How to Overcome Social Anxiety

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Overcome Social Anxiety
Overcome Social Anxiety

How to Overcome Social Anxiety. Social anxiety can be a debilitating and shameful feeling. Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety of crowds, groups and even paying at counters in stores or restaurants. This disorder is not something that people have to live with, and there are some basic fundamentals that can help overcome social anxiety. Following these steps to follow when feeling socially anxious.

Ask a trusted person to accompany you in a social situation which you feel uncomfortable. You could ask a therapist or a spouse, anyone who would help you feel safe.

Survey the situation and become familiar with the surroundings when you find yourself in the situation. Note that there aren't any palpable dangers nearby and feel your body reactions (i.e. heavy breathing, pulse racing, sweaty palms, shaking, etc.). Know that your body reacting to your fear and you are not dying.

Enter the situation or place with your trusted person. Look to your trusted person to help guide and reassure you. Everything will be okay and that there is nothing to fear.

Know that you can cope with the situation whatever happens, if you are embarrassed or frightened you will deal with and and life will go on. Realize that short of death, you are resilient and remember that people are just people.

Stay in the situation for at least five minutes at first. If you feel yourself getting too anxious, leave the situation and only return once you have calmed down. This step helps you become accustomed to the anxiety and integrated slowly into the experience.

Remember these steps and repeat them as necessary for every situation that causes the anxious feelings to arise. Remember to practice relaxation techniques and positive, comforting self talk to help you endure the experience(s).

Tips & Warnings

  • Relaxation techniques are extremely helpful in calming social anxiety; breathing exercises and meditation can be used in absence of the situation to prepare you for the actual social situations that cause the anxiety.
  • If you anxiety is paralyzing, look to a trained medical professional for possible medications to help with your anxiety. .Many anti-anxiety medications help people but you must consult your physician before taking any new medications. Also, many herbal remedies (ex., St. Johns Wort) work well, too .
  • Work on your self esteem. Many social anxieties stem from a sense of insecurity and a lack of esteem. Positive self talk will help you to realize that there is nothing to fear from most people.
  • Joining a support group can be extremely helpful in overcoming social anxiety, as it involves being socially active with a group of like-minded individuals with the same problem. Go with a trusted person the first few times and try to integrate yourself so you can discuss your problem.
  • If you find yourself in the midst of a full fledge panic attack (shortness of breath, shaking, light-headedness, chest pain) leave the situation so you can return to a normal metabolic state. Seek medical attention if these become frequent.

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