Social Anxiety is an extreme apprehension or nervousness about social situations, which leads to a person experiencing significant anxiety within a dreaded situation or a desire to avoid the situation altogether. Social Anxiety is a common problem which affects a large number of people. Our blog today discusses a number of self-help techniques for Social Anxiety disorder which can be undertaken to help individuals manage the disorder.
Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Shyness, or Social Phobia Disorder is commonly treated by Psychotherapy and/or Medications depending on the individual case. Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapy approach is a very effective method of treatment. However there are also a number of Self-Help techniques which can help people to control signs and symptoms of anxiety.
Step 1: Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
Shortness of breath is one of the most common symptoms encountered. Some simple exercises which can be performed at home can help to improve this shortness of breath.
- Sit in a comfy chair, sit with your back straight but relax your shoulders. Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach so you can feel your breathing.
- Inhale through your nose while closing your mouth and count to 10. If you cannot make it to 10 try and get as close as possible.
- As you are counting take notice of the sensations while breathing. Your hand should not move on your chest but the hand on your chest should rise. Try to breathe from the diaphragm, so that your belly rises.
- When you reach 10 seconds or your limit, hold your breath for 2 seconds. Then exhale slowly for 10 seconds (or your limit).
- Focus on keeping breathing slow and steady. Try it ten-twenty times.
- Basically, this will help you to control your breathing which you may have found difficult to control.
2. Take Baby Steps Forward
Baby steps refer to learning a new task in a gentle way but steadily increasing its difficulty. For example, learning relaxation techniques and practising them until they become natural and easily performed in a social setting, is a good idea.
Exposure therapy is another technique which can be used. Exposure to social settings should be very gradual, so you can notice how the anxiety reduces slowly and naturally. This will help you to learn how to relax and become more comfortable through repeated experience. This method can be used with close friends or family members. Try to notice the anxiety as you become aware of it and keep doing what works for you.
3. Listen to Your Inner Voice
Our inner voice or what we tell ourselves can be both positive and negative and directly influence our happiness. If our inner voice (or “automatic thoughts
is overly negative, they are likely to contain cognitive distortions, or twisted, irrational, and unhelpful ways of looking at ourselves or the world.
By observing and identifying ones inner voice (or “automatic thoughts”) as they happen, individuals can choose how to respond or to ignore thoughts, so as they do not get the better of them. For example, responding to thoughts in a different way could mean questioning their usefulness, our belief in them, or just treating them as passing mental events.
If you would like to read our webpage on Social Anxiety disorder click here. These are only a few methods by which to manage the issue. Our Clinical Psychologists are experts when it comes to treating Social Anxiety Disorder, so if you would like to speak to one of our team or book an appointment please click here.