10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Social Anxiety Attacks

10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Social Anxiety Attacks

Is It Just Nerves or is it Anxiety?

Made You Smile Back is pleased to present this enlightening blog on ’10 powerful tips in overcoming anxiety attacks, or more specifically, social anxiety.’ All of us from time to time have experienced anxiety with our nerves acting up when confronted with social situations. Who hasn’t felt this way when preparing for a big speech or a job interview or even going out on a date?

We shall explore what exactly social anxiety is and the myths and misconceptions associated with it. We will also look at the symptoms and what situations usually trigger an anxiety or panic attack.

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.

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What is Social Anxiety Exactly?

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.

Image by childrenshospital.org/global-mental-health© 

How Common is Social Anxiety Worldwide?

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.

10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Anxiety Attacks, Famous Personalities Who Suffer from Social Anxiety, Made You Smile Back
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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. 

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Symptoms of Social AnxietyWhat Does it Feel Like

10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Anxiety Attacks, Made You Smile Back
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There are many symptoms associated with social anxiety. In fact, it affects each person differently depending upon the severity and of course, the situation at hand. I’m sure we can all relate to one or more in the following list:

  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Blushing
  • Sweating, especially the Palms
  • Trembling
  • Feeling Nauseated
  • Having Butterflies in Your Stomach
  • Dizziness and Lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble Catching Your Breath
  • Muscle Tension
  • The Feeling Your Mind Going Blank
  • The Feeling of your Stomach Tied Up in Knots
10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Anxiety Attacks, Made You Smile Back
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The Struggle is Real

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.

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10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Anxiety Attacks, Made You Smile Back
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Stage Fright – Performance Anxiety

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’.

10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Anxiety Attacks, Made You Smile Back
Image by the Digital Artist © in Pixabay

My Own Personal Anxiety Attack!

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!

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10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Anxiety Attacks!

  1. KNOW that you CAN overcome this.
  2. STOP overthinking it!
  3. REALIZE people are too busy with their own issues. They really don’t care as much as you think they do!
  4. STOP feeling embarrassed – you’re only human!
  5. LOOK for the good in people – and remember this – you’ll probably will be among empathic people who have stood in your shoes!
  6. LEARN to BELIEVE in yourself again. This is a confidence issue. You got this!
  7. DETERMINE your triggers. What situations cause you the most stress? LEARN to quiet these thoughts and feelings.
  8. RESPOND… don’t react or give in to your anxiety.
  9. REACH OUT to a trusted friend who allows you to vent and who can gently but firmly REMIND you to put everything in perspective and to breathe, reflect and reassure you things will be all right.
  10. Pray and pray and pray some more. Let God/Allah help you through this!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What causes social 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’.

2. Who is at risk of developing social anxiety disorder?

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.

3.  What is a skill that will help you overcome social anxiety ?

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…”

5.  Are there any natural ways to deal with social anxiety?

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

4.  What daily tool will help the most to cope with social anxiety?

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.

10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Anxiety Attacks, Made You Smile Back
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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.

Wait… There’s More

Watch this YouTube Video from Dr. Alan Mandell in ‘How to Get Rid of Anxiety Without Doctors or Medication’

Join the Conversation – Comment Below!

About the author

beth elkassih

“Hi! Welcome to the launching and introduction to ‘Made You Smile Back’! I’m so pleased you’re here. Let me share with you a little bit about myself and why I created this platform.”

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Comments

51 comments on “10 Powerful Tips in Overcoming Social Anxiety Attacks”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

    1. Sasha,
      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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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:
    https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/blog/pyroluria-a-hidden-cause-of-addictions-adhd-anxiety-and-other-afflictions/

    Thank you for all your hard work and sharing such important information.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Hi,
    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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