How To Stop Social Anxiety From Controlling Your Life

Anxious woman listening to woman talking in a group

    Fear is a great mechanism for warning you of impending danger, like If a lion was heading straight for you.  Fortunately, most of us don’t have to worry about wandering lions.  Unfortunately, in these modern times, fear is a very real experience for people with a social anxiety disorder and it has almost taken on a life of its own.  It controls where you can and can’t go, what you can and can’t do – making you feel powerless and constantly vulnerable.  But it’s all in your mind – literally.  Your mind is very powerful and it can either work for you or against you.  Read on and learn how to stop social anxiety from controlling your life.

    What Is Social Anxiety?

    It’s not unusual for people to feel anxious prior to meeting their partner’s parents for the first time or preparing to deliver a presentation to 100 people.  But social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is more extreme than that.

    People with social anxiety fear everyday social situations. They are especially afraid that others will think badly of them, criticize them or treat them unkindly because of the way they look or act in a social setting.  You can find out more about the symptoms here.

    Social anxiety is a real catch 22.  On the one hand, they hate being alone and on the other hand they have an intense fear of socializing.  But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Armed with a toolkit of knowledge, coping skills and supports it is possible to gain confidence and create an enjoyable social life.

    How Can You Treat Social Anxiety?

    There are a number of treatment options for Social Anxiety, such a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychotherapy, and medication. There is also a range of self-help treatments.   But the first important step is to learn about the brain and how the brain and anxiety fit together.  Having a clear understanding of how your brain reacts will be empowering knowledge for you, as you work to overcome social anxiety.

    Step One: Understand The Brain And Anxiety

    Picture of head and brain with the words Retrain Your MindThe cerebral cortex is the intellectual part of the brain that does all the thinking. It has a slower reaction time. On the other hand, the amygdala has a fast reaction. It is the part of the brain that is always on guard, looking out for danger. The amygdala initiates the ‘fight or flight’ reactions which quickly arise when danger is detected. It links by association not by reason or logic. So whatever you fear and run away from, the amygdala will link as a danger. Whenever the same thing appears in the future, the amygdala will send out an urgent warning. The fear memory is stored.

    The amygdala only learns what danger is according to your fear. If you express fear when encountering a snake, it will store that memory and alert you of danger every time you see a snake. The amygdala only learns by experience and can’t make any distinction between threats. It is just as likely to send out a danger warning when you see a feather – if a feather has fear linked to it. Hence their perceived fear of open spaces will elicit a danger warning regardless of its unrealistic threat. And this pattern will not change unless you retrain your brain.

    Step 2: Choose A Treatment Option

    See Your Doctor

    You can make an appointment to see your doctor. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and talk about your treatment options.  Treatment options may include medication, talking therapies such as counseling and psychotherapy or self-help treatments.

    Exposure Therapy

    Learn about Exposure Therapy. Exposure Therapy for social anxiety is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety disorders. It is based on the principle that anxiety is maintained by avoiding fear. And the more a person avoids the fear, the greater it becomes. To treat it, a person must be exposed to the fear long enough for them to realize that the negative consequences that they expected to occur, does not arise.  Therefore the anxiety subsides.

    A person can receive Exposure Therapy from a professional therapist but they can also use it as a self-help technique. Read how to treat social anxiety with Exposure Therapy by following the steps of the Treatment Plan here.

    Self-Hypnosis

    Self- hypnosis is another method of how to treat social anxiety.  It is a very affordable and calming treatment that you can use in the comfort of your own home. Choose from over 1000 self-hypnosis audio downloads from Uncommon Knowledge. They have a range of hypnosis downloads that addresses Social Anxiety or Social Phobia.

    You might like to check out Overcome Social Phobia or a pack called 10 Steps To Overcome Social Anxiety.  When you click the link you will be taken to a video where hypnotherapist, Mark Tyrrell talks about the treatment program.  You can also read the testimonials from former customers here.

    Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

    Another option is the Emotional Freedom Technique.  EFT is a gentle tapping technique (instead of needles) that stimulates the traditional Chinese acupuncture points.  This technique is used in combination with positive affirmations.  It can be used for a broad range of psychological problems.  Watch this video and get more free information from Dr. Carol Look here.

    RediCalm


    Another consideration is using supplements.  RediCalm is a clinically proven natural anxiety relief supplement.  It has good reviews on Amazon and claims to give fast relief for stress and anxiety. My son uses it for times when he is really anxious such as when he was getting ready for his first driving lesson.  His anxiety completely disappeared with 30 minutes of taking it.

     

    Yoga

    Yoga is a spiritual practice that includes physical bodily positions, breathing techniques, and simple meditation. There are many physical benefits of regular yoga sessions.  Benefits include improvements in muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and posture. Yoga may also help with mental and emotional problems. Yoga is a calming practice that encourages relaxation, slow breathing, and building self-awareness. Join a local yoga class or do an online yoga class at home. Try a beginner’s class here.

    Meditation

    Woman meditatingFinally, meditation is a technique for resting and clearing the mind and achieving an emotionally calm state. Many people use meditation to relieve stress and anxiety. It is recommended for anyone who wants to achieve calmness and inner peace. Find out more by reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s Beginner’s Guide To Meditation. Also, try one of her recommended meditations for fast anxiety relief here.

    I hope you found this post interesting and helpful. Please leave any comments about the post below or to share your own thoughts and experiences.

     Train Your Mind For Success

    DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

    The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

     

      2 thoughts on “How To Stop Social Anxiety From Controlling Your Life

      1. Paul says:

        Amazing tips for providing some relief for those that suffer from social anxiety. I tend to have social anxiety with smaller groups but fine when speaking in front of a large group. When in a group of 4-5 people and the focus goes towards me I feel targeted even though are only looking for my input or advice, I will try some of your listed options, will probably start with more of the non-medicated ones first.

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