Table of contents:
- Everyone experiences social phobia in their own way. And not only because this type of anxiety can be triggered by a variety of situations, from public speaking to everyday conversations or dating. Rather, the feeling of anxiety itself usually manifests itself in different ways: it does not always look or feel the same. More precisely, almost never
- 1. Rethinking our worries
- 2. Making room for your concern
- 3. Letting go of thinking
Video: Three Ways To Overcome Social Anxiety On Your Own - Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
Everyone experiences social phobia in their own way. And not only because this type of anxiety can be triggered by a variety of situations, from public speaking to everyday conversations or dating. Rather, the feeling of anxiety itself usually manifests itself in different ways: it does not always look or feel the same. More precisely, almost never
Here are some simple science-based ways to overcome social anxiety from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
1. Rethinking our worries
Sometimes social phobia manifests itself in the form of intense anxiety in anticipation of an upcoming social event. That is, we start to worry as soon as we find out about him (say, we receive an invitation to a party or a work assignment that will entail a performance in front of an audience). We try to get into other people's heads, simulating a million different scenarios in which something goes wrong. We may even go so far as to convince ourselves that this will be a disaster and cannot be avoided. We can "catastrophize". We might panic. Or even numb.
Sometimes we manage to avoid participation, thus experiencing short-term relief, but then we never know that it is not as bad as we imagined. If we cannot avoid participating in the event, we have no choice but to endure it, experiencing a lot of stress (or resort to such "crutches" as drinking or preparing too hard).
If levels of anxiety and anxiety are too high, a cognitive reframing exercise can help you overcome your social anxiety to change how we think about these worries.
It will be helpful to ask yourself questions like these:
- 1) What is the likelihood that the consequences will be dangerous?
- 2) If this happens, what will happen in the worst case?
- 3) Is there any other way to interpret this situation?
- 4) What would we say to a friend in a similar situation?
Another exercise is to gradually and slowly approach those situations that we tend to avoid because of our anxiety. It's called "exposure," and it's a very complex process because it involves the very things that worry us. Therefore, it is recommended to practice it under the supervision and guidance of a CBT therapist.
2. Making room for your concern
Some people with social phobia experience extreme anxiety at the most crucial moment in a situation. This often manifests itself physically: we may sweat, tremble or blush, or mentally: we stumble, don't know what to say, or quickly agree with other people's opinions, even if they are very different from ours. Then we can easily lose the conversation thread, stop understanding other people, and feel intense anxiety.
In these “here and now” panic situations, mindfulness exercises can be helpful. With their help, we learn to accept our anxiety without trying to fight it or get it out of our heads. One such exercise is called cognitive non-fusion and is referred to as acceptance and responsibility therapy. In short, it teaches us to observe and accept negative thoughts without being "led by them."
3. Letting go of thinking
Finally, sometimes we actively reflect on how we acted in a certain situation. The so-called "event post-processing" basically consists of passing every more or less significant moment through a negative prism. We criticize ourselves for what we said (or didn't say), we scold ourselves for what we did (or didn't). As a result, we drown in a sea of negative thoughts, we can feel completely inadequate, useless and hopeless (we feed social phobia).
All of this makes us feel less confident about our social skills, and as such, we are more likely to worry about future similar situations. Thus, we are trapped in thinking about the past and worrying about the future.
If we are doing post-processing too often, it can be helpful to do a “cognitive reframing” exercise like the one described above. So, for example, we can ask ourselves:
- 1) What evidence do we have that the situation did not work out?
- 2) Do we have evidence to the contrary?
- 3) What would we say to a friend in a similar situation?
Then we can turn our attention to identifying the positive aspects of the past experience and build on them in the future. In this case, the questions might be:
- 1) What do we think went relatively well? (Maybe even great?)
- 2) What can we do differently next time?
- 3) What can't we change?
Please be aware that these guidelines for dealing with social anxiety disorder are general knowledge and not a clinical prescription. If you suspect that you or someone you care about has social phobia, see a professional CBT therapist.