It is quite common for many to feel nervous or anxious in public gatherings or during group activities. Many people become over-conscious while speaking in public or giving a job interview, but a social anxiety disorder is more than just occasional bouts of shyness or nervousness. The COVID-19 pandemic and various kinds of quarantine have changed our lives, in some good ways and others not so much. Anxieties have been off the charts ever since and realizing you are struggling with an anxiety disorder is the first step towards betterment.
You might feel more anxious going out in public after public distancing for a year or more. It may have become harder to socialize for you and if being among large groups of people makes you feel overwhelmed and the feelings persist, you might have a social anxiety disorder. Putting it plainly, social anxiety is exactly what the name suggests. There are different types of social anxieties but in general, wanting to avoid public gatherings and feeling panic in a crowd are all imminent signs of the disorder and you should immediately seek help.
How to Get Over Social Anxiety
The answer to this has never been as simple as the question itself, and neither is confronting the situation. However, it is important to address this problem and start your journey toward overcoming social anxiety. Not facing your anxiety about public can lead to other mental health problems like self-isolation and, consequently, depression. It is good to know about your problem, researching your symptoms and reading some quality essay examples and papers about anxiety can help you reach a self-diagnosis. However, even though such samples are a great way to educate yourselves about the issue, it is always best to seek professional help if you feel your symptoms getting worse.
Luckily, professionals have determined that social anxiety is very treatable. Some good ideas to calm yourself during an exam or any public gathering are focusing outwardly and not inside. Shifting your attention to other people in the room and engaging in conversation can sometimes help calm things down. Usually, the disorder can be minimized through various relaxation techniques.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
A major cause of your mental health deteriorating is negative thoughts. Thinking of yourself as being alone and suffering is something that most people with these types of disorders tend to do. Among the various types of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy involves ways in which you can tackle your negative thoughts by making changes to the way you think and feel about situations, which in turn slowly but surely improves your behavior.
It is important to remember that anxiety is not as visible as you feel it to be. Other people in the room might not even know you’re uncomfortable, but realizing that it is mostly in your head can provide some smoothness. However, sometimes this may not be enough. Before you even realize it, your condition could be worsening. The fear of going out in public might transform into panic attacks and if you feel your negative thoughts keep coming back and the need to self-isolate gets stronger, it might be time to seek some professional help.
Ask for Help from a Specialist
Seeking help most times is easier said than done. It becomes a struggle for many to keep the negative thoughts at bay. Asking a specialist for help in these times is the best decision you can take. Most psychiatrists will ask you simple questions about your health, your mood, and how you have been feeling lately. It might not be as hard talking to someone as your mind would have conjured it to be. After all, it’s a private meeting and these are trained professionals who never judge and only make things better for you.
To overcome social anxiety, specialists have done a lot of research and there will always be options presented to you to pick from, depending on what you feel comfortable with. For some, a few relaxation techniques and a couple of sessions with a therapist might pave the road to recovery. In contrast, for others with high levels of stress and extreme conditions, medication will potentially prove successful.
Keep a Journal
A good idea to channel all your thoughts productively is by keeping a journal. Journals with mood charts and mental well-being are becoming increasingly popular. It is an easy way to keep track of how you are feeling and going back to see your progress is always a fun experience. It becomes motivational for people with a social anxiety disorder to see the mountains they’ve climbed and the demons left behind.
Improve Your Health
Seek assistance to improve your mental health. Underlying social anxiety disorder is the fear of being judged and scrutinized or even embarrassed during group activities. You might want to reach out to someone or even feel like going out but there will always be a voice inside telling you about the worst-case scenario. Here, you must rationalize your thoughts and see yourself as someone who is loved and cared for. If left unchecked, such thoughts can often lead to the worst outcomes possible, as we have already seen in high-profile celebrity cases, so reaching out to someone is essential. It becomes easier to ask for help once you start seeing your negative thoughts for what they are – thoughts only, and not reality.
Prepare for Social Situations
A good idea if you’re just beginning to feel anxious about public speaking is to prepare for these events. Practicing talking or even thinking about some topics to engage in can be useful when it comes to any type of interaction. Being prepared will make you feel more confident about your stance in any gathering and result in a calming experience.
Use Your Senses
Engage all of your senses when you start feeling distraught in any situation. It is good practice to always focus outwardly. It is key to ground yourself with all your senses and not let the situation get the better of you. Name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This can help you re-center and focus on the situation at hand.
Social anxiety is a common disorder that masks itself in many forms. It is hence important to identify symptoms within yourself and those around you and seek immediate help. Isolation always leads to stress-inducing situations where your negative thoughts can get the best of you. Realizing your problems and getting to the core of them is the only way to heal. As humans, we can never heal in isolation, and in the end, we are all social creatures, only wanting to be seen and heard. It is paramount to look at the people around you and identify a support system. Keeping yourself isolated and in distress is harder than trying to reach out to a family member and asking for support. This is where you must challenge your negative thoughts and trust the people closest to you.