Social anxiety feels quite similar to stage fright. Many people experience the fear of public performance and it can be overwhelming. Situations such as public speaking, especially in front of a big audience, meeting a very important person, being the centre of attention or attending different social encounters, could be very difficult to handle effectively. The physiological indications which usually accompany this type of anxiety may include intense fear, racing heart rhythm, sweating, trembling and blushing. Usually, people are thinking how they will accomplish to deal with their anxiety without anyone notice it. This thought alone could possibly bring even more anxiety. You can easily be carried away by your own feelings and thoughts and as a result, get taken away from your short or long-term goals. Nonetheless, social anxiety can be an obstacle to overcome with effort and bravery. Where do you start?
Tip #1: Breathe away your anxiety
Distance yourself a few minutes from your thoughts and take a deep breath. Once anxiety starts, is really difficult to control it. Relaxation techniques can be really helpful in situations like these. Inhale and exhale slowly for a few minutes. You will start feeling better very quickly.
Tip #2: Face your biggest fear
The truth is that everyone will experience discomfort in given situations. Everyone fears of something, although maybe on a different level. Uncertainty does exist. Are you ready to face it? You have to be willing to face your own fears and your own discomfort. Go ahead and act. Afterwards, you will feel more self-confident and you will value your actions. Always remember: encourage yourself through your own personal storms.
Tip #3: What practice and imagination can do better
The more you practice, the better you become. Through practice and rehearsals you gain more confidence and your self-worth will go higher. You will start trusting yourself and build up your self-approval. At the end, you might even enjoy what you are doing. Simultaneously, you can use your imagination and fix what’s broken. Imagine the ideal situation and try to achieve it. While being, of course, realistic, there is a way to use your cognition and your imagination in your favour. Ideally, how would you want the situation to go? Take a breath, smile and prepare for it.
Tip #4: Adapt your focus
Forget about your body. Forget about your voice trembling and your hands shaking. Try to stop worrying about your physical changes. When you tend to notice these changes, the anxiety increases. Try to focus your thoughts on the desired result and which is the way to attain it. Moreover, swift your focus from negative to positive. Do not concentrate on the negatives of this situation. Do not just think of what could go wrong. Try to think of what could go right. What is your motivation? Build a scenario in regards to the hidden reasons behind your actions. Imagine how great it will be if you challenge yourself. What if this situation instead of being a total disaster goes smoothly? You might feel better and start believing in yourself.
Tip #5: Choose psychotherapy
If you are having a dilemma surrounding psychotherapy, keep in mind that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the right treatment for you. Evidence shows that CBT is appropriate for social anxiety and very effective in alleviating the symptoms. This type of therapy can change the way you perceive yourself and the world around you and can also lead to permanent changes in your life. As a piece of advice, be prepared to work through the problem with consistency and persistence.