Suffering from social anxiety can substantially lower quality of life. It prevents individuals from sharing experiences with others, simply because they have an overwhelming fear that they might be humiliated in some way. In this article the focus will be on how to overcome social anxiety through non-evasive measures.
Step No. 1 – Find Help
Social anxiety therapy requires some kind of guidance and support structure. For individuals who don’t feel it’s at a dangerous level yet, there are many self-help manuals available. These manuals include a lot of useful information that can help to build a coping strategy.
For those who realize the disorder has gained too much ground, a therapist specializing in the field is probably the best option.
Step No. 2 – Become Aware
In order to successfully get past social anxiety, it’s necessary to pay attention to the signs. For example, what does a person with social anxiety disorder experience physically? The heart starts racing, there’s possible sweating and a shortness of breath. These are tell-tale signs the anxiety is taking over.
Learn to recognize the symptoms and how to control them. For instance, take deep breathes the moment a public place is entered. This will calm the heart rate and empower some control over what is happening mentally.
Step No. 3 – Exposure
They say the best way to overcome a fear is to face it, which is something that rings true in this situation. Starting with small gestures, such as sitting on the couch and simply visualizing a crowd can be a good stepping stone. This will trigger all the physical signs without the possibility of it becoming uncontrollable.
From there a bigger step can be taken and the person might actually walk into a slightly crowded area for a short time. Bit by bit the social anxiety can be seen for what it really is, which helps a lot in overcoming it.
Step No. 4 – Switching Focus
According to Justin Weeks, a Ph.D as well as assistant professor of psychology and director of the Center for Evaluation and Treatment of Anxiety at Ohio University, people with social anxiety should start setting objective behavioral goals. In other words, it’s about switching focus from things that can’t be controlled to the things that can.
A person can set an objective task to speak at least once within a group. Instead of worrying about things like blushing or sweaty palms, they should simply focus on achieving their objective and experience the joy of pushing through.
Step No. 5 – Pay Attention To Internal Dialogue
Another suggestion on how to overcome social anxiety resides with internal dialogue. Not many people realize how negatively they influence themselves through “mental” discussions. What they say in the privacy of their mind is much more powerful than anything somebody else can say.
Start building confidence by changing internal dialogue to positive affirmations. Take credit for every single thing that is done right, starting with small elements such as getting out of bed on time or brushing teeth a little longer. The lack of self-confidence plays a big part in the suffering of social anxiety.