Helpful Social Anxiety Coping Strategies

by editor on 12/18/2013

effective social anxiety coping strategies

Social anxiety disorder also known as social phobia, makes every day interactions cause irrational anxiety, fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is in fact a chronic mental health condition. There are social anxiety coping strategies such as psychological counseling, and medication that can help one gain confidence and improve the ability to interact with other people. Social phobia can cause significant physical symptoms as well as affecting your emotions and behavior. There are many ways to detect social anxiety.

Symptoms of social anxiety include:

  • fear of interacting with strangers
  • fear of situations where you might be judged
  • fear that others will notice that you look anxious
  • difficulty making eye contact or talking
  • worrying about humiliating oneself
  • anxiety so bad that it disrupts your daily routine, school, work, or other social activities
  • avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
  • avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
  • blushing
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • increased heartbeat
  • upset stomach
  • nausea or vomiting
  • muscle tension
  • shaky voice
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • extremely cold or clammy hands

Although many people find it helpful to go to the doctor, there are some self-help techniques that you may want to try to help you handle situations well in the future. These social anxiety coping strategies are usually very effective. First, it is important to know your personal fears and identify the situations that cause the most anxiety. Then it is important to take baby steps and not to overwhelm yourself. However, you will need to put yourself in a situation where you may be under a lot of stress or anxiety.

You can practice eating with a close relative, friend, or acquaintance in a public setting to begin with. Make sure to make eye contact and return greetings from others and if possible be the first person to say hello. Try giving your relative, friend, or acquaintance a complement. Show an interest in others by asking about their homes, children, grandchildren, hobbies, travels, or pets. Also the next time you need directions try asking a stranger. At first overcoming your anxiety will be a challenge, whatever you do, don’t avoid situations that trigger your symptoms, face your situations regularly so you’ll continue to build your coping skills.

When you’re in a situation where you feel anxious and still have to converse try these helpful social anxiety coping strategies. Prepare for the conversation ahead of time. If you need to, read the paper or listen to the news to find an interesting story you can talk about. Focus on the personal qualities you enjoy about yourself. Beforehand if need be, practice relaxation exercises or techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or counting. You can also adopt stress management techniques to help deal with your anxiety. Goal setting can also be a way to overcome anxiety, however, make sure to set realistic goals. Pay attention to how often you actually embarrass yourself, you may notice that the scenarios you feel usually don’t come up very often. When embarrassing situations do happen, remind yourself that the feelings will pass and you can handle them with composure.

It is important for people with anxiety to avoid using alcohol. Some people think it helps, but in the long run it can actually make you have more anxiety and cause more embarrassing situations. There are also alternatives supplements to help with coping. Herbs such as Kava, Valerian, Folic Acid and Vitamin B help relieve anxiety in many different ways. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking herbal remedies or supplements. In addition to these social anxiety coping strategies you may look for a support group or a local Internet-based support group. Also you should get enough sleep and eat a well-balanced diet. Additionally when you feel anxious you can participate in pleasurable activities such as exercise or hobbies to help you associate good memories with situations that make you feel anxious.

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