Social anxiety refers to extreme, pathological shyness. Those who suffer from this problem, also known as social phobia are usually afraid of attracting public attention.
The symptoms of social anxiety
Social anxiety manifests itself in many ways. Physical signs include breathlessness, sweating, palpitations, tremors, speech impediment and frequent slip-ups, headaches, stomach ache, diarrhea, nausea, panic, and dizziness.
In the meantime, a whole movie takes place in the mind, when the person concerned is confronted with an accumulation of strangers. People who suffer from social anxiety are very afraid of embarrassing themselves, of ridiculing themselves in any way or being rejected. The result of such fears is that sufferers often isolate themselves socially. So isolated from social life, they often fall into depression or resort to drugs such as alcohol or medication to suppress their loneliness or the symptoms of their phobia. Among the well-known, quickly addictive drugs include Prozac, Valium, and Xanax. This not only suffers the psyche but also, to a considerable extent, the physical health.
About two to four percent of the world population suffers from social anxiety. The number is so difficult to pin down precisely because the boundaries between strong shyness and weak phobia are fluid.
Steps to reduce social anxiety
Most sufferers of social anxiety want to be able to do their daily work without fear of other people. Drugs and addictive herbs are not a solution, and this fact should be clear to all. Today, there are legal and completely natural remedies that do not make you addicted or cause damage to your health. Some of these include:
1. Work on your irrational beliefs
One of the things you could do with a therapist and you can try on your own is challenging mental processes. Victims of social anxiety usually have negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to the maintenance of the disorder. You can follow these steps:
- identify automatic negative thoughts.
- analyze and test these thoughts (e.g. "is it always like this?"; "I know for sure?")
- find out more realistic ways of thinking
When you find yourself having an anxious thought, ask yourself why you are thinking that way, what are the other alternatives, how important is a certain result for you. By evaluating your negative thoughts, you might realize that some of the things you fear are not very likely to happen, or are not so disastrous. Furthermore, making mistakes or disliking someone is perfectly normal. It's okay to be imperfect. Rather than fighting with these thoughts, try working on accepting them.
2. Reward yourself
Rather than overwhelming yourself with criticism after every social interaction, think of rewarding yourself! And not with tequila or tattoos. Congratulate yourself for attending an event and coping with your anxiety. Every time you stand up to it, you reduce its grip and boost your confidence to ... get back on the ring. You take back the reins of your existence, one victory at a time. One of the main principles of behavioral and cognitive therapy is the importance of reward for daring to expose ourselves to our fears. You will certainly be more attacking if you congratulate yourself or if you offer yourself a frozen yogurt at the finish line.
3. Try alternating or yogic breathing to calm social anxiety.
Alternating or yogic breathing is a simple and natural technique of Ayurvedic medicine that elevates body and mind to a peak of harmony and serenity. Great athletes use them to control their stress and anxiety levels. Slightly stroke one nostril with your thumb. Exhale, then inhale through the other nostril. Then start with the inspiration. After each breath (inspiration-expiration), change sides. Repeat this sequence by changing nostril each time. Know that it is perfectly normal that you breathe better with one of your nostrils.
4. Give yourself courage
Asserting yourself is a way to achieve tangible results. Find a mantra or inspiring phrase to help you attend an event or give a performance, or simply join a group without discomfort. Find the song or proverb that reassures you and gives you the most confidence in yourself before attending a meeting or giving a performance. Remember that it is often the anticipation of a stressful situation that is most distressing. You can continue to read more about how to increase your courage.
5. Stop self-criticism
Self-criticism only increases apprehension and worry, as if you had a caricature of mother-in-law. Beat the blame for truth: you will win the next marathon, you will toast the bride, or you will end a hostage. And remember that there is an infinite amount of reason for everything to go well, that you are competent and talented and that you deserve happiness.
6. Offer help
If the idea of facing guests at a party is annoying you, offering your help to the organizers can aid you. Focusing on a task at hand and on other people's emotions helps divert attention and gives a new purpose. By helping another person, you will also have a good discussion point.
7. Make use of CBD oil
CBD oil is an active ingredient of the cannabis plant, which helps those affected with social anxiety to overcome these fears and act more confident.
A recent study also suggests that CBD oil reduces anxiety. The study also found that CBD contributes to the regeneration of the hippocampal neurons. The hippocampus is part of the brain of vertebrates and humans. In people who suffer from depression or social anxiety disorders, the hippocampus is often smaller than in healthy people. By regenerating neurons in this part of the brain, CBD oil reduces the feeling of social anxiety and depression. CBD oil not only relaxes the entire body and reduces stress, but also relieves symptoms such as palpitations, nausea, diarrhea, pain in the head, and stomach. This is because cannabidiol interacts with the receptors of the human endocannabinoid system, causing reactions that either stimulate or inhibit the corresponding bodily functions such as social anxiety.
Available in many forms, such as oils, edibles, vape juice, capsules and more. Before you buy online, be sure to read reviews of popular products or brands.
Always remember, anxiety is internal. It's a moment in time which has not happened yet, you should always consider this and be aware of this fact and allow yourself time and patience to prepare for sometimes awkward situations which you feel stressed about.