Social anxiety is a type of mental illness that can make people feel extremely anxious and uncomfortable in social situations. It is not clear what causes social anxiety, but it seems to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
There are many different treatments for social anxiety including medications, psychotherapy and even alternative treatments such as yoga and meditation.
9 Ways for alleviating or reducing social anxiety symptoms.
There are no quick fixes when it comes to overcoming social anxiety, but you can definitely improve your life by making these changes.
Physical exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits for our overall health. One study found that just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise improved mood, self esteem, reduced depression levels, increased sociability and had positive effects on overall quality of life in adults with generalized SAD(social Anxiety Disorder).
Meditation, or mindfulness can be an extremely helpful way to deal with social anxiety. According to one study published in the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, mindfulness was effective at reducing self-reported symptoms of social anxiety in people who had generalized SAD.
3) Yoga/relaxation techniques
Similar to meditation, yoga and certain relaxation techniques can help reduce the symptoms of social anxiety. A study conducted in Japan showed that a 12 week course in Yoga or Qigong (similar to Yoga) significantly reduced the severity of social anxiety in people with generalized SAD.
4) Changing your lifestyle
Social Anxiety Disorder can be extremely limiting and sufferers often find themselves unable to do the things they want. However, there are many simple changes you can make to your lifestyle that can help reduce social anxiety. For example instead of eating at fast food restaurants every day eat home cooked meals or take your lunch to work several days a week. You could also try waking up 30 minutes earlier and exercising or meditating before going to work or school.
5) Build up your social activity gradually
If you live a very isolated life and don’t see anyone besides family members and coworkers, then it can be extremely difficult to overcome social anxiety since eventually the fear becomes so overwhelming that it eventually paralyzes you. When overcoming social anxiety there is nothing wrong with starting small and building up gradually. Start by going to a coffee shop once a week, then eventually start making plans with friends for lunch or dinner. Eventually you will learn that the fear you have been experiencing is irrational and nothing bad actually happens when you get out of your comfort zone.
6) Challenge negative thoughts
In cognitive-behavioral therapy people are taught strategies to challenge negative thoughts that are common among people with social anxiety, such as “What if I say something foolish?” or “I can’t stand being the center of attention.” After learning these techniques it is advised that you practice them every time you have a negative thought.
7) Cognitive restructuring
Cognitive restructuring is a technique used in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy that helps you learn how to identify, understand and eventually change negative thought patterns. A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that this technique was helpful in reducing the severity of social anxiety, depression, nervousness or feelings of inferiority among people with SAD.
8) Exposure therapy
Exposure therapy is an effective treatment for social anxiety. Exposure therapy helps you face your fears and overcome them by gradually introducing yourself to the things that scare you most. For example if you are afraid of public speaking, make a point to call someone on the phone every day, then schedule a meeting with a coworker. Eventually your fears will diminish and you will be able to face your fears more easily.
There is very little scientific evidence supporting the use of hypnotherapy as a treatment for social anxiety, however it can still be a helpful tool in overcoming social anxiety. A study conducted by Clinical Psychologist Dr. Yvonne Gillham at the University of Arkansas found that hypnotherapy can help significantly reduce social anxiety in both adults and children.
Social anxiety is a mental illness that makes people feel extremely anxious and uncomfortable in social situations. Social anxiety can greatly interfere with a person’s ability to live their life and achieve certain goals such as going out with friends, talking to strangers or dating someone that they like.
There are numerous options for dealing with social anxiety, including drugs, psychotherapy, and alternative treatments such as yoga and meditation. Social anxiety is a prevalent mental health condition that affects anybody, regardless of who they are or where they come from. It’s crucial to remember that you’re not alone; we can conquer our worries if we work together.