Made You Smile Back is pleased to present this enlightening blog on ’10 powerful tips in overcoming
We shall explore what exactly social anxiety is and the myths and misconceptions associated with it. We will also look at the
Then, 10 powerful tips on overcoming social anxiety using cognitive behavior strategies will be conveyed so that the next time you find yourself with ‘sweaty palms, increased breathing, and ‘butterflies’, you will be well prepared on knowing what to do.
According to Mental Health of America, social anxiety, also known as SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) is an anxiety disorder characterized by extreme fear or anxiety in one or more social settings. Going to a party or even having a one-on-one conversation with a new person can result in increased heart rate, sweating, and racing thoughts for someone with social anxiety.
When social anxiety gets significant, it’s common for individuals to isolate themselves and feel very alone. Often times, the overwhelming feeling of ‘dread’, makes one who is suffering hard to function in daily life. And taken to extremes, they may regularly avoid the ‘anxiety-inducing’ situations altogether leading to further isolation from family and friends.
It is estimated that a staggering 264 million people worldwide suffer from this condition as of 2017. The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the world varies from 2.5 to 7 percent by country. Is it any surprise that anxiety is considered to be the most prevalent mental health condition in our society today?
In fact, in the United States alone, 40 million people suffer from social anxiety. Social anxiety can affect both men and women, with women slightly leading in the statistical data of 60%. It does not discriminate. Several well-known world leaders, celebrities and entertainers struggle with this disorder as well.
Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.— Dennis Waitley
There are many
There are several misconceptions concerning social anxiety. Those of us who suffer are so misunderstood and oftentimes, people are quick to judge and say ‘we’re just a basket case of drama’…
It manifests differently in each person. Try to put yourself in their shoes. They suffer from ‘overthinking’ or ruminating over worst-case scenarios.
It’s not just about being stressed — it’s the unknown factor. It’s about being overwhelmed with a new situation never experienced before. The struggle is real and is magnified when we find ourselves spending too much time alone.
Let’s take a moment and discuss another type of social anxiety, known as performance anxiety. Or should I say, ‘stage fright’?
Many times when we feel anxiety, it can be in a situation experiencing heightened emotions or excitement. Especially when we personally experience something new. So social anxiety isn’t necessarily triggered by a phobia of fear. It can easily be that we haven’t had that particular experience in our life yet.
One of the most well-known entertainers, Barbra Steisand developed overwhelming performance anxiety at the height of her career; for 27 years she refused to perform for the general public.
And yes, the iconic Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook openly admits that he suffers from social anxiety. In fact, on his first real job interview, he found himself stuttering and sweating ‘bullets’. Since then he has transformed from being socially awkward to a polished public figure. But even at the Senate Hearings in 2018, dealing with Facebook issues, he was under tremendous stress and experienced ‘performance anxiety’.
When I made the decision to write about this topic, it was partly because I, myself, experienced this phenomenon while preparing for a new situation I had never faced before.
I just recently became a published author (‘The Power of Unexpected Miracles’) and a ‘book-signing event’ was set up. As the event approached, I noticed my anxiety levels were creeping up on me. I don’t know why I started feeling the way I did. Public speaking was something I was already doing.
However, upon reflection, this was indeed a NEW situation. I never was an author before… I didn’t know what to expect with this event! I allowed the ‘fear of the unknown’ get to me. And yes, my friends, I almost was very ill and the ‘butterflies’ just wouldn’t go away! I was in fact, experiencing ‘stage fright’ or performance anxiety!
Research so far has not nailed down a single factor that causes social anxiety. It is most likely the result of a combination of genetics, the environment (home, school, work) and brain structure (overactive amygdala leading to fear of social situations). For more inspiration, please read ‘I Just Want To Be Happy Again’.
You’re likely to develop social anxiety disorder if :
* A family member (parent or sibling) have it
* There is childhood trauma of physical, sexual abuse, or bullying
* You are shy and timid in character and fear being judged by others
* You have noticeable facial blemishes or you stutter which make you fear rejection
Get more self-confident and read this.
Doing random acts of kindness for the needy shifts the focus from yourself and your fear of what others think of you. It forces you to challenge yourself by engaging with others. Repetition of this
will build confidence that you can easily transfer to other ‘daunting ‘ situations. Learn more about random acts of kindness by reading these 2 blogs, “The Magical Touch of Kindness”. and “10 Random Acts of Kindness…”
Yes, There are essential oils that calm the mind. Bergamo, Cedarwood, and Geranium are just 3 such oils. This post has a great list of the essential oils that help with stress and panic attacks. Use the oils in a diffuser, inhale or apply to the skin to feel almost immediate relief. For more information, please check out this article on essential oils, VeryWellMind.Com
Keep a journal to track your instances of social anxiety. Record when they occur. what causes them, the duration and what you did to get through them. All this serves as data to develop a plan to cope with other such panic attacks. To learn more about the therapeutic power of journaling, please read this blog, “The Awesome Therapeutic Power of Journaling”.
Special Acknowledgment to Poovanesh Pather, Contributing Writer for FAQ.
In conclusion, social anxiety is a real mental health condition and should be treated as such. Made You Smile Back presented 10 strategically powerful tips on how to overcome everyday anxiety attacks. More specifically, these tips are behavior modification techniques. These are great when getting over a singular ‘anxiety attack’ or if one just has a ‘mild case’ of anxiety.
That said, do KNOW that if YOU experience anxiety more severely or find that it persistently lasts for months or you find yourself becoming depressed as well, you need to seek professional medical treatment. In addition to behavior modification, you may need ‘meds’ as well.
Watch this YouTube Video from Dr. Alan Mandell in ‘How to Get Rid of Anxiety Without Doctors or Medication’
I am delighted to read about your article. Social anxiety can be a significant hurdle for many people, and it’s inspiring to see that there are practical and effective ways to manage it. By implementing these tips, individuals struggling with social anxiety can regain a sense of control over their lives and feel more confident in social situations. Thanks for sharing; this post is really helpful.
Sanjeev, thank you for your positive comments.
This article is very informative! I didn’t realize that social anxiety affects a large percentage of women.
Cant agree more. Very well written. I have seen people in my family going thru it and well relate to the situation.
Reena, thanks for your kind comments on my blog about overcoming anxiety attacks.
Good post. This is very important.
Javier, thank you for your positive comment.
This is definitely me! Very helpful, thank you!
Jaymee, thanks for sharing!
I write about mental health and my experiences. Your post has great tips on calming down anxiousness
Nicole, thanks for your positive comments. Many blessings.
Great tips – much needed right now!
Lisa, thanks for the positive comment!
I have been struggling for years with anxiety & depression. My solace is either the bible or jiu jitsu.
Hans, thanks for the positive comments. Yes, I agree, I think is prayer is very powerful. Many blessings.
Such important information you shared! I appreciate you bringing mental health awareness! I wish more people would be open to discussing it. Keep it up!
Jen, than you for your comments. Yes I’m trying to do my part in removing the ‘stigma’ from mental health illnesses.
Everyone at any phase of life have to face this issue
You are going a good work thanks for sharing
Mir, thank you for your kind comments.
Anxiety can be such a debilitating emotion. It’s really great that you’ve given some ideas of different anxieties and how to cope with them. I really like the concept of figuring out your triggers and trying to calm them before they start. Thank you for this.
Thanks for the positive comments you always leave! I definitely know one trigger of mine… and that’s simply 24 hours before doing a speaking engagement! But what’s funny, is that once I begin, it immediately goes away and I’m ok.
These are good suggestions. Panic attack really suck. I found that acceptance is one of the best things I’ve done about it.
Thanks for commenting. Yes, panic attacks are no fun but they can be managed.
Thanks for the tips! I don’t suffer from social anxiety per se but I have had panic attacks when stuck in traffic or on bridges, so I know they can be terrifying! I have a tattoo on my wrist that says “Inhale Courage Exhale Fear” which helps me to remember to just BREATHE!
Kerry, living in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, I can totally relate to ‘traffic anxiety’! lol
Very important topic to talk about, you have covered practical aspects of it which will surely help others?
Akanksha, thanks for your positive comment. I hope it does help those in need.
Well developed and thought out post.
I know so many people who battled this. And commonly social anxiety. I remember a holistic doctor sharing her need to take zinc and vitamin b6 in order to overcome her social anxiety. It is a disease called Piruloria. It can be diagnosed with a blood test. Of course it is not good to take these supplements if you’re not deficient in them because they can actually cause some serious side effects.
Here is a very insightful article on that:
Thank you for all your hard work and sharing such important information.
Kim, thanks for your kind words. I’ll have to check out Piruloria. I can’t wait to read the article you provided a link to as well. Thanks again!
I dont suffer from this type of anxiety, but I know some who do and the root cause, as you mention, is thinking everyone is talking about you, judging you, etc. Once the anxiety sufferer realizes this is not the case, they are well on their way to recovery. Some can achieve this on their own, for others a good counselor is needed.
Bryan, thank you for your insightful comments.
People need to be educated about mental health and it’s cool you’re taking part in educating the people.
Jojo, thanks for your special comment. It means alot to me. I really want to get the word out about mental health awareness and we all go through mental health crisis at some point in our life. People need to know they can talk about it openly. Many blessings to you.
Anxiety well defined .
Mittali, thanks for your positive comment.
It is a great post with a lot of helpful info. I think everybody experiences an anxiety attack at least once in their lifetime. I have already gone through it once for sure. Since my mom has always suffered from these anxiety attacks I was able to recognize the symptoms when I had it. It was really hard to remind myself that I will not die in a heart attack. I hope that I will not experience it again, but if I do, I will get back to this post, I pin it to Pinterest.
Kata, I love your comments! An anxiety attack can be a panic attack as well. I’m glad my blog post is of value and thanks for sharing on Pinterest.
This post provides a great service. When we bring light to the fact that anxiety is not abnormal or something to be ashamed of we can then help ourselves and others to heal from what can be very debilitating.
Elise, I couldn’t have said it better. Everyone suffers from anxiety at one time or another.
Thanks for your comments.
There are some great suggestions here, thank you!
Great post & very useful info! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂
Alpana, thanks for your positive comments.
I needed to hear some of these today. Thank you for sharing these tips. It’s so important to have some good coping skills at the ready.
Kimmy,thanks for your comments. Yes coping skills are so important
You are right, we all experience anxiety or nervousness in certain situations. I do notice many of those feelings when doing things outside of my comfort zone. It occurs most often when I am speaking to or in front of other people. All these tips you provided are good but I especially love 9 and 10. Having someone to vent to helps calm my nerves. And you can certainly never go wrong with prayer.
DeSheena, I don’t know what I would do if I didnt have my friends to tall to when needed. Thanks for sharing.
Great suggestions. I totally agree with everything. Thanks for sharing!
Maya, thanks for your comment and compliment.
You’ve got some great suggestions here. I think the idea of accepting that it’s human and it’s okay, so people have no need to be embarrassed, is SO important. Anxiety is far more common then a lot of people believe.
Britt, thanks for your great comments. Yes I agree. There’s alot of people who experience anxiety and dont even realize it.
Anxiety is sort of like the Boogey Man. Face it and trust God. Courage is Fear but going through it. What an accomplishment when you do.
Andrea, I never thought of that way… but it works! Really, if we all just really relied on putting our faith in God, He knows what to do.