Dealing with Anxiety, Part 4: Social Anxiety (Includes Videos)

“Social anxiety disorder, sometimes referred to as social phobia, is a type of anxiety disorder that causes extreme fear in social settings. People with this disorder have trouble talking to people, meeting new people, and attending social gatherings. They fear being judged or scrutinized by others. They may understand that their fears are irrational or unreasonable, but feel powerless to overcome them.

Social anxiety is different from shyness. Shyness is usually short-term and doesn’t disrupt one’s life. Social anxiety is persistent and debilitating.” Full article

I have included below two videos that I like that speak directly about social anxiety. You will find them very helpful, normalizing, and they offer ways to cope well.  I encourage you to do your own research, too. The last video is quite an inspirational display of courage, creativity, and heart.

Tool(s) #5:

  1. Challenge your own negative thoughts. Don’t just accept them.
  2. Learn to control your breathing. Deep belly breaths.
  3. Face your fear. You need to be willing to be uncomfortable.  Things are better than you think.  Go for 10 to 15 min and then leave.  Next time you can stay longer…
  4. Talk to therapist. Counseling is a wonderful tool.
  5. Medication can be really helpful. You are not meant to feel this degree of social anxiety.  Being open to medication can make a difference.


Tool(s) #6:

  1. Tweak the way you’re coping can lower your anxiety.
  2. Feel you are in control of your life.  Engage in life-giving experiences that make you feel that you have more control in your life. Be okay if you do it badly…”Anything worth doing is worth doing badly the first time.” We aim for perfection so we don’t even start something…. “doing badly” frees us up to take action; and we can improve as we go along. How would your life change if you “did it badly,” today?
  3. Forgive yourself for any mistakes that you might have just made or for things in the more distant past.  This leads to greater compassion towards yourself.
  4. Find a purpose and meaning in your life.  What is your passion?  What drives you? Doing something with someone else in mind can give you purpose.  Do you do something once a day with someone else in mind? Volunteering?  Doing something that can help future generations? You are important and are here for a reason!

Tool(s) #7:

  1. Be OK with what you ultimately can’t do, because there is so much you CAN do.
  2. Surround yourself with people you want to be around.
  3. Keep moving forward.
  4. Never miss getting together with others if you can help it.


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