Social anxiety is an incredibly common form of anxiety disorder. It can make many situations most of us consider normal challenging and unpleasant for people who suffer from it. This ranges from being in a group of friends to talking to a stranger on the street. In extreme cases, sufferers isolate themselves from their friends and family, becoming more miserable and anxious as they do so.
Fortunately, however, social anxiety can be beaten. The bad news is that there’s no quick fix, but with persistence and therapy, it can be overcome.
What are the symptoms of social anxiety?
The experience of social anxiety is a very personal one, and different people will have different symptoms. However, there are some common symptoms. Social anxiety can manifest in the following ways:
• Negative thinking about yourself such as ‘I must look silly.’
• Feeling shaky, dizzy, or disorientated
• Butterflies in your stomach
• Heart racing
When is social anxiety a problem?
Social anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to impact on your daily life and things that you want to do. It can also be a problem if your job requires that you do a lot of public speaking or meeting of new people.
These two are examples of quite ordinary things to get slightly anxious about, but with social anxiety, the worry is disproportionate to the task at hand. For instance, some people may get very anxious waiting in the queue in a supermarket because of having to speak to the cashier when they’re purchasing their shopping. If you’re getting overly worried in circumstances like this, you may have social anxiety.
Reducing social anxiety
There are some different ways in which you can challenge your social anxiety. A few of these are listed below.
1. Try and test your thoughts by applying logical thinking to them. Ask yourself questions like “how realistic is this thinking?’.
2. Ask yourself whether people will judge you harshly if you make a mistake. Try and put yourself in their shoes and think about how you’d react if they made a mistake.
3. Learn breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques.
4. Slowly challenge your fears. Face them gradually and work your way up.
Social anxiety and hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a very effective treatment for all forms of anxiety disorders, and it works by getting to the bottom of whatever is causing the anxiety in the first place. Hypnotherapy will also help you to identify negative habits and change them slowly so that you create more positive ones in their place. Often with anxiety disorders, people develop avoidance tactics, and hypnotherapy can help you identify these and change them.
Finally, hypnotherapy can help you with your self-confidence. Sometimes all that’s needed to overcome social anxiety is a bit more confidence in your abilities. These goals can all be achieved, and after a few sessions with a qualified hypnotherapist, you’ll start to see a difference. You’ll start to see benefits in other parts of your life too, as your anxiety decreases and your enjoyment of social activities increases.