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’
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