Social Anxiety is a serious issue that a lot of people don’t really understand. There’s a big difference between “she’s just being shy” and “he suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder.” The symptoms can be so extreme that their daily lives are already disrupted.
About 15 million American adults have Social Anxiety Disorder and 36% of the population only seek help 10 years after the onset of symptoms. Aside from impairing one’s social life, relationships and achievements, Social Anxiety can actually lead to other psychiatric conditions such as depression, other anxiety disorders, substance abuse and even suicide. To overcome this or help others suffering from this condition, it is very important to genuinely understand what it is and how the disorder works.
So what does someone with Social Anxiety really feel?
A sufferer feels an extreme (irrational for outsiders) emotional distress in certain situations like being introduced to people, being watched while doing something, being the center of attention and just any social encounters. Then it manifests into symptoms such as: pounding heart, sweating, shaking, muscle tension, blushing, dry throat/mouth and difficulty in swallowing or breathing that won’t just go away.
How to overcome Social Anxiety naturally?
What’s good about this condition is that it is treatable with therapies and medications. If you are hesitant of seeking for professional care, these approaches might just help you out.
Try a self-help manual.
Thanks to the internet, you’ll find a lot of tools that you can work with online. You can also purchase self-help books or e-books like Self Help by E.N. Richardson and The Solution to Social Anxiety by Aziz Gazupura. Both titles are rated 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and have amazing reviews. The author, Dr. Aziz is one of the world’s leading experts on social confidence. He also suffered from social anxiety and was able to find a way to social freedom.
Try to slowly expose yourself in social situations.
Yes, symptoms may start as soon as you put yourself in these kinds of situation, but you need to in order to eventually overcome it. You can start with small group of people that are close to you and eventually make it big, soon you will realize that there is actually nothing bad will happen to you with being involved in social situations.
Try to have full control over your brain.
The key here is to learn how to reprogram your brain in how it processes your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Visualize how you really want to react in social situations and what outcome you desire out of your social encounters – this is called mental rehearsal.
Challenge your thoughts.
A person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder always thinks of the worst scenarios. Challenge yourself and ask yourself if these thoughts really make sense. Argue with your own thoughts and win them over. If you are afraid that you will make a fool of yourself or that people will talk about you, you can ask yourself the following questions – “Have I ever really made a fool of myself? What’s the worst thing that can happen anyway? Am I that important that people will even notice me and talk about me in social gatherings? What’s the evidence that they are criticizing me? These people aren’t perfect, did anything terrible happen to them during awkward situations?” Let your self be your worst critic.
Whether you are a parent, a friend or a sibling, you play an important role in helping someone dealing with Social Anxiety disorder. Remember that he or she may reject you during your first few attempts of offering help but just be patient. Keep being encouraging and positive and never criticize or lecture the person for feeling what he or she feels. Don’t get mad or make them feel guilty if they are not ready to go out and interact with people. Lastly, never fail to show unconditional love, support and understanding. It’s the best way to help them out. Read more about how you can manage mild anxiety on your own HERE.