Everyone has their own challenges and part of our journey through personal development is learning how to successfully navigate them.
Sometimes, when we are a bit unsure of ourselves, it’s easy to believe that everyone else has their act together and they are coping so much better than we are.
How come some people seem to have it all sussed out whilst others feel totally out of control?
The more the mind feeds these feelings of inadequacy, the greater the risk of allowing these thoughts to hardwire and become a regular pattern. If we aren’t careful it becomes easy to make these broad brush comparisons; making us feel inferior and second-rate.
Hello – Social Anxiety.
The good news is that – when caught early – there are great coping strategies that can be used to minimise the impact of these negative thoughts.
What is Social Anxiety?
What’s important to understand is that Social Anxiety is NOT Shyness.
Broadly speaking, Social Anxiety is when someone has an irrational fear of social situations. They feel really self conscious and behaviour becomes unreasonable in the bid to avoid these feelings in the future.
What are the effects of Social Anxiety?
The problem with many of mental health disorders, Social Anxiety being a great example, is that the wiring of the brain becomes all mixed up.
Initially the symptoms can be hard to recognise; but as the disorder becomes more pronounced, so too do the behaviours.
Physical Effects :
- Increased blood pressure
Emotional Effects :
- Feelings of Inadequacy
- Fear of Judgement & Humiliation
- Mind goes blank
- Self Consciousness
- Panic Attacks
How does Social Anxiety affect our lives?
Simply put – our thinking affects our behaviour. So the more negative the thinking becomes the more irrational the behaviour might also be.
- Reduced performance – due to lack of concentration and focus
- Health problems
- Interrupted sleep patterns and hence feelings of tiredness and exhaustion
- Emotional stress
- Social Withdrawal
- Lack of self confidence
- Feelings of isolation
10 TIPS for dealing with Social Anxiety.
By changing our thinking our behaviour changes. This does take practice, but rest assured that these strategies are effective and can make a big difference.
SUPPORT SYSTEM : Its really helpful to build a strong support team. Having people close by, who understand the situation and who begin to notice the triggers can be very reassuring.
ROUTINE : By identifying a couple of daily tasks that are to be completed, the day tends to gain structure. Depending how serious the condition has become, something simple like a walk to the shops or changing the sheets on the bed can be enough to help reduce the feelings of overwhelm.
EXERCISE : Regular exercise is really beneficial as it helps the body release the ‘feel good hormones.’ Being outside really helps, as getting into nature is particularly grounding. If leaving the house is a challenge right now – there are loads of ideas on YouTube. Exercising daily creates focus and purpose.
SLEEP : Sleep is the body’s way of rebalancing and healing itself. Adults require, on average 8 hours a night and Adolescents need 9 – 10 hours a night.
RELAX : Having a calmer mind and reducing the chaos in the head helps to reduce the stress and the ability to deal with a social situation. Surprisingly, leaving a social situation actually increases the stress levels. Here is a quick exercise that help :
DIET : A healthy and balanced diet is essential for our emotional and physical wellbeing. Fuelling the body with the correct nutrients and foods is essential. Go easy on sugar, junk food and stimulants such as : Nicotine, Caffeine, Drugs and Alcohol.
EXPOSURE : Try and place yourself in public places. Getting out and about into areas where there are other people is initially scary and out of the comfort zone – but the more the brain experiences theses situations ( and survives ) the less the anxiety levels next time. As I said – it takes practice.
TALK : Practice opening up to trusted people in your support network. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Don’t OVERANALYSE : The more the brain is allowed to focus on negative thinking patterns – the more these thoughts are allowed to develop and grow. If necessary look for distractions to nip these feelings in the bud
PERSPECTIVE : Remember – most people are more worried about themselves, and don’t have time to worry about what you are up to.
If however you are still struggling, please do seek support; as you so not have to suffer in silence.
As an NLP Master Practitioner I understand how to apply a number of techniques that can help with these Social Anxiety issues. NLP has some highly effective tools in it’s armoury and if you feel you’d like a chat, please get in touch.
Click the button below to download a step-by-step guide that will help you understand how to create the outcomes you really want.
Much Love 💕