How to get rid of Social Anxiety
What is Social Anxiety?
First and foremost I would like to begin by describing exactly what Social Anxiety is, and how it affects different people in different situations. I’m sure if you found this article then you probably have some kind of idea what it is but for those of you who don’t then let me explain. It’s a very common and misunderstood psychological issue and is the fourth most common mental health diagnosis in the US with approximately 15 million US citizens suffering from it.
In a nutshell someone with Social Anxiety (SA) has an intense fear of typical social situations because they are worried that they will be scrutinised and judged by others. As you can imagine this creates a ‘vicious circle’ in which people suffering from SA avoid typical situations thus making them more anxious and scared of socialising. These social situations can range from talking to people they do not know on the phone to being too scared to leave their own house.
Suffering from SA impacts your life in a huge way. You constantly feel that people are judging you and scrutinising every single thing that you do and every single word that comes out of your mouth. Normal tasks which most people take for granted – such as socialising, eating out at a restaurant, shopping, or even just going to work every day feel like huge ordeals and may gradually wear you down. It seriously affects your quality of life.
Thankfully these days there are plenty of options for people who suffer from Social Anxiety and want to live a much happier life. I’m excited to share these options with you later on in this article and I’m positive they will help you on your journey to getting over your Social Anxiety.
What are the symptoms of Social Anxiety?
Whilst every sufferer of Social Anxiety tends to experience different symptoms these below are believed to be the most common:
- Fear of social performance – This could be anything from playing in a local team sport to performing at your local open mic night. Whilst it’s safe to say that most people would be a little nervous at the thought of performing at their local open mic night SA sufferers wouldn’t even entertain the idea. Extreme sufferers of SA may even be too self-conscious to sing along to their favourite song in the car on the way to work.
- Fear of scrutiny – When you suffer from Social Anxiety you believe that every person you see or speak to is scrutinising your every word and every action. This can lead to avoidance of social situations or in extreme cases even leaving your own house.
- Fear and avoidance of social situations – Sufferers of SA tend to be fearful of ‘normal’ social situations such as dates, parties and even family gatherings. They will try their best to avoid these social situations at all costs.
- Anticipatory anxiety – If a plan to attend a social event is made in advance then someone suffering from SA will constantly be thinking about the event right up until that very day. They will overthink each intricate detail about how all eyes will be on them and how they will make a fool of themselves in front of everybody.
- Changing routines – When you are fearful of social situations the easiest solution is to completely avoid them altogether. This could include changing the time you get the train in to work to avoid bumping in to people you may know or cancelling a social gathering because some people you have never met will be attending.
If you suffer from Social Anxiety yourself then I’m sure you can relate to at least a couple of the above symptoms, if not all of them. Some may affect you more than others but I’m willing to bet that at least one of them affects your life on a daily basis.
How to get rid of Social Anxiety?
I want to make it clear that I am by no means an expert when it comes to Social Anxiety or mental issues in general. I’m just using my own experiences with curing my own SA as a guide. I used to suffer from it quite bad. In fact, just 12 months ago I don’t think I would have been able to write and publish this article due to fearing what people would say or think about it. Now I’m not bothered about that, if this article helps just one person overcome their issues then I’ll be more than happy. I know how much SA can hold someone back in life and it certainly held me back doing the things I love with the people I love!
The thing that used to annoy me the most when discussing my Social Anxiety with friends or family was when they used to tell me to “not care about what anyone else thinks”. This used to drive me insane. They seemed to think that you have a special switch in your brain that you could magically flick and then you go from being a socially anxious person, to suddenly the most confident person to grace the earth walking up to random people and having a meaningful conversation with them.
Of course it’s not their fault and they’re only trying to help you out. It must be quiet hard for someone who has never experienced Social Anxiety to properly get their head round the idea.
For people who suffer from extreme SA (i.e. unable to leave your own house) then I feel the only way for you to address your issues is through a therapist/shrink. I would start off by going to visit your doctor and getting them to refer you to a specialist. This may feel like a drastic option but I promise that you will need to do this at some point in your life so you may as well do this sooner rather than later.
If you are like I used to be and suffer from mild SA (i.e. fearful of meeting new people or fear of social performance) then there are much less drastic options open to you. I was lucky enough to be sent a link to a SA program from a good friend of mine that single-handedly saved me from my issues. I’m not going to pretend that it was easy – it certainly wasn’t! This program forced me to step outside my comfort zone and eventually made me realise how good I really am at socialising and meeting new people. I truly never knew how much I could enjoy socialising and being myself and dread to think where I would be now had I not took the leap and implemented this program. My friends and family couldn’t be happier for me and they cannot believe how much I have changed in such a short space of time. I really hope you are as fortunate as I was and seek help immediately! Remember, make “tomorrow” today!
If you want to change your life the same way that I did and improve your life for the better then use the exact program that worked for me: http://anxietysanctuary.com/getridofsocialanxiety
Thank you ever so much for reading. I hope you have a great day and an ever better year!
Think it’s impossible to suffer from social anxiety if you’re famous? Think again! Check our article on famous people with social anxiety.