Different techniques and treatments exist to treat social anxiety. However, not all will help you as much as some others can. Let’s look at some tips on how you can successfully manage social anxiety.
What is Social Anxiety and How Can it be Treated?
The first step to successfully managing your social anxiety disorder is understanding exactly what it is and how it affects your life on a daily basis. This disorder has several components, but this article will focus on fear, avoidance/safety behaviors, and negative thought patterns.
Fear is one of the main feelings of this social anxiety disorder. You are afraid of being judged by others, humiliated or embarrassed, rejected, etc.
Avoid certain situations to escape the fear when you think about them or experience them. For example: walking around with headphones on so people won’t try to talk to you. Someone with social anxiety will also normally have their personal bubble as big as possible not to be touched unexpectedly by anyone. Another safety behavior is someone who may always stand in a corner at parties or avoid parties altogether because they are too scared to engage with other people there.
Negative Thought Patterns
Those suffering from social anxiety will usually think negatively about themselves, others around them, and the situation that they are in. Some people will also use black-and-white thinking, which is when you perceive things as either good or bad, right or wrong, with no middle ground. Another type of negative thought pattern is catastrophizing, which is when you blow small issues out of proportion and turn them into huge events. This last one can be dangerous because it can lead to depression if left unchecked.
What are the Different Treatments Available?
This is for those who have severe social anxiety or lasted longer than six months. Most commonly prescribed are antidepressants, which can greatly reduce the symptoms of this disorder. However, it is imperative to seek professional advice from a doctor.
Meeting with others who share your disorder can be comforting and beneficial because they will understand their struggles. There are also online support groups and drug rehab available where you can chat with other socially anxious people.
Many types of therapy use group settings, individual sessions, and online programs. The most common type of treatment available is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This type of therapy focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and learning to replace them with positive thoughts so you will feel more confident in yourself.
Many self-help therapies are available, such as cognitive restructuring, which helps train the mind to think more positively about oneself and one’s abilities. In addition, mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress while improving concentration and clarity. Lastly, another self-help treatment option is bibliotherapy or guided imagery process, where you listen or read something that has already been proven beneficial for someone else. All of these treatments work well in different ways, so a recommended option is to try them all to see what works best for you.
Some people choose to go the natural route and try supplements, herbs, or essential oils that may help reduce anxiety. Another alternative treatment is acupuncture, which helps balance the body’s energy and boosts the immune system. Lastly, some find relief in Yoga or meditation, which lessens anxiety and improves concentration.