Social Anxiety is a type of social phobia involving fear of being negatively judged by others or a fear of public embarrassment due to something you might say or do impulsively. Symptoms of social anxiety include stage fright, a fear of intimacy, a fear of humiliation and other such fears which can lead to enormous anxiety. Social anxiety can cause people to avoid public situations and human contact to the point that normal life is rendered impossible.
But don’t over-diagnose yourself! Most of us at one time or another have felt some degree of stage fright. Social Anxiety disorder, or Social Phobia, is considered to be a clinical illness when such symptoms become severe and/or persistent. If you think you have severe enough symptoms, consult a health professional who understands Anxiety Disorders for an evaluation and suggestions to begin your social anxiety therapy.
For milder cases of social anxiety, or for use along with any other kind of social anxiety treatment, there are ways to use Mind Tools to abolish anxiety and write a new life script for yourself. Escape From Depression along with Letting Go Of Stress may be helpful as well. Sometimes what is needed is Nurturing Spirit or an Awakening of the Leader Within.
Social Anxiety Treatment
As with so many other specific types of anxieties and phobias, part of treating social anxiety disorder has to do with learning how to relax and be at peace – learn how to come into the present moment. This sets you free to be able to choose whether to make tomorrow a carbon copy of today or choose a different set of behaviors.
Remember, your emotions are behaviors, internal behaviors, they belong to you and you have the right to change them. When you have learned to enter meditation or deep relaxation, you will have the power to change them. Guided imagery is the tool to use – it is excellent for creating cognitive behavior change. Together with deep relaxation, it can provide the unparalleled potential for cognitive restructuring.
You visualize re-approaching the kinds of situations you have until now, feared – except that you do it while deeply relaxed, and imagine you are totally calm in the chosen situation. Finally, you systematically desensitize yourself by intentionally approaching these trigger situations while maintaining a calm mind and body. This is called Writing Your Own Script, a mind tool that can permit you to reprogram your mind and rewire your brain. (You actually create new neurons and new synapses in your physical brain which replace the old ones that were maintaining the old behavior.)
For difficult cases, Dr. Miller recommends Freeing Yourself From Fear, a powerful adjunct to any treatment of Social Anxiety, as well as The Serenity Prayer, and I Am: Awakening Self-Acceptance. And although some cases may benefit immensely from medication or a professional therapeutic relationship, all the tools mentioned here can still play an important part in treatment – they serve to catalyze any positive process you are going through.
Take a little time and learn about what stress is and how you can deal better with the challenges in your life. The principles of Mind-Body Medicine are important to understand. See the tools for dealing with anxiety in our Online Store, and follow some of the links below to learn how to deal with this problem.