So, what is social anxiety and why am I writing about it?
We all know exactly what sort of year (well 18 months) we have had now so I won’t go into details of the sh*t storm that was 2020 and Coronavirus! But now I am seeing that the aftereffects of the virus are starting to kick in as things are looking to go back to normal in just a few weeks now. Social anxiety is already a common issue, but it seems to have skyrocketed after we have all become used to isolating from the world. If you don’t suffer with social anxiety just imagine something you find difficult to do that you still do every day, and then imagine how difficult that would be to do if you hadn’t done it for a year and a half.
Symptoms of social anxiety include worrying about daily activities such as meeting strangers or phone conversations, worrying about social situations such as parties or group conversations, worrying about saying something you think is embarrassing or appearing incompetent or feelings of being judges or criticised. Physical symptoms may include sweating, heart palpitations, feeling sick or panic attacks. With all this sounding very doom and gloom how do we move forward:
1. Understand and challenge your thoughts:
Understanding your anxiety can get you a huge step closer to combating it. I suggest to all my clients write down what goes through your mind, look for those triggers. You can’t make a change if you don’t know what the problem is. Writing everything down or keeping a journal can really help to get unwanted thoughts out of your mind.
Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga and hypnotherapy are all great ways to keep you feeling calm and stress free. The more positive you are feeling the more able you will be to cope with difficult situations. Hypnotherapy can help to work with the source of the issue and to alleviate the symptoms.
3. Set yourself goals:
Break challenging situations down into smaller tasks and write them down. Work on dealing with the smaller challenges rather than the huge scary task as a whole. These smaller challenges will feel much easier to deal with and you can move forward one step and a time.
4. Congratulate & reward yourself:
It is far too easy to punish ourselves when we feel we have done something wrong or not achieved what we wanted. Start praising yourself when you achieve the little things. You deserve recognition for all that you achieve!
5. Get yourself out there:
When we feel anxious, we tend to imagine the worst possible situation. By avoiding the situation altogether, we never then learn that, actually it might just be OKAY! By getting yourself out there little and often you can take it slowly and learn that whatever terrible situation you are imagining it not what will necessarily happen.
I know you are going through a difficult time and the littlest of things seem scary but you are much stronger than you have been giving yourself credit for! Take on board these 5 tips and you can manage your anxiety and start to get back to the world as we knew it before.