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Coping with Social Anxiety: 12 Powerful Ways to Overcome

How To Overcome Social Anxiety

Overcome Social Anxiety - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary
  • No one hasn’t experienced feelings of anxiety at times in their lives – it’s a normal part of life – feelings of stress, phobia of being alone, fear, and panic.
  • It happens because different life events happen, and some come on us suddenly.
  • If you have an anxiety disorder where you experience ongoing and frequent anxiousness, fear, or terror, and your life is very much affected by it, then there is a problem. Not only will it affect your quality of life a great deal, but your health will deteriorate too – it can be just a downhill spiral.
  • There are ways on how to overcome social anxiety, and that’s the good news!

What Is Social Anxiety?

Lots of people, when they refer to these past few months, will say, “It’s been a stressful couple of months.” But actually, we’ve all been living in what was already an ever-increasing anxious culture before Covid-19.

To discover how to overcome social anxiety, look at some of the most common anxiety disorders[1] there are. Social anxiety disorder is being afraid of social situations because you’re afraid of being judged by others. It’s when you feel self-conscious each day as you mingle with people.

The causes of social anxiety can affect your day-to-day activities. Social anxiety can make you avoid places, people, or situations. Even everyday social events like attending a party or a social gathering can trigger intense anxiety.

What Are The Causes Of Social Anxiety?

Let’s look at why someone develops social anxiety disorder:

  • Family history – It is believed that anxiety does run in families. But it is not clear whether it is genetics that causes this or whether it is inherited behavior that a child has learned as they grow up, such as the phobia of being alone caused by loneliness.
  • Past Experiences Could be Causes of Social Anxiety -This could be from early childhood experiences such as childhood physical, mental, or sexual abuse, or when a child is bullied at school who had to endure some form of humiliation.

How Anxiety Feels And How It Affects The Body?

Phobia of being alone
When you are experiencing intense anxiety, it can feel just as if you are going crazy; like you are “losing it.”

You might have been left alone, and you are experiencing the phobia of being alone or something else! Your heart starts pounding, you sweat and experience shortness of breath and anxiety.

You might even feel like you are having a heart attack because you have chest pain. You feel nauseous and dizzy. One minute you are sweating, and the next, you feel you have the chills. Your legs and hands feel numb and tingly like you are just going to cave in entirely.

Even though it can feel like you are having a heart attack, an anxiety attack is not dangerous as a heart attack! It is not necessary to rush you off to a hospital if you are having an anxiety attack. It can, however, leave you feeling exhausted and drained at the end.

Researchers aren’t even sure what triggers such a frightening attack, but the physical effects are there. During an anxiety attack, adrenaline levels in the body can spike by 2 ½ times more than the norm.

You might have thought that your anxiety attack happened suddenly – like out of the blue. You straight away wonder what could have been the causes of social anxiety that triggered the episode. But if you look back, you’ll realize that the signs were already there an hour or so before.

How To Overcome Social Anxiety?

Anxiety attack or panic disorder, fortunately, is a very treatable type of disorder. Medications and other treatments can help. Here are 12 very successful and powerful ways how to overcome social anxiety:

1. Keep Physically Active

Try and work out a routine where you are physically active every day of the week. Exercise is a natural treatment for social anxiety. It can improve your mood and help you stay healthy.

2. Stay Away From Alcohol and Recreational Drugs

Both drugs and alcohol can be causes of social anxiety and can also worsen anxiety. If you know that you won’t be able just to quit on your own, find a support group to help see you through.

Quit Smoking

3. Quit Smoking and Drinking Caffeinated Beverages

Both caffeine and nicotine have ingredients that make you feel excitable and make your anxiousness much worse.

4. Use Stress Management Techniques Meditation, or Relaxation

Visualization techniques, meditation, and yoga are a few relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety. Did you know that David in the Bible found out how to overcome social anxiety when he faced up against a giant? See how he handled his stress[2]!

5. Stick to your Treatment Plan

Has your doctor given you meds and treatment for social anxiety? Take them as directed and not as you believe. You have to keep your therapy appointments. Consistency and routine are the best ways on how to overcome social anxiety – they can make a big difference, especially when it comes to taking your medication

6. Eating Healthy Foods is a Treatment for Social Anxiety

A healthy diet that incorporates fruit, veggies, whole grains, and fish may be linked to reducing anxiety.

7. Sleep is Top for Anxiousness

Lack of sleep is one of the causes of social anxiety. You need plenty of healthy sleep to help reduce anxiety levels. If you aren’t sleeping well, speak to your doctor about it.

Sleep Importance

8. Get Out There

Don’t let your worries keep you isolated and reclusive; away from friends, loved ones, and activities. They can worsen over time if you don’t get out and seek help. It’s always easier to treat it when you get in early.

9. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a wonderful habit to form to help rid yourself of anxiety and stress. When you breathe deeper and slower, you are signaling your nervous system to calm down.

10. Avoid Sugary and Processed Foods

Research shows when you eat foods with a high glycemic index[3], you are contributing to depression and anxiety. You could experience highs and lows throughout the day, with increased anxiety, nervousness, and fatigue. They also contribute to inflammation, altering your brain structure and neurotransmitter function.

Find Support

11. Find Support

How to Overcome Social Anxiety can be achieved with the help of professional therapists. These professionals make a plan that’s tailored to your needs.

The experts will introduce you to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy[4], a wonderful treatment for social anxiety. It focuses on your underlying thoughts to determine how you act and feel. Therapists will try to help you change your thought patterns and reactions to handle stressful situations better.

12. Get Out Into Nature

Getting outside into nature helps you to be mindful of the peace and beauty around you. It is calming for the soul.

There Is A Phobia Of Being Alone

Yes, the phobia of being alone is called monophobia[5]. It’s the fear of being lonely, alone, or isolated. It is thought by experts that monophobia forms part of a group of mental health conditions called the agoraphobic cluster[6].

Frequently Asked Questions

The first is to acknowledge you have it. For many, it won’t just go away on its own without treatment for social anxiety.

Fortunately, some remedies will help get you through social situations and anxiety.

It can improve as you get older. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an excellent solution on how to overcome social anxiety. It is a non-medication option and very effective in helping to deal with anxiety.

Conclusion

A recent Sharecare survey discovered that in America, there has been an increase of 230% in anxiety since COVID-19 started. No wonder the question of how to overcome social anxiety has increased as well!

According to the Social Anxiety Institute, people have a huge fear of being judged or negatively evaluated by other people. This fear ranks as the third-largest mental health problem in the USA.

When you look up the term “social anxiety,” it is quoted as being a ‘generalized disorder that refers to people who feel uncomfortable in social situations.’ It goes further than that with some people not being able to speak in front of others or eat in front of others, and much more.

As we said above, there is good news. An anxiety disorder is not something you are born with. If you know you are a sufferer, be encouraged because there is a treatment for social anxiety. It will depend on how severe your anxiety is. But with effort and determination, it can be handled and can even go away – that’s for sure.

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