Think Tank

How To Overcome Social Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of unease about something that has an uncertain outcome. It generally causes a lot of fear and worry. Social anxiety is set in the context of our interaction with other people. It is the fear of being judged by others and the fear of interaction, which leads to negative feelings like inferiority, embarrassment and depression.

If you become excessively anxious in a social setting but feel better when you are alone, you might be suffering from social anxiety. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who suffers it. Social anxiety is more common today than before. In the US, social anxiety disorder is the third largest psychological disorder, after depression and alcoholism.

The most common situations in which people suffer social anxiety include:

  • Social gatherings like parties, family get-togethers
  • Being with people in authority
  • Being introduced to new people
  • Being given too much attention
  • Having to work while being watched

The physical symptoms of anxiety can include any or all of the following –

  • Faster heart beat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry throat
  • Shivering or trembling
  • Sense of fear
  • Muscle twitches around the face or neck

If these feelings are not just momentary and linger for a prolonged period, it’s time to seek help. Here are some of the things you can try –

  1. Avoid social media – The way anxiety works is that it will find something that you can constantly worry about. And, unfortunately, social media is abuzz with such stories. Hence, try and cut back on some of the time you spend reading these stories.
  2. Be on the move – The physical symptoms of anxiety demand that you move away, so step out, take a walk or jog for a while. Explore new places or indulge yourself in something you love to do.
  3. Try yoga – Ten minutes of yoga every day can be very relaxing and help you develop a calmer approach to life.
  4. Listen to music – When everything else fails, there’s good music to save you!
  5. Say ‘I am excited’ – Trying to relax during anxiety can actually be useless. Because the body cannot shift from such a strong emotion to a stable one easily. Instead, try getting excited. Excitement and anxiety are both arousal emotions. They have similar physical symptoms. Hence, it’s easier to shift. Watch this video to understand this better. 
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