Social anxiety is when a person feels extremely afraid of being judged by others. Also, being very self-conscious in everyday social situations or avoiding to meet new people is a symptom. Mental Health Information says an individual may have social anxiety disorder if he/she has been feeling this way for at least six months. That is not all, when these feelings make it hard for the individual to do everyday tasks – such as talking to people at work or school.
Vanessa Van Edwards the author of the book captivate, defines social anxiety as the fear of interacting with other people that will bring on self-consciousness feeling, negatively judged and evaluated and as a result leads to avoidance of social interaction. The following are situations we find ourselves in which brings out the anxiety in us and ways to help solve them.
Signs and symptoms of Anxiety.
Speaking in front of people or groups.
When you find it difficult to speak in front of people either during a school or work presentation, you may be suffering from this disorder. Note that, it is normal to feel a little anxious or nervous before a presentation or giving a speech. This becomes a disorder when you are unable to give the speech at all on several occasions.
This is a term used to describe a range of emotions, such as feeling faint, weak or unsteady. For instance; you are called to your boss’s office because you had this brilliant idea you shared with a friend to solve a problem at work. This friend submitted your idea alongside the brain behind which is you. On your way to the office, you practice what to say but then immediately you are in front of the office, you begin to feel dizzy and anxious you can make it pass the gate. Instead you return to your office and make all the excuses you can come up with.
This scenario is a sign you are suffering from anxiety. why because, you are worried, nervous or feeling uneasy about the uncertain outcome of the conversation with your boss.
Other signs include the following.
Rapid, shallow breathing and shortness of breath.
Pains(especially neck, shoulders and back), restlessness, tremors and shaking.
Headache, sweating, and numbness.
Chocking, dry mouth, stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea
Answering the phone, eating or drinking in front of others, talking to someone you find attractive, among others are the situation you cannot ignore. If you find yourself doing them, you may be suffering from anxiety disorder.
There are so many ways to free yourself from this and in this article, 6 ways will be listed.
Examine Evidence of your Anxious thoughts:
Why is this a solution? This is because, social Anxiety starts with our thoughts. Just like you are self – conscious, so it the person you are thinking will be bothered by what you say or do is. Before you redraw yourself from speaking because of your consciousness, examine your thoughts and figure out what, why and how to go about speaking instead. The person you think will be bothered may not be thinking about you. You can tell yourself “why worry it may not happen”. Yeah, it may happen is what pulls you back but, there is an alternative called it may not happen so check the options available well.
You can choose to exercise in general and it would be helpful, however, when you find yourself in a social situation and you feel there is a need to get out, then, you can breathe in and out slowly to calm yourself down. When you are anxious you realize that you breathe faster than normal, so calming yourself is a start. It can be difficult to get this done suddenly so you can as well practice breathing as an exercise. Your breath helps determine the mood you are in. This phobia or anxiety is born out of the feelings we have.
Have a check sheet with you
You can get yourself a check sheet. To start, you must first Identify why and how your anxiety started and the checklist would be your reactions towards social situations from time to time. This is an act of checking how well you are handling the situations you find yourself in. Whether you are doing well or you need to add something to make it work if you are not doing well. But this is not magic. Practice they say makes a man perfect. It would take your time and effort so do not give up. It may be hard so always start again when you fail without giving up.
Imagine the worst-case scenario
You have been called to give a presentation on behalf of the marketing team since most of the paperwork was your idea and done by you. The question is, what could go wrong? Would you die? Would you faint immediately you stand facing people? Yeah.. these questions are kind of extreme so what could it be that is preventing you from giving the speech? What is preventing you from going forward? The answer is quite simple: No one other than you can stop you. You think and you react. Help starts from you.
Remind yourself Anticipation is worse than reality.
What you keep on thinking would happen is worse than what could happen. I’m shy so I can’t do this. When your daily life is interrupted because of your anticipation and thoughts, then there is a problem. Speaking in front of people or doing what you feel like doing is not wrong. Thinking of what others might say or think of you does not define you. Neither should that prevent you from being you. So remind yourself that what you are anticipating is worse than reality.
Consider Getting Help
Lastly getting therapy for this phobia is not a bad idea. If you try all these and yet have this anxiety disorder, I suggest you see a therapist or Doctor. In the society I grew up, when you talk of seeing a therapist, it is seen as though you have gone mad or lost your memory or something serious. I don’t know about your society but seeing a doctor is nothing wrong. Taking care of yourself Is first. others come later.
Thanks for reading and i hope you took something out of this article.