Social anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that involves intense symptoms concerning social activity and interaction. It often makes the routines and activities of everyday life difficult for those who suffer from it. Most people don’t have to think twice about shopping for groceries, going on a date, eating in a restaurant, or starting up a conversation with a coworker. But for people with social anxiety disorder, these scenarios provoke anxiety and distress. If you are one of the many people across America whose life has involved the symptoms of social anxiety, not all is hopeless. Overcoming the symptoms of social anxiety through a multifaceted approach is possible.
The Symptoms of Social Anxiety
Before diving into the best ways to overcome social anxiety, it’s worth defining what the symptoms of social anxiety are. Social anxiety disorder can manifest in numerous ways. Another name for this mental health issue is social phobia. The symptoms of social anxiety come in two forms: physical and emotional/behavioral. The physical symptoms are the actual bodily response, which in turn inform a person’s emotions and behavior.
Social anxiety disorder is known to cause sweating, elevated heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and trembling. As a result, people feel extreme anxiety, fear, nervousness, and worry. These psychological reactions might be due to an upcoming event, public speaking, or anything else that provokes fear or worry.
The behavioral outcomes end up looking like some of the following for many people with social anxiety disorder:
- Overanalyzing what you said or did immediately following an interaction
- Expecting the worst in advance of a social situation
- Avoiding public situations or social events
- Trying to limit interactions that require speaking or socializing
How to Overcome Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is far more than just nerves on a first date. It is also not to be confused with shyness or introversion. Social anxiety is a recognized disorder that requires at least some level of professional treatment in most cases. Managing stress and anxiety independently is possible to an extent, but it is unlikely to procure the type of benefit that seeking social anxiety treatment could.
Receiving therapy from a trained mental professional can offer insight into your disorder. It can also help pinpoint key anxiety triggers, equip you with coping strategies, and challenge negative thought patterns. Exposure therapy is one common treatment for some types of social anxiety that anxiety treatment centers may use. This treatment involves gradually exposing a patient to stimuli that provoke anxiety until the patient becomes comfortable. They will then be able to encounter a thing without an excessive anxiety response.
There are many things you can do outside of formal treatment to alleviate the symptoms of social anxiety. If you are actively getting treatment, your therapist may even implement some of these methods as homework between sessions. A few things to try in order to overcome the symptoms of social anxiety are:
- Explore what triggers your anxiety
- Challenge negative thoughts or unfounded beliefs
- Take small steps like planning a small get-together with trusted friends or planning a single question to ask at your next work meeting
- Roleplay with trusted loved ones
- Engage in relaxation techniques like yoga, stretching, or breathing exercises
Access Treatment at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
Social anxiety can be a particularly isolating disorder. It is important to remember that you are not alone. The mere idea of entering treatment may trigger anxiety. But an anxiety treatment center like the one operated by The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® offers a safe, supportive environment. At our treatment center, you can begin to overcome social anxiety and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® at 855.773.0614 or fill out our online form to start your recovery.