How to Get Rid of Social Anxiety?

How to Get Rid of Social Anxiety?

| Telehealth

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At one point or another everyone has felt social anxiety. It is normal to have momentary anxiety when you didn’t want to speak up in front of your class, or didn’t want to attend a party because you may have felt nervous about socializing in a new circle, and in your professional life you may have felt butterflies before giving a presentation. However, persistent fears and inability to perform these activities can become an issue necessitating something like teletherapy to help improve this issue.

Fear of the unknown is a normal human emotion, and it’s natural for your body to protect itself from the unknown. However, the degree of this reaction varies in different individuals. It’s common to feel apprehensive at the beginning of giving a speech, or feeling nervous on your first day of work. However people who suffer from social anxiety disorder become anxious just thinking about these situations, with inability to perform these acts. The fear of being scrutinized, embarrassed, judged, and being criticized becomes overwhelming.  

There is no one-fits-all solution that can effectively address social anxiety. It requires time and effort but you can learn to be comfortable in social situations. Today, let’s explore how to do that. 

Control your Breathing: 

You may notice a change in your breathing pattern when you are anxious or uncomfortable. If you have been through therapy or teletherapy sessions, you may know that this is your body’s response in dealing with situations that make you uneasy. Dizziness, tightness in the chest, and uneasy breathing are common symptoms. There are a few techniques that your therapist during a traditional or teletherapy session may suggest to use to manage these symptoms:

  1. Sit down comfortably and straighten your back. 

  2. Put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.

  3. Breathe in for a few seconds slowly through your nose. In this technique of diaphragmatic breathing, the hand on your abdomen should rise and the one on your chest should remain still. 

  4. Hold in your breath for 2 seconds, and then exhale slowly letting the air out through your mouth for 5 seconds. 

 Perform this exercise several times until you feel your body relax, and your nerves calm down.

Stop being hard on yourself: 

People with social anxiety disorder often compare themselves to others, and dwell on their own shortcomings. If you find yourself panicking in a social situation, take a breath, don’t beat yourself over it, and worsen the matter. Instead, be patient with yourself, and focus on positive energy techniques which you can learn by seeking help from a professional. Teletherapy sessions can be a convenient and private way to explore treatment options.  

Surround yourself with Supportive People: 

It is important to have friends and family that understand you, and accept and support you. When you have a strong support system, it builds higher self esteem with the assurance that even in difficult times, you have people who believe in you, and are cheering for your success.  

Ask for Help: 

Don’t shy away from asking for help. Social anxiety can be overwhelming, and often leave the person feeling down and defeated. Many times social anxiety is intertwined with depression and other psychological stressors. Though you can’t control everything in life, you can take care of your mental health. One of the reasons people with social anxiety avoid going to a therapist is because visiting the clinic, and interacting with strangers is an uncomfortable experience. Also scheduling and travel related logistics can add to the complexity. However, with Teletherapy, it is simple to make an appointment from your WoW Health app with a certified professional, and conduct your teletherapy visit from the comfort of your home.

About Author

Dr. Jawad is a practicing physician with extensive administrative experience, who has firsthand knowledge of running a medical practice and working in employed models. WoW Health aligns incentives for the healthcare ecosystem so all stakeholders benefit from transparent and direct relationship between patients and medical service providers.