Do You Have Social Anxiety or Social Phobia? Understand Triggers and Tips To Overcome It

If you feel anxious in social places or talking to strangers, you might have social anxiety. Here is how to deal with it.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Apr 13, 2022Updated at: Apr 13, 2022
Do You Have Social Anxiety or Social Phobia? Understand Triggers and Tips To Overcome It

Our soul motto should be to live healthily as it helps keep us physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. Onlymyhealth is running Focus of the Month campaign wherein we focus on a specific category to spread awareness. This month our focus is on healthy living. Since anxiety is a common issue that a lot of people are dealing with, we will talk about social anxiety in this article. 

Nervousness is something that we all feel about certain situations or events but anxiety is not common. A lot of people get anxious when they are in a group of people other than their family and friends. Some have a higher level social anxiety that makes them sweaty and fearful when they attend a social gathering or a crowded place. When you are phobic to making social contacts especially physically, you might be dealing with social anxiety disorder. This can escalate to serious mental health problems over time and so, it is very important to deal with social anxiety. Refer to this article to know about social anxiety(social phobia) in detail.

What causes social anxiety?

This is not a genetic disorder that a person is born with but a personality & behaviour issue that is developed over time. Someone who was an extrovert as a kid might become an introvert in adulthood. Social anxiety is also a situation that someone lands up in unintentionally. Besides, some people have anxiety of a particular situation(s) while some get anxious about any and every social situation.

Also Read: Signs That You Are Struggling With High Functioning Anxiety

Here are some situations that trigger social anxiety in people:

  • Talking to strangers
  • Attending social family gatherings
  • Going to public events
  • Public speaking
  • Attending parties
  • Dining out with people
  • Dating
  • Meeting new people

Different people get triggered by different situations and so, there cannot be a definite cause of social anxiety. It is just an overwhelming fear(mostly an imagination by the person) that they might get humiliated or embarrassed or offended or judged. 

social anxiety

What are the symptoms of social anxiety?

Here are some possible social anxiety symptoms that a person may reflect when they feel anxious or phobic:

  • Getting self-conscious
  • Worried about looks, behaviour and personality judgment by others
  • Shy and not making eye contact
  • Looking uncomfortable and not talking to anyone
  • Sitting or standing at a corner away from people

While the above symptoms are visible to one and all, there are certain symptoms that only the person suffering from a social anxiety attack would experience. These are:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • Breathlessness
  • Lightheadedness or feeling dizzy
  • Yawning
  • Sweating or sweaty palms
  • Crying for no reason
  • Stomach discomfort
 
social anxiety causes

How to overcome social anxiety?

Firstly, we must clarify that social anxiety meaning is not a disease but it is a generalized disorder that can be easily dealt without really needing medicines. However, in some cases where anxiety is uncontrolled, people can seek treatment from a psychologist or therapist. Meanwhile, here are some tips to overcome your social anxiety easily and effectively.

Practice public speaking

If you get anxious about talking to strangers or making public appearances, you should start practising public speaking. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving a speech but you can participate in group discussions that will help you open up. 

Expose yourself to anxiety situations

If you know what triggers your social anxiety, you can easily control it. Slowly and gradually expose yourself to situations that makes you afraid and anxious. For example, if you are afraid of being approached by a stranger, you can start talking to strangers while travelling in a bus or metro. Since the don’t know it, they won’t judge you. This will only boost your self-confidence.

social anxiety

Seek support

If you are unable to get through these situations, you can ask a friend or family member for support. There is no harm in confiding in someone about your problem. Venting out might help a lot as it makes you feel lighter. If you feel uncomfortable about attending an event, you can take someone along to have a support system. They can help you open up and face situations to overcome social anxiety.

Also Read: Feeling Stressed and Don’t Know What To Do? Try Walking Meditation, It Helps

Do mindful meditation

Meditation is the ultimate therapy for almost all kinds of anxiety issues. Opening up your mind and senses bring positivity that helps overcome fears and anxiety. Meditation activates certain parts of the brain that is found to reduce anxiety.

Healthy diet can help

Eating clean leaves a positive impact on cognition. When you eat healthy food, it helps the mind and body align by receiving optimal nutrition. A lot of people consume junk and unhealthy when they are anxious which is the biggest mistake. When anxiety strikes, you should eat only healthy foods. For someone with social anxiety, limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine. These trigger anxiety making you more nervous and anxious.

Conclusion

If nothing seems to help, you can get cognitive behavioral therapy. Experts provide this therapy to ease anxiety symptoms. It is not impossible to overcome social anxiety if you are willing to. Just make up your mind and follow the tips mentioned in the article to say goodbye to your social anxiety!

Image credits- freepik

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