Social anxiety is a disorder in which everyday exchanges bring significant discomfort to an individual. This type of anxiety isn’t a fear of being judged, shyness, or introversion. Someone suffering from social anxiety has issues with human interaction that are potentially debilitating. If you suspect you might be suffering from a social anxiety disorder, please call Sunstone Recovery at 855.833.9199 today for information about the virtual anxiety treatment options we offer.
What are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are relatively common, with almost 20 percent of the adult population in the U.S. experiencing an anxiety disorder every year. The most common anxiety disorders are:
- Social anxiety disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
One of the most common anxiety disorders today is social anxiety. The isolation of Covid-19 quarantine exacerbated this disorder for many. We’ve all felt nervous, shy, or embarrassed at times, and when placed in unfamiliar situations, it’s a con to question your social skills. Activities like public speaking or going on a first date are known to give even the most socially confident people a case of jitters. Occasional anxiousness is normal and does not fit the criteria for an anxiety disorder. But for those who experience intense fear of judgment and rejection daily, social situations can feel like a nightmare.
Individuals sometimes turn to substance abuse out of desperation to take the edge off the extreme discomfort felt during social interactions. About 20 percent of people suffering from this brand of anxiety also experience drug and alcohol dependence, so it is imperative to get treatment as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of a dangerous addiction.
Are You Suffering from Social Anxiety?
An anxiety disorder can affect every facet of life, including family, romantic relationships, work, school, and social life. If you have an unaddressed social anxiety disorder, your suffering can be intense. Many people are fully aware of their anxiety disorder, but the condition itself prevents them from seeking treatment. Individuals with social anxiety fear positive interactions as much as negative ones. They often don’t want any attention, as social interactions cause noticeable outward symptoms that can be hard to manage.
As an anxiety disorder goes untreated, over time, you find little joy in engaging in situations with the people around you and can isolate yourself. If you think you may have a social anxiety disorder and haven’t sought treatment, there are simple methods you can try in the meantime to help ease your symptoms, such as:
Challenge Your Negative Thoughts When Possible
Actively questioning the validity of your negative thoughts can be an effective way to reduce symptoms of social anxiety. Start by identifying what idea is causing your anxiety and question whether it is based on reality or the result of a cognitive distortion like mind-reading or predicting the future.
Stop Focusing on Yourself
It’s hard to stop anxiety about social interactions when you dissect and pick apart everything you say and do. We often turn inward and focus too much on how people perceive us, and we can misjudge a situation. When we focus on others and strive to be present, we can make genuine connections.
Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle
How you treat your body has a significant impact on your emotional life, including social anxiety. Some simple keys for health and body wellness include:
- Limiting caffeine
- Healthy eating choices
- Sticking to a sleep routine
- Cutting off drugs and alcohol
Practice Breathing Techniques
When your body experiences anxiety, many physical changes take place. These changes can include increased heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and muscle tension. Practicing techniques to slow down your breathing can help you take back control of your mind. Several breathing exercises can trick your mind into not experiencing the anxiety as intensely.
Be Kind to Yourself
Self-compassion is a large part of reducing your anxiety. Many of our anxious events are based on our negative self-talk and rigid expectations of how we should ac
You’ll have days where you slip back into old thinking patterns but when your social anxiety returns full force, try to speak to yourself as you would a friend. By giving yourself grace and room to make mistakes, you can become more comfortable in social situations.
Find Relief from Your Social Anxiety Disorder with Sunstone Recovery
New neural pathways and more robust social skills don’t develop overnight. The journey away from social anxiety and isolation can be long and sometimes complex. But it is worth the effort. Is your social anxiety interrupting your life n a daily basis? If so, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from Sunstone Recovery today at 855.833.9199.