1 of 2: Social anxiety can be very limiting.
2 of 2: For some, there are specific situations that lead to discomfort, such as talking on the phone. For others, all social situations can feel intimidating.
Feeling ashamed is one thing – being diagnosed with social anxiety is quite another.
Then every social interaction can turn into a sweaty nightmare.
Here are seven expertly backed tips that will help you along the way.
Social anxiety, formerly called social phobia, is the so-called anxiety syndrome.
The condition can be very limited and based on fear of being eliminated or humiliated in front of others. The result can be that the person completely begins to avoid situations that cause anxiety.
It is also common to suffer from what is called anticipatory anxiety, which can lead to symptoms such as sweating, palpitations, and flushing.
Inspired by Healthline Health Life lists seven tips from the experts.
Read also: 9 types of anxiety syndrome and how to relieve them
Seek professional help
Like I said, social anxiety is a diagnosis and even if there is a lot you can do on your own, professional help may be necessary.
With a psychologist, you get the tools and strategies that help you mitigate and understand what’s going on in the brain.
According to the National Council on Health and Welfare, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, is the most common method of treatment.
Therapy is about getting more realistic thoughts in social situations that are perceived as unpleasant, psychologist Jonas Evander told Halslev previously.
In more severe cases, antidepressant medications may also be combined with treatment.
Read also: 9 Warning Signs You’re Having a Panic Attack
2. Find your triggers
For some, it’s very specific situations that make up for it, like speaking in front of people or talking on the phone. For others, it may be a general problem that covers all social contexts.
Try to identify what is causing your anxiety. Putting your finger on a cause and a time filled with anxiety can be a first step in the right direction.
Start by listing the situations that cause you the most discomfort. This could be, for example, about:
Talk to someone you’re attracted to
Speak in front of a group
Mix with strangers at a party
3. Challenge your negative thoughts
If you suffer from social anxiety, there is a high risk that your mind will be filled with thoughts rushing in all directions, often negative. You may think a lot about all the possible disasters that can happen during a social situation.
Like inadvertently saying something rude, laughing at the wrong time or starting to blush and shiver.
Try to put these thoughts into perspective. It probably won’t be a disaster if you start stuttering or blushing in front of someone else. It can create empathy and compassion instead. Perhaps your peer has gone through something similar and feels with you?
It’s also about breaking automatic negative thoughts, CBT psychologist and senior lecturer Bengt E. Westling previously told Hälsoliv.
Remember, too, that others are rarely as committed as you. If you make a mistake, most likely won’t notice it.
Exercise 2: Negative thoughts
Try to challenge your negative thoughts with a method called realistic thinking. Ask yourself questions about the situation that worries you and try to answer as honestly and balanced as possible.
4. Small steps in the right direction
When we’re new to training, we don’t throw ourselves out and run a marathon the first thing we do. The same principle applies here. Dare to challenge yourself but take it at your own pace. You don’t have to lecture on a busy day at one globin.
It could be about exchanging polite phrases with the cashier at Ica or looking for eye contact and visiting a neighbor.
Some may feel relieved when they “rename” their feelings of anxiety to something more positive. Instead of thinking “Oh my God, I’m so nervous tonight!” Try thinking, “I’m curious how my colleagues are outside of work!”
Read also: Common signs that you suffer from agoraphobia
Anxiety, as I said, can lead to a number of physical symptoms, such as sweating, palpitations, dizziness and difficulty breathing. In such situations, it can be a good idea to have some ace up your sleeve in the form of relaxation exercises.
Exercise 3: Relax
1. Inhale slowly through your nose and count for 4 seconds.
2. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
Exhale slowly for a count of 8 seconds.
Progressive muscle relaxation
Stretch your toes.
2. Hold the potentiometer for 5 seconds.
3. Exhale slowly and then release it. Focus on the new feeling of relaxation and count for 10 seconds. Breathe slowly.
4. Move to the next muscle group with the upward direction in the body and repeat.
6. Find your defense mechanisms
Avoiding social situations completely is impossible for most people, but there are also more subtle types of avoidance that you should watch for.
It becomes a kind of defense mechanism that allows you to be where you are without being fully engaged.
You are at a party, but you spend most of your time in the kitchen preparing and preparing food.
In conversations, you encourage the other person to talk so you don’t have to talk about yourself.
In group contexts, you stay on edge and flip through your phone so no one is talking to you.
You will probably feel more secure in the moment if you hover over the context, but it doesn’t help in the long run. You will not be rejected, but no one will have the opportunity to get to know you if you do not try.
Read also: Carola, 48, lives with severe catastrophic thoughts
7. Take it easy with alcohol
Alcohol is a social class lubricant. It can help you relax and feel more comfortable in social situations. But it can also increase your anxiety, especially the next day.
You can also end up in a vicious whirlpool where alcohol is required for you to dare mingle at all and the more time passes the more you need to drink to achieve the same effect.
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