Things To Get You Out Of A Social Anxiety Rut!
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
7 years experience
While being shy in unfamiliar conditions and with unknown people is normal for many people, it is considered a disorder when it starts to interfere with your life and stops you from seeking out new opportunities, meeting people or generally living your life to the fullest. The primary cause for this in most people is the fear of judgment or evaluation in the eyes of the others. Social anxiety may thus interfere with your personal as well as professional goals. Some of the ways you can take care of this problem are mentioned below.
- Take help from counseling or therapy: Some people may have serious issues interacting with other people in a social setting or have a fear of the stage although they want to get into public speaking and performance. In such cases, you may need to take the help of a doctor as it becomes necessary in order to be able to fulfill your professional goals.
- Have certain objective goals: One of the ways to overcome social anxiety disorder is to be able to achieve certain objective goals, even in social situations where there is no performance pressure. Say for example if you are with a group of people where you feel anxious, make two or three fruitful comments in your opinion in the group. This way, when you feel your voice is heard, it will help reduce social anxiety.
- Slowly expose yourself to incremental anxiety situations: One of the best ways to overcome anxiety is to expose yourself regularly to situations that may make you uncomfortable. You can write down a series of situations which have increased your level of anxiety. You can then expose yourself to the situation that scares you the least repeatedly until you become habituated to it. Then you can slowly move up the list and conquer each one of the socially fearful settings, one by one.
- Deep breathing and meditation: Meditation has been seen to clear up your mind and embolden you to face difficult situations. Practicing it daily can definitely help you overcome social anxiety. Even before you are about to engage in a large social or public gathering, deep breathing helps relax your muscles and also enables you to become calmer, thus reducing social anxiety.
- Self-help manuals: There are a lot of manuals out there which are meant to help you deal with your social anxiety; whether it is in general, with public speaking or in a room full of guests in an informal setting. Generally, these are used in conjunction with therapy from a professional, but you can try certain self-help books which can guide you through a detailed process and help you deal with the social anxiety that you may face in certain situations.
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