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How to Keep Social Anxiety from Ruining Your Life

socialanxiety How to Keep Social Anxiety from Ruining Your Life

Help, social anxiety is ruining my life.”

This is a cry for help that has been uttered by millions of social anxiety sufferers across the world; and there are millions more who are suffering silently without the courage to confront their condition.

In truth, it is hard to blame someone for keeping silent about their social anxiety. It is a naturally embarassing condition that few people understand. Most people have a vague idea about what social anxiety is but do not understand the full extent of it.

Social anxiety has the capacity to destroy relationships and ruin lives. It is not simply being “too shy” to go out, or being too “nervous” to give a speech in public.

Social anxiety is a condition that can keep people from interacting with others in any significant or normal way. In essence, they can end up pushing even their closest of friends and family away. Social anxiety is a very serious condition that can ruin not only your life, but even the life of those you love. But if you’re one of many who have recognized that you need help, you’re already on the first step to recovery.

But how do you keep social anxiety from ruining your life? And what can be done to curb your social anxiety?  Read More

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Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can manifest itself in a number of ways. But how do you truly know if you’re suffering from a social anxiety disorder? Here are some of the signs that you should take note of:

 

  • You are afraid to face the public.
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    This is the primary symptom and cornerstone of social anxiety. You have an intense and overwhelming fear of going out in public, even if you are to be kept to yourself for most of the event. Even if it is a birthday party held in your honor, you would much rather be kept to yourself.
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  • You are tense when you hear sounds like door bells, ringtones or message tones.
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    Even the possibility of social interaction frightens you; whether it’s face to face or otherwise.
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  • You would rather stay at home most of the time.
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    You feel safe and secure in your own home or apartment. You would much rather stay at home than leave unless you really have to. You create systems and excuses that prevent you from going out (calling in sick from work, having your groceries delivered, avoiding social gatherings, etc.).
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  • You have trouble meeting new people and maintaining new relationships.
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    Because of your avoidance of social interaction, you are unable to meet new people and start new relationships. This holds true everywhere you go; from your work to your social life.
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  • You have trouble expressing yourself.
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    When forced into a social interaction; you’ve trouble saying the things you want to say; even if it’s on the tip of your tongue. Even the most trivial of gestures, you have trouble doing. It is also very common for people to misunderstand you.

On top of the signs mentioned above, it’s important to be wary of panic or anxiety attacks. Sufferers of intense social anxiety can experience panic or anxiety attacks which can easily be mistaken for heart attacks since their manifestations are incredibly similar. During an anxiety attack, the sufferer can experience:

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  • Shortness of breath
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  • Palpitations of the heart
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  • Uncontrollable shaking of hands and limbs
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  • Uncontrollable sweating
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  • Sharp chest pains
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Although social anxiety is considered a mental and emotional condition, it can manifest itself physically through the symptoms above. Panic and anxiety attacks are very grave concerns, and indicate that the sufferer is going through a very serious case of social anxiety.

However, it should be noted that there is no actual pain associated with anxiety or panic attacks. Any sharp chest pains you might feel are commonly due to hyperacidity caused by the stress of anxiety.

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Treatments for Social Anxiety

If you feel you do have social anxiety, it’s best to first consult a professional medical practitioner like a psychiatrist or therapist. From there you can take active steps to take control of your life and rid anxiety from your life forever.

Here are a number of steps you can do as well:

 

  • Start with small steps.
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    Get yourself acclimated to socializing in small gatherings. Have relatives come over for lunch regularly, then you can move on to having lunch at their place once you are comfortable. Start by taking part in small, manageable family gatherings before working your way up to bigger occasions.
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  • Keep someone in close contact.
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    Keep confidence in someone who is very close to you and can understand your feelings. Like your brother, mother, father, grandmother, best friend, teacher or anyone who you trust and can express all of your worries and anxieties in front of. Once the entire burden comes out of your mouth you’ll feel a bit relaxed and light hearted.
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  • Medication.
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    There are host of different prescription drugs on the market that can help you cope with social anxiety. However, most of them have very strong side effects so it’s recommended that you consult with your doctor first and it’s suggested you consider these as a last resort, rather than first option.
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  • Natural and alternative treatment methods.
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    Instead of medication you can easily find natural and alternative treatment methods that don’t require drugs. There are herbs, teas and various other techniques that can be just as effective as a sedative.
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  • Breathing techniques.
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    Proper breathing is a great way of relieving stress and anxiety. Learning various breathing techniques can act as an easy anxiety reliever.
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  • Psychiatric therapy.
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    There is nothing to be ashamed about psychiatric therapy. There are various professionals that have specialized therapy courses on treating social anxiety.
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  • Exercise.
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    Physical activity such as walking, jogging and yoga is a great way to manage anxiety. You can begin by doing these activities alone, then once you have your confidence you can begin taking classes that interest you so that you can ease yourself into a social environment.

The previous tips can go a long way in helping you cope with your social anxiety. Remember, your campaign for stopping your social anxiety should start with you. Once you begin taking the first few important steps, everything will follow accordingly.

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