It’s become difficult to imagine the world without the coronavirus outbreak. The streets that were once attracting tourists are now repelling them. People are stuck in their houses, losing their productivity and business. The hustle and bustle that once surrounded the restaurants has now sided with weary hospitals. Social distancing is becoming the norm. Planes that roared the skies are now stationary. However, like all rainy days, this too shall pass. And when it does, you’ll return to your normal life and if you suffer from social anxiety, this article is your ticket to getting out of it.
What is social anxiety?
According to Gulf News, the most common complaints in the UAE are of anxiety and stress. The lifestyle can get overwhelming for the residents because of which their mental well-being is impacted. When we talk about social anxiety, we refer to a type of anxiety and panic that arises when one has to interact and be social with an individual or a gathering. Making small talk, spotting a group of people, having to attend events can make some people anxious to the extent that they find it better to not be social at all. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only the introverts who develop symptoms of social anxiety. Anyone can have it, at any age. It can also be the result of a difficult childhood or can be triggered by an unpleasant event. Social anxiety can be very severe as well – some people may confine themselves to their homes, refusing to go to school, university or offices.
How do I know if I have social anxiety?
Even though social anxiety can be self-diagnosed, it is best to consult a professional because every case is different. A therapist can help you diagnose what triggers the issue and how you can get rid of it. Children have different ways of behaving if they’re not comfortable with social reactions which can include weeping, odd behavior when told to interact, throwing tantrums and clinging to parents. Here are some common symptoms of social anxiety:
· Worrying about embarrassing yourself in front of someone
· Being scared of talking to people
· The fear of being judged
· Stuttering, shaking, sweating and other physical attributes that the individual thinks may lead to embarrassment
· Always having negative thoughts about going out and interacting
· Not wanting to be the center of attention
· Intense fear of interacting with strangers
· Overthinking about an interaction
· Fast heartbeat
· Inability to speak
· Huffing and puffing (being out of breath)
What causes social anxiety?
Past traumatic events, childhood problems, family history, social demands that the individual is not used to, having an appearance that draws attention (physical deformity, etc.) are all factors that can cause social anxiety. For some people, it is a phase that passes and for others, it grows over time, and therapy is needed to get rid of it. A toxic relationship may also cause social anxiety.
How do I get rid of social anxiety?
Here are some tried and tested tips from experts to overcome social anxiety:
· Understand what creates panic in the first place and address the issue. There can be multiple problems and it is perfectly alright. You can work with a loved one or seek professional help to get rid of the root causes. But without knowing what triggers the issue, it is difficult to get rid of social anxiety.
· Practice breathing. It is a simple thing to do which goes a long way. Breathe in and out and ease your mind. 90% of the problem just exists in your mind and you can’t let it get the best of you.
· Communicate. Sometimes our perception can become clouded and overthinking can lead us to clutter negative thoughts and emotions. Talking to a trustworthy person can help calm your nerves.
· Try to include 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. It will help your body produce happy hormones which will automatically decrease anxiety.
· Get some me-time. Sign up for yoga classes, join a self-help group, read books on self-betterment, or get a relaxing massage. Built-up stress can also lead to anxiety.
· If you have a fear of public speaking, you can practice in front of family and friends. Remember, facing your fears is the only way to eliminate the problem once and for all.
Are there certified doctors that can help with social anxiety?
Of course! Psychologists and psychiatrists can help get rid of the problem. To book an appointment with a top doctor for social anxiety, click here. You can book the appointment online and filter the doctors based on reviews, insurance, and location.
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