Coping With Social Anxiety
Social Anxiety is one of the many forms of anxiety that a person can experience. Social anxiety is the feeling of worry or fear that center around our interactions with others. When in these interactions, feelings of being judged negatively or looked down upon by our peers tend to creep in. Most times, these feelings occur prior to and during the interaction themselves, but it is also possible to look back upon and still have feelings of social anxiety.
There are many symptoms that may come with social anxiety, such as physical symptoms of sweating, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath to psychological symptoms such as the refusal to go out and racing thoughts. Social anxiety may be experienced by many people, but it begins to be a problem when it debilitates somebody.
There are some ways to diffuse the feelings of angst and worry. Here is a list of common, non-substance ways of coping with social anxiety.
Changing your mindset
One of the best starting points to combat social anxiety is to realize that feelings of anxiety are natural. Anxiety is a normal response to perceived moments of discomfort or danger. Although anxiety is a normal part of life, it also is not what defines us as who we are. Anxiety only presents itself in situations and do not make up our entire genetic makeup.
If people start to think differently about the anxiety they have, there is a chance that those people will be able to successfully combat any feelings of dread. There is the notion that excitement and anxiety produce similar feelings of uneasiness, so that may be one possible way to think about anxious feelings. A person might be able to shift focus from the major stimulus that creates the anxiety to smaller and more manageable tasks.
There is a chance that if you can alter one’s thoughts on the problem which is causing anxiety, that you may be able to successfully fight off feelings of anxiety.
One of the symptoms that a person who has anxiety might encounter is shortness of breath. Shortness of breath leads to a higher pull of oxygen without the removal of CO2. In other words, you trick your body into thinking you need oxygen, when in fact you actually have too much. This could have detrimental problems physically and mentally.
The obvious solution to this is to practice breathing exercises and trying to relax. You can practice breathing in a slow and controlled manner by lying on a bed and really focusing on your breath. By expanding your abdomen and slowly counting to 3 or 4, you will be able to start to control your breathing. Once you have control while lying down, you may practice standing or sitting.
Another option is to practice yoga, which incorporates breathing and stretching. Yoga has a steep learning curve, but with patience and practice, you will be able to fully control your breathing and feel refreshed. Doing yoga and working on breathing exercises will work to ease feelings of social anxiety.
Creating and accomplishing realistic goals
A person will not jump into the deep end before they learn to swim, nor would they run a marathon if they have never attempted to run. So why would somebody suffering from social anxiety take the plunge into unrealistic goals?
A person who is suffering from social anxiety might find it beneficial to create a list of manageable goals. By putting yourself in situations and hitting a few reasonable goals, a person with start to have some positive feedback. This positive feedback for completing goals will lead a person to make and attempt bigger goals. As these goals are met, feelings of social anxiety should subside and it may make it a lot easier for a person to accomplish greater social tasks.
Having a companion
Nobody likes to feel dread by themselves. Having somebody who is there with you is a step to overcome social anxiety because that companion will be able to understand what it is you are going through. A friend is a good way to join in group conversations. A close peer is a great person to have when you are giving a speech in front of a group. There are multiple companions that you may choose from depending on the situation.
One great companion to have is a pet. A pet can automatically diffuse a crowd and feelings of anxiety to fit into the crowd. Also, having a pet with you also serves many purposes around the house, since they will always be there to add happiness to your life. If you are looking to getting a pet to help with your social anxiety, read more on our home page today.