase feelings of self-efficacy, or the belief in personal capability to accomplish something difficult.
Make a plan to take small, progressive steps toward a larger goal. For example, a person with a wedding coming up might start by interacting with the cashier at the grocery store or inviting a friend to coffee. From there, they could attend a larger event, like a work or school function.
Take Note of Success
Irrational thoughts can take charge in the brain for those suffering from social anxiety. These individuals may leave events certain that everyone hates them or that they are bad at human interaction. More often than not, this thinking isn’t based on fact.
Quieting negative thoughts caused by anxiety can take time, but one way to get started is by taking note of success. Someone with anxiety could keep a journal in which they record instances when they had an enjoyable conversation, laughed with a friend or ran an errand without experiencing overwhelming anxiety.
Talk to a Professional
Remember, you aren’t alone. More than 15 million people struggle with anxiety, and some may require professional help to make progress. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether or not medication and/or therapy would be suitable treatments for your symptoms.
Be gracious towards yourself. Anxiety is often a long term struggle, requiring diligence and time to overcome. With the right strategies and outside help, you can start enjoying your life and the people in it.
~ Here’s to Your Health Ascension!
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