Manage Your Social Anxiety With These Simple Steps
What Is a Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder or social phobia can be understood through simple words. It is an overwhelming long-term fear of social situations. These social situations could be the fear of interacting with strangers, fear of shopping because of the social setting, and even, hurdles in everyday life situations that involve people being around you. Some key elements of a social anxiety disorder include sweating, heart rate increasing, heightened nervousness which hinders your behavior and not being able to make eye contact when indulging in a conversation.
How to Identify if You Have Social Anxiety?
There is a simple social anxiety test that you can use to evaluate yourself. This will help you to identify whether you have social anxiety or not. The core element of these symptoms is that they hinder your everyday life situations. So, your fear of being in a social setting changes your behavior. There becomes an active disliking for any kind of social interaction or social setting. Increased heart rate when people come and talk to you, sweating because of the nervousness you experience in a social setting, and preventing eye contact from anyone that is around you at the time. People commonly misidentify symptoms. Shyness, being an introvert, or not liking social settings, do not necessarily constitute social anxiety disorder.
Ways to Improve Your Social Anxiety
There are ways to improve your social anxiety and you can work on these things all by yourself! Some tips on improving your social anxiety are:
1) Controlled breathing. Whenever you find yourself in a position where you face social anxiety, you start to gain more control over your breathing. Deep inhales, holding your breath in for a few seconds, and then exhaling.
2) Muscle Relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation techniques are of immense help. Regular exercise can be of equal support to your mental health.
3) Breaking larger tasks into small ones. It is tough to have a big task that involves a lot of social interaction. This way, you can break that down into smaller tasks that will make you feel more comfortable. This can gradually lead to a great improvement in social anxiety.
4) Talking back to negative thoughts. Social anxiety disorder also brings with it, a lot of negative thoughts. These can involve thoughts when you are in a social setting or even thoughts when you are about to put yourself in a social situation that you dislike. These thoughts can often make you assume something negative which you believe that the other person is thinking about you, but they are not. So, it will always be helpful to challenge these thoughts with positive ones. A way to do this could be writing down all the negative thoughts that you might have felt in a day and writing positive ones to challenge them.
5) Senses. Your senses can be a huge calming factor. Sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Countering social anxiety disorder can become very easy with this. For some people, listening to your favorite music, smelling a scent that you like, or even chewing a piece of bubble gum of your favorite flavor, might make the anxiety drive away.
6) Food Choices. Certain foods have been proven by medical professionals and researchers, which help with anxiety disorders. Foods like fatty fish, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, etc. These can help reduce anxiety, increase serotonin levels, and reduce overall stress.
What Actions May Worsen Social Anxiety?
There are medical experts available to assist. If you think you may have a social anxiety condition, it is advisable that you see a doctor. If you repeatedly put yourself in uncomfortable situations in the hope that it will help you feel better, anxiety may get worse. It is always preferable to place oneself in situations with which you are familiar and at ease. Finally, drug addictions turn into a way for us to escape the tension and strain of everyday life. They adversely affect your health and greatly increase anxiety disorders. If you have trouble quitting any or all of these habits, you should visit a medical expert. Even addictions like caffeine or nicotine may affect your mental health. All of these behaviors have the potential to significantly exacerbate your anxiety, so it is preferable to avoid them or break them.
To get in touch with a mental health therapist for your anxiety or to simply get guidance and have somebody to talk to – head over to the website today!