How to Deal with Social Anxiety
Social anxiety can happen to an otherwise social butterfly. Individuals may find themselves at ease when talking to a big group of friends, but once they’re asked to give a speech in front of a crowd, anxiety sets in. People get nervous, their hands start to shake, and they trip over words that were otherwise easy to say.
Fear of being judged – positively and negatively – cause many to suffer from social anxiety.
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If a person is naturally shy, the anxiety becomes even worse. People that suffer from social anxiety don’t want to stand out from the crowd; they want to blend in with the crowd. And it’s easy to get social anxiety and fear mixed up. Social anxiety causes you to avoid situations rather than struggle through them or feel uncomfortable.
Dealing with social anxiety can involve many paths, and the right path for you depends on your own personality. A few of the best ways to overcome social anxiety, include:
Work with a Therapist
Working with a therapist is a surefire way to start overcoming your anxiety. A specialist that deals primarily with anxiety disorders will be able to help you break through your crippling fear, and the right therapist will be someone that you can confide in.
Self-help Manuals and Books
Social anxiety affects millions of people, and there are manuals and books available that aim to help you overcome this anxiety. Self-help may be the right choice for you if you simply cannot go to a therapist, or your anxiety is holding you back from going to therapy. Many individuals will use self-help books so that they can overcome their anxiety enough to seek professional help.
There are also individuals that have been able to overcome their social anxiety on their own with just self-help methods.
Exposure Through Hierarchy
Exposure is truly the only way to overcome anxiety. The way that this works is to rate your top 10 most anxiety-filled situations that you can think of. Realistic situations that you can go into today, if so desired.
The goal is to then go from the bottom of the list, the least anxious, all the way to the top of the list where the pinnacle of anxiety exists. You want to provoke your anxiety, like going up a ladder where you’ll eventually realize that each step will help you feel just a little more comfortable in these social environments. Social anxiety is a work in progress, and you’ll also want to make goals along the way that will help you overcome your anxiety. Over time and with immense diligence, you’ll be able to overcome these stressful situations.