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3 Effective Ways To Manage Your Social Anxiety
Those who suffer from social anxiety often feel that they are the only ones who are troubles and everyone around them feel absolutely perfect. You really don’t have to live with the paralyzing fear.
You may be witty, humorous, beautiful, successful but you could still have social anxiety. SAD or Social Anxiety Disorder affects close to 15 million Americans. Social anxiety is also often referred to as social phobia, the fear of being judged. The social situation could be anything, but it is the fear of not being liked, not being accepted and being judged is what takes over the thoughts. However, this expected judgment or expected rejection does not really happen, it is a figment of one’s imagination.
While it is perfect to feel anxious before appearing for an interview, it does not make any sense to feel the same level of anxiety before a zumba class. But, never never confuse simple shyness or introversion with SAD. It tends to have a rather debilitating effect on one’s relationships, performance at work, and academic success.
The following situations are commonly feared by people with social phobia:
Talking to other people
Talking in front of other people
Going to gatherings and parties
Sending text messages
But, there’s no reason to fret. There’s a lot that you can do. Just keep in mind the following steps:
First things first, learn to differentiate between anxiety and reality. What you need to do is to change and fine tune the dialogue you have with yourself in your head. There is a constant stream of thoughts in our head. We constantly have thoughts like, not wanting to go for that office lunch with colleagues. Because you are thinking that you are clumsy, and you will spill food on your clothes and then obviously everyone will make fun of you and judge you. Here’s what you need to remember at this point. No one, absolutely no one can predict the future, everyone makes mistakes and that it is absolutely okay to embarrass yourself in front of others. It is really not the end of the world.
We agree that diverting your focus elsewhere is a good strategy, but it may not be possible at all times. The trick is to not focus on the physical symptoms that you may be facing. Yes, your heart is probably racing, but concentrate on the conversation that you are having with the other person. If you find that to be difficult, then try to focus on the person. Yes, it is tough to get through this, but try it, totally worth it. It can lessen your anxiety and make you a more active participant.
Okay, so you don’t have to become a social butterfly overnight. Don’t change your core and please anyone. Make goals that are reasonable. Start small, it always works. Skip eating lunch alone and begin with sitting with a few people. With time you will become comfortable.
You don’t have to be ashamed if you suffer from social anxiety. It is a mental illness and can be treated, for which you either reach out to a medical practitioner for help or develop your coping mechanisms.
Breathe, because you deserve to be healthy and happy.
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