Must-Have Coping Strategies for Social Phobia
Social anxiety is something all of us experience from time to time. It is important to know that there are coping strategies for social phobia. However, if you or your loved one is dealing with severe social phobia, it’s important to get help.
What’s more, living with social anxiety can be very difficult, especially when you have to face social situations regularly. That’s why it helps to have reliable coping strategies for social phobia.
Understanding Social Phobia
Surprisingly, researchers don’t know precisely what causes social phobia. However, it’s likely a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Trauma is often attributed to social phobia, especially if the individual dealt with it at a young age. A serotonin imbalance in the brain is often another cause of the social phobia.
Furthermore, the symptoms of social phobia can be both emotional and physical. Here are some common symptoms you should be aware of:
- Having negative beliefs and associations about being social.
- The constant fear of being embarrassed or humiliated in social situations.
- An extreme fear to the point that the individual avoids having any social life.
- Excessive sweating, blushing, trembling, or nervousness in social situations.
- Stomach pain or muscle pain while thinking about social situations or partaking in social situations.
Coping Strategies that Can Be Used for Social Phobia
It’s possible to beat social anxiety with the right coping strategies. Continually using these coping strategies while being put in social situations can train the brain into becoming more comfortable. These strategies can also help get you out of your anxious state. Here are some strategies to help you deal with social phobia:
People who deal with social anxiety are usually overwhelmed with negative emotions. It can be tough to regain control once the emotions take over. Fortunately, a simple deep breathing exercise can quickly help you relax and allow yourself to be more present.
Simply inhale through your nose for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 10 seconds, and exhale for 10 seconds. Repeat this deep breathing exercise for a few minutes. You’ll find your thoughts and emotions slowing down with each repetition. In many cases, you may find that most of your anxiety has drifted away.
Reframing Your Situation
A person with social anxiety may be looking at things in a negative frame. They’ll have thoughts like “what if I get embarrassed?” or “what if nobody likes me?” If these thoughts start popping up, a great way to address them is to reframe them positively.
Ask questions like “what if I meet a great friend?” or “what if I meet my perfect match?” This can help your brain focus on the positive. The reason this is effective is that you’re not trying to convince your brain that something great is going to happen. You’re making it imagine what it would be like if things went well.
If you are dealing with extreme social anxiety, then it might help to exposure yourself to your fears slowly and progressively. For example, you can start with a simple goal of saying hello to one stranger every day. You may then move on to asking a random person directions to a store every day.
This strategy has been seen as an effective way to overcome social anxiety. You are slowly teaching your brain that being in social situations is not as bad as you had initially thought. You are also taking slow steps instead of taking a big leap. This is important as being put in an intense situation may trigger your anxiety instead of helping you get accustomed to being social.
Accept Your Social Anxiety
Looking at your social anxiety as a big monkey in your back does nothing to help your situation. By accepting your anxiety as natural, you will start to feel more comfortable in your skin. It’ll also lessen the stigma you’ve attached to your condition. It may help to communicate with friends, family, and even strangers that you have social anxiety as well. You’ll be surprised to find that many people will try to accommodate you and not punish you for your condition.
What If None of the Coping Strategies for Social Phobia Work?
If none of the coping strategies work for social phobia, it may be caused by a wide variety of anxiety disorders. If you suspect this is the issue, the ideal solution is to visit a psychiatry specialist. Severe anxiety can often be treated with the right medication.
If you’re looking for the best psychiatrist in Sudbury, Novum Psychiatry is the right place to turn to. Our Sudbury psychiatrists have experience in treating different issues that may cause social phobias. This can range from extreme anxiety to severe bipolar disorder, depression, panic disorders, OCD, and more.
Call us today at 978 252 0873 or visit our website to book an appointment. An amazing experience awaits you.