Social anxiety and introversion are different in many ways. Many people think that if they show signs of an introverted personality, they automatically suffer from social anxiety. Introversion refers to an internalized way of thinking while social anxiety is a mild to severe mental illness that inhibits a normal lifestyle. If you fear that you’re suffering from crippling social anxiety, there’s help out there for you.
Talk to a Professional
Talking to a therapist should be your first approach to combating social anxiety. Mental health professionals in your area are well-equipped to help you manage your anxiety. Working closely with a therapist will help you find ways to minimize your fears and stay relaxed in every social setting. If you don’t already have a therapist that you see on a regular basis, now is the time to start your research.
When suffering from any form of anxiety, it is incredibly important that you practice deep and focused breathing every single day. When finding yourself in an anxiety-inducing social situation, deep breathing is the best way you calm yourself. Daily meditation is proven to reduce anxiety and lead to clear thinking.
Make a List
Create a list of situations or social settings that seem to trigger your anxiety. Start with the most severe situations and gradually end with the ones that aren’t as triggering. Writing down ten situations and rating them on a 100-point scale. The goal is to get through this list while practicing the behaviors that will help get you through them. In this way, you are proving to yourself that you can get through even the highest-rated situations.
Sometimes, even when managing your anxiety well in social situations, you may still feel depressed and overwhelmed. Your therapist will encourage you to set objective behavioral goals for yourself. For example, although you might be sweating or blushing (which you cannot control), the objective behavioral goal is to ask three questions or make three comments. This is the best way to gauge your progress and know that you truly are getting better.
Exercise Rational Thought
Focusing on the positive aspects is critical to overcoming your social anxiety. For example, if you are giving a speech, your anxiety might have you thinking “I am going to bomb.” However, if you’ve given a speech before and done well, you should focus on the fact that you’ve gotten through it before without anything bad happening. This type of rational thinking is what will guide you through any social experience panic-free.
Welcome to Family Service Foundation, Inc.!
Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps residents in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Frederick County, and Prince George’s County across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. We also provide interpretation services for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more, call us at 240-241-7249 or visit here.